Cheap ski holidays in hundreds of ski resorts worldwide.

Search Site / Enter Holiday ID
Mon - Thu 8am-10pm
Fri 8am-8pm
Sat 9am-7pm
Sun 10am-10pm
Expert Advice and Booking
020 8542 6658

Ski Blog

Winter's Coming: Our Top Five Trailers For 2012

clock 3rd September 2012 | comment1 Comments

With the kids going back to school today winter is going to be here before we know. With the Freeze Festival less than seven weeks away and the ski season officially arriving in under 100 days, here are five awesome films that are getting us excited about the coming winter.

Jeremy Jones' Further

Jeremy Jones' Further is this year's epic and follows on from Deeper — which was released in 2010. Deeper took us, well, deeper into the mountains and Further promises to, you guessed it, take us further into the mountains. Whether you ski or snowboard you will be able to appreciate the incredible riding and ground-breaking destinations, that Jeremy Jones will take you to, in this film.

Warren Miller's Flow State

Winter officially starts when the Warren Miller tour begins, so it would be rude not to mention this year's offering, Flow State. Flow State will no doubt be filled with incredible lines, inspiring destinations and their renowned thematic approach — this years seem to be about the outer body experience skiing brings for many of us. Polar bears, powder, parks, world class pros and terrifyingly good groms are all in store for you.

Resonance

Absinthe Films have been making some of the most fun-filled snowboard films for years and Resonance looks like it will follow suit. They balance freeride and freestyle riding seamlessly. Watching Absinthe's films reminds me of days on the mountain with friends and always gets me hyped for my holidays — even if the riding surpasses my wildest dreams and capabilities. You can pretty much guarantee this film will be playing in my chalet the day we arrive!

The Dream Factory

The Dream Factory is another offering from TGR, who made the above Further as well as cracking ski films such as Light The Wick. The Dream Factory promises an atmospheric experience of Alaska's world renowned, filled with incredible lines from this past winter along with a little bit of history and clips from a trip back in '91. Alaska is the reason fat skis were invented and the mountains there never fail to captivate an audience.

13

If it wasn't for Jake Burton snowboarding would be nowhere near where it is today. The godfather of the sport who backed the likes of Terje and White and whose snowboards, films and riders have inspired generations of snowboarders in the sports short history. With this is mind, 13 has to be on your 2012 hit list.

If this doesn't get you in the mood for winter, well, I don't know what will.



Childcare In The Alps — In Resort (Part 1)

clock 3rd August 2012 | comment0 Comments

We have a two part guest blog from Tessera Swallow. Tess is the Director of t4 Nanny and is also an instructor for Ski New Generation. Part one is her advice on childcare options in resort.

Childcare Options

Private Nanny

Option 1: Bring your own nanny with you. This can be great however you will have to share your lovely chalet or hotel with your nanny 24/7. This can be very expensive and intrusive.

Option 2: There are a few tour operators who offer a private nanny service. This means a nanny will come to your chalet for normally eight hours per day to look after the children. The only way you can get one of these nannies is if you book your holiday through one of these tour operators (including through an agent), so it can be slightly limiting.

Option 3: Use an independent private nanny service. This gives you the most choice as you can book any hotel or chalet you like. This option will give you the most flexibility as evening babysitting can be arranged as well as daytime care. Things to ask are: Where do the nannies come from and is the company an agency, or do they employ the nannies for the whole season?

t4 Private Nanny Service — opened fours years ago in Val d’Isere and has been growing each year. They now also have private nannies in Tignes and Meribel as well. As experts in our field, we recruit native English speaking nannies and mannies (male nannies) to take care and entertain your children in the magical mountains. The nannies know the best places to take the children and also all the safety issues of looking after children in the Alps.

This service is very popular and gets booked up extremely quickly; the reservations line is friendly and happy to chat through any questions you might have. We have a wealth of knowledge helping you choose the right childcare solution for your family.

For alternative nanny services and other resorts, check out the list on our childcare and nannies page.

Crèche

There are a few tour operators who offer crèche services. These offer good value for money. Things to be aware of are obviously your child is not going to get as much attention when there are four children to one nanny and make sure you ask how often the children go outside to play.

