For some of us, it may be a while before we can get back to the mountains or even a local dry-slope. So, for those of you having withdrawal symptoms from skiing, here are some simple substitutes while we stay at home.
Watch Plenty of Ski Movies
This is probably the easiest substitute, watch plenty of ski movies and ski edits. Right now you're probably thinking, that's just going to make me miss skiing even more, but it is great to keep your brain thinking about skiing, especially when you're not going through all the motions. A lot of skiing, especially in freeskiing, is down to creativity and visualisation, so it is important to keep that fresh in your brain while you don't have snow under your feet. Then when you finally get back to it, your motivation and visualisations will be ready to move your skiing up to the next level. Also, if you're much of a dreamer, you'll be sending it in your sleep more often than not.
Play Skiing Video Games
Next is skiing video games. If you've been visualising some tricks and lines, this is where you can put some of them into fruition and further exercise your creativity, without leaving the house. There is a range of games on offer for whichever device you have available, for Play Station and Xbox there is Steep, for iPhone users there is MYTP Freeskiing or Just Freeskiing, and for desktop users the legendary Shredsauce. Even though some of what you can do on these games and apps can be distant from reality at times, it still helps to build mental agility and responsiveness to linking tricks together into a line for example, which you can take away to a real mountain. One of the main thrills of skiing, is working hard trying to land something and the buzz you get when you finally land it. You will have a similar experience when you are virtually skiing, but obviously, nothing will ever compare to you landing a trick in reality.
Practice Skiing Fundamentals
Now you've probably had enough of sitting around, watching movies and playing video games. So, it's time to make use of your garden or a large indoor space. There are many fundamentals of freeskiing that can be practised at home for example balance and aerial awareness. For balance, you could set up a DIY balance course with objects you have in your garden or lying around the house, you can also create a small rail to practice ski tricks on without skis. Then for aerial awareness, if you have a trampoline in your garden, this is a perfect piece of equipment for practising spins and flips that you want to put down on your skis. To make this more relatable to skiing, you could buy some tramp skis from Ski Addiction, or if you're feeling crafty make some yourself. These tramp skis can be used on both the trampoline and balance bars to better replicate skiing. Alongside all of this, there are also inline skates and skateboards. You can learn similar tricks to skiing and snowboarding, then the fundamentals you have gained easily cross back over to snow-sports.
Build a Backyard Setup
After the first lockdown, there was a rise in the number of people building ski setups in their back gardens. This is obviously dependant on the amount of space you that have to play with, but it is not uncommon for people to build backyard setups, in fact, it is hugely popular in the US. Backyard setups come in all different shapes and sizes but usually consist of a wooden in-run ramp, covered in artificial grass or M-Snow, with a selection of rails built from wood and PVC tubes. This is the number one substitute for skiing while you stay at home - because it is skiing. Below is some inspiration from Line Skis athlete Kevin Salonius.
Ski Fitness Exercises & Routines
While you're not skiing, it's important to keep ski fit, by maintaining and building the muscles that you won't necessarily be using while you stay at home. The obvious key focus is keeping your legs fit and strong. If you've got a bike, use your daily exercise allowance to go for a quick shred. If you can't leave the house, use an exercise bike, or if you don't have one, turn your bike into one with a stand. Then following on from that, you need to focus on your core strength and your knees. You will be able to find a range of routines and exercises for this on YouTube, so find the ones that work for you, then after lockdown you will be stronger than ever before and ready to shred. Also, practice plenty of yoga and stretching, it is good for both your body and mind. For some inspiration, check out the episode of Woodsy's World below.
Make sure you tag us in any social media content of you shredding at home and stay safe. ✌️