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I currently work at Sheffield Ski Village, but it looks like another member of staff beat me to it here!
I've spent a lot of time riding and training in loads of resorts / facilities. As dry slopes go, SSV isn't bad. There are plenty of facilities, on and off the slope including plenty of freestyle features (they have their very own airbag! Not something you see very often.)
The main slope is split into two. One is more for standard riding and the other takes you through the freestyle features. Surfaces are made of both Snowflex and Dendex (think astroturf only white)
SSV has some great instructors and all the staff are friendly and helpful. Loads of really great boarders and skiers train regularly.
Personally I don't think that dry slopes can compare with real snow. I find that when I'm teaching students on snow, they can reach twice the standard in half the time as they can on dry slope. I've been told it's better for skiing than it is for snowboarding, but as I don't really ski too any high enough standard to tell, I won't comment. I can say that I find it tricky to ride on dry slopes and I'm an instructor who's been snowboarding for 10 years. But, if you learn on dry slope, you'll be able to ride just about any snow! There are so many indoor snowdomes in easy reach of Sheffield. It was actually proposed to update SSV to an indoor snow slope a few years back, but it was declined. This makes me really sad. An indoor snow slope here would do brilliantly!
The slope and some facilities are badly in need to repair. Much of the matting is getting worn, and the equipment has seen better days.
But the adventure playgrounds and the quad bikes are amazing. They have really tasty curly fries and it's in SHEFFIELD!!
ps. I just read the other two reviews. They're both from like, 10 years ago. They're very out of date, SSV has changed hands several times since then and LOADS is different. Read those reviews with a pinch of salt maybe.
I work at Sheffield Ski Village and I love it to pieces (but don’t think that that makes my opinion biased because I am going to tell you all the problems with it aswell). I think it has to be the best artificial slope in this country. I have always lived in Sheffield (except for my time at university) and I have been skiing for about 9 years. My first ever lesson was taken at Sheffield Ski Village and I thought it was absolutely brilliant back then. Over the past year, however, the slope has undergone some major improvements making it one of the most respected ski slopes in the country (from both a skier and a boarder point of view). The slope itself has 3 main slopes, a set of small beginner slopes, two moguls fields, a 65m half-pipe, a big air jump, a quarter-pipe, a cornice drop, and a 20m rail-slide. As if this wasn’t enough, they also have two huge aerial jumps which land you in a pool of water. Having worked here for about 4 months (by working there for 6 hours a week I get to use the slope as much as I like and have free lessons) I have used it quite extensively. I have skied, boarded and bladed on it, and I think it is great for all of them. There is no other slope in the country that can compete with Sheffield as far as the fun park is concerned. To be honest with you, this is the only part of the slope that I use any more. This fun park slope is covered in the new “Snowflex” virtual snow. This kind of matting is complete like a carpet (unlike the honeycomb shape of the older Dendex matting). It is thicker than Dendex matting and a lot more forgiving if you fall on it. Some of the guys up at the slope are launching them 11 feet out of the half-pipe with nice comfortable landings. On the big air jump, it is not uncommon to see someone doing a front-flip. A lot of people have a lot of confidence in this matting (me included). I feel totally safe skiing on it. I could go on for ages saying
how much I love the half-pip and all the jumps but that would probably bore you. However, I will say that the fun park has been the venue for many national competitions. In fact, the Salomon Open was held at Sheffield in October 2000 and this attracted a few European riders as well. The ski school is very good. I know many of the instructors personally and they are all tremendous skiers. They are all well trained and most of them have great personalities, which always makes it easier for someone to learn. OK, now to the disadvantages I promised. The other slopes that are covered with Dendex are old. The Dendex matting is very worn on them, making them unpleasant to ski on when it has been sunny. They are by no means useless, in fact, we quite often hold slalom races on them with some of the best dry slope skiers in the country (I am supposed to take part in one this weekend, wish me luck). Another annoyance is the standard of the hire skis here. Many of them are quite old with very blunt edges. A lot of them have been re-based and service many times. However, they do have a selection of new carving ski, Salomon X-Screams, Salomon 1080s, and Salomon SnowBlades (I guess they like Salomon) which slopes users can get if they pay a little extra (the carving skis do not cost extra, but the X-Scream, 1080s and SnowBlades are an extra £2 for 2 hours). My final gripe is the price to use the slope. I have skied on quite a few dry ski slopes around the country and Sheffield has a higher price than most others. A current price list can be obtained from their website, but prices at the moment are about £13 for an hour (including slope use, and hire). This high price was the reason I started working at the slope. I do love the slope, and as my title says I am up they a lot. Since I started working at the slope I have taken up freeride skiing and there is no better place in this country for me to train.