Questions to ask when booking a chalet holiday

  • Where is the chalet? Location is key; the last thing you want with children is a long walk in ski boots!
  • Is there a driver service? Lots of chalet companies offer a driver service to the slopes in the morning and back in the afternoon. This can be a lifesaver.
  • When is the chalet staff's night off?
  • Is it ski in ski out? This can be great as it means the children will probably be able to sledge in the afternoons outside the chalet. If so, what colour run is it to the chalet? This is a very important question if the run back to the chalet is a red run and you can only ski greens this can be a problem.
  • Can the nanny prepare lunch for the children? Normally the chalet staff are quite relaxed about this, as long as the kitchen is left how it was found.
  • Will the chalet provide lunch for the children? Some will do this, some won’t.
  • Will the tour operator allow private nannies in the chalet? Some chalet companies are fine with this, others — usually for insurance reasons — will not allow this. The ski specialists on the Iglu sales team will be able to check these details for you.

Next week in part two, Tess shares her advice of skiing with children.



How To Buy Skis

clock 29th June 2012 | comment0 Comments

You can tell when summer has arrived at Iglu, as AJ puts down his sales head — giving the sales team some much deserved respite — and picks up his blogging pen. This week's gem is a guide on how to buy skis.

Buying skis has become a lot more popular in recent seasons. This is partly because ski rental prices are soaring in the Alps and partly because British skiers are getting better and want to advance further.

Having your own skis means you don’t have to spend time learning how to ski a new shape every time you go. You can buy much better skis than you can get as a rental and the bindings on rentals are very heavy because they have sliders to fit many boot sizes and must be heavy duty enough to be bashed around by punters every week of the season. No one respects a rental and if you see someone cruising through thin snow with rocks they are more than likely to be on rentals.

Look how pleased Scotty, one of our ski experts, is with his recent purchase — the K2 Kung Fujas

Is it cost effective?

Renting your skis costs between £60 & £120 depending on your level and on the resort. A good set of skis with bindings will set you back £300 to £450, but this can be halved if you buy at the right time, at the end of a season. Then there is ski carriage of £35+ for every time you go skiing.

So, the answer is that, it costs about the same if you use your new skis five times. However, your ski experience will be enhanced, and if you are like me, then there is no price on the love affair you will have with your shiny new kit. It will also increase your real skier cred in the airport queue, in the cable car, and at the après ski bar. So to sum up, you will look better, ski better, and have more friends!

There are so many more skiers taking their own kit that some smaller charter flights have had to limit the number of skis taken onboard. So make sure you book your ski carriage at the time of booking your holiday!

The average UK skier buys a set of skis after going skiing six times and boarders slightly earlier at four times. By this stage you should have a good idea of what kind of skier you are. Beginners, however, should not buy skis! I wouldn't’t recommend buying skis until you are comfortable on black runs and capable of basic off-piste.

I could go on at length about the technical side of ski design. Techies talk about side cut, turning radius, flexibility, camber, rockers, binding risers, bla bla bla. These are important but can be broken down into three very simple categories of ski. There aren’t really any bad skis made anymore, so it’s just a case of finding your preference.

I am going to leave out specialist competition mogul skis, racing GS skis or big mountain, fat heli-skis. If you are in the market for these then you sure don’t need my advice. Actually, maybe you can take me in your helicopter next time — please.

Piste Cruisers and Mogul Masters.

Not everyone wants to blast the frosty lip off a monster cornice and drop through the big blue into bottomless pow on a 50° couloir. Let’s face it, most people don’t do anything remotely like that.

If you’re keen to make nice edge turns, on piste, at high speed then then get yourself a good carver. I’ve always loved the feeling of compression and then spring back energy from the ski, when you are at warp speed and swinging from edge to edge. A carver has a middle width of around or less than 80mm, a nose of 115mm to 120mm and a tail of around 100mm to 110mm. This gives a nice big side cut for classic edging and still offers enough of a shovel at the front to get through any occasional powder or crud.

Get a length that comes up to the bottom of your nose. These shorter and more responsive skis are also the best to get amongst the moguls with. For carvers, you should stick with the established big brands to get a well-made ski that will last 10 years or more. Try Head, Rossignol, Atomic and Nordica. My favourite carvers are made by the best of the US ski makers, K2 — The Stinger 119/72/103 is fast and smooth and The Charger (122/74/106) is just a bit more advanced and capable of really high speed turns and a quite bit of off-piste fun. With this type of ski you may want to get a riser under your bindings to give you a greater angulation for sharper turns.

