Newest Review: ... standard riding and the other takes you through the freestyle features. Surfaces are made of both Snowflex and Dendex (think astroturf on... more
I am up there almost every day
Member Name: Xtasy
Date: 22/02/01, updated on 22/02/01 (627 review reads)
Advantages: Great half-pipe, quarter-pipe, big-air, rail-slide
Disadvantages: Some hire skis are a bit old, some of the matting is old aswell
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.
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