This is the coolest and the best by far dry ski slope, or even artificially made slope in Britain. It's better than the Snowdome in Tamworth, but unfortunately doesn?t get as much hype. SNOWPLEX: I was amazed when I stood at the bottom of this recently upgraded slope. They have just recently changed the material of the right-hand side slope. Instead of the usual that most people are used to (the matting with the regular arrangement of diagonal holes, backed with metal) they now have 'snowplex', I know it as. This has no regular lattice of holes; instead it is full completely with the white stuff. It is up to 12 inches thick in certain places, and is very soft. It is so lush to ride. And it is also far safer, with softer landings if you fall, and you no longer have the problem of getting your hands trapped in the holes, which has led to very painful accidents in the past. There was also an older slope, made from the original stuff, on which mostly beginners rode on. It wasn't very nice, or easy to ride for me. I was trying out an up and coming sport called SKI BOARDING during my visit there. If you want to know more about that sport, you'll find it under 'sport equipment > Salamon'. Or, 'Ski and Snowboarding > Both'. Check it out. The first thing I found different abou their slope was the lift, it was a T-bar lift. Firstly it was twice as fast as the one I'm used to. It wasn't that hard to get used to though. HALF-PIPE!!!! The main attraction however, which is so cool, is the huge half-pipe at the top of the slope. Also made of the new snowplex material, it felt great to ride. With the run up to it you could get some good height, I was most impressed with one snowboarder gaining sick air of the lip, and pulling of some sweet grabs! BOX JUMP It gets better: running off from the left-hand side of the half-pipe was a box-jump. This basically cons
isted of a very steep slope, dropping down towards the turn-up of the ramp below. This gives enough speed to get huge air, enough to fit in a flip. Then there is a straight run down towards the finish. These two are so conveniently placed, allowing you to make a great run, with a good combo of tricks in each run. That's if you?re good enough of course. I have also heard that they now have a quarter-pipe, and a grind rail towards the bottom of the slope. BIG AIR!!! I almost forgot (that's because there's no way you'd ever get me doing this!), but there are these two, very long, very steep, and dangerously narrow runs leading down towards two big ramps. If you've got the guts to going down either of these tracks, you would soon find yourself being elevated up a ramp high into the air, and back down into a big pool of cold, cold water. Giving you loads of air time to put as many tricks into one combo, or to try and triple backflip or something crazy like that. Unfortunately during my visit there was no one mad enough to attempt it. The rest of the venue was very good too. They have a nice bar serving good, but expensive food, and then lots of conveniently placed vending machines. They also a Snow and Rock store there. This is a good store supplying lots of clothes and equipment for out door and snow activities. For the day, it cost me around £16 including ski pass, and all day access to the slope. That didn?t however include costs of hire, as we took our own equipment, and then there are the costs of food and travel. I expect it amounts to a total of about £25 for the day there. But it really is worth it, a great experience and chance to test and develop your abilities. My only quibble is that is so inconveniently placed, in Sheffield towards the north. However, there is also the Snowdome in Tamworth, which has also had recent developments, and various other places, such as the Glouce
ster ski and snowboard centre, which has a quarter-pipe made of snowplex, and has big plans for one of their slopes. The Sheffield Ski Village also offers lessons on snowboarding and skiing. I'm not sure about the ski boarding. You can contact them to find out more on: 0114 276 9459