K2 Stringer K2 Stringer. Photo: © K2 Skis

The All-Mountain, Off-piste Adventurer.

This sort of ski has become the most popular in this century. Modern ski manufacture has made skiing off-piste so much easier, that virtually everyone is getting involved. These skis are wider and longer than piste skis, so that they can float on powder and smooth out crud and rough terrain.

They still maintain some side cut, so that you can easily navigate the pistes but they tend to have a much longer turning radius. This means that when you roll over on your edges the turn takes longer to complete. If you want to make short turns it takes more skill to pivot rather than carve. For these skis you need to be fairly advanced to get the most out of them and you should get them at a length just taller than yourself.

There are so many skis in this range that I could fill several pages with reviews. Every manufacturer has at least three models in the all-mountain range. Before you buy a bigger ski, try out a variety of rentals. Most rental shops will offer a package where you can change skis for a little bit more money. If the chance arises then get yourself to a demo day — where plenty of ski makers will gladly give you a chance to ride their latest kit in the hope of making a sale.

I’ll readily admit to being a ski snob as I expect to outlay £500 to £600 for my skis, with good lightweight Marker bindings — go for the £200 in the sales as they'll cost you. But for that I will get the very best ski I can find, and it will last me at least 7/8 years. Mine are made by the best Swiss manufacturer, Stöckli, who are the last of the big manufacturers that hand-make their skis. They will last forever like a Rolls Royce. I can also highly recommend brands Völkl (those Germans make things to last), Scott, Armada, and K2. I love the K2 Kung Fujas (133/102/127) and they are the ones I’d buy right now. They are achingly cool and best in class.

Park Rats and Jibbers.

This is generally a younger crowd that, 10 years ago was only ever going to go boarding, but the new park skis mean you can do more in the park on skis than you ever could on a board.

Skis for the park can be pretty versatile, but your basic needs are twin tips for skiing and jumping, both forwards and switch (backwards). They need to be really flexible to give the most forgiving landing. As an example, I was filming one of our resident park loving sales team this season in the Val d’Isére Terrain park, when he pulled a back flip in the black section. He under-rotated and landed on the knuckle of the down-slope with his weight way over the front which would normally be terminal and painful (like my jumps). His soft park skis with central bindings were so forgiving that he somehow pulled off the landing. I was made to feel much better when he tried a barrel roll on the next jump and over-rotated and face planted. I got it on film and it still gives me a chuckle!

Freestyle skis tend to have wider, straight sided middle sections and spoon shaped shovels at both ends and have the bindings positioned more centrally. These skis will be flakey at high speed carving and too soft to take into the big mountain environment where precision can be the difference between going off a cliff by accident or making the vital stop. They are perfectly fine for normal piste skiing and powder work but they will not carve or float as well as skis designed for that purpose.

These skis are a bit more specialised and therefore you should look for brands that are at the cutting edge of technology. The best park ski out there at the moment is the Dynastar 6th Sense Distorter, with dimensions of 119/87/109. I also like the Scott Punisher Jib and the Armada T-Hall — named after freestyle Guru Tanner Hall. I see lots of jibbers on short skis for easier aerial work, but if you want a more versatile ski that can crank outside the park then get them at a length that comes up to your forehead.

Next time you go into a shop to look for a ski that suits you, think about the three main varieties. Are you the high speed piste blaster, the big air trickster and jibber, or the all-mountain off-pister? All skis can do all things and multi-task, but start with what you love and go from there. Your ski shop techie will love nothing more than to give you his advice. They are all ski-bums at heart and think about the snow all day long. Just don’t get railroaded into a sale.

It may take many visits to many ski stores, just like speed dating, to find your new love affair. And do NOT try to save money on the bindings! Get the very best they have available. They can save your life.



Book with Confidence. We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA for your financial protection.
abtaccvv

Feefo logo
Our weekly ski newsletter.

Search Ski Holidays

Select a Date!

Your Shortlist

You do not currently have any holidays in your shortlist.

AAA - Travel Agent of the Year (Large Online Agent)

AAA Large Online
Travel Agent of the Year 2013

dIglu Ski app App Store Iglu Ski app Android Market