How to get the most out of Indoor Skiing

Chill Factore Race Training

In his last post on indoor skiing, Gareth explains how to focus your training to get the most from every session.

In the previous post I did a brief Q&A with professional alpine race coach Jo Ryding. The Q&A expanded on the video that was recently posted of her brother, Dave Ryding, talking about the benefits of training at the UK based snowsport centres.

In the Q&A, when being questioned on her advice to BASI instructors training indoors, Jo hit the nail on the head – “Plan your sessions well beforehand.” In my experience, repeatedly going into any training session without a plan or clear structure is a recipe for failure.

This advice particularly applies to training indoors, as you are training in shorter bursts. So to make good use of your time, it is vital to have a focus and a plan as to the direction of your training sessions. Without losing focus and sight of your training plan, it is also important when training indoors to make sure you keep things fun! Ensure you get the correct balance between giving yourself time to get the runs in, and not being afraid to move on from an exercise if things are going stale. As Jo puts it in her Q&A you can always go back to it.”

Chill Factore Race Training

I am running a series of indoor training sessions at Chill Factore this summer and Autumn. The aims of these sessions are to keep the basics ticking over so trainees have a solid platform going into winter. I also run 2-3 full day courses introducing race training – these sessions are aimed at trainee BASI instructors who do not have much ski racing experience. It is perfect for those who are looking to improve their piste performance for technical exams, or looking to break themselves in gently for Test-technique or Euro test training.

I recently ran a two day course at Chill Factore Manchester: for some of the trainees attending it was their first experience of alpine race training. Giving the trainees a race focus was a brilliant way to make the slope more challenging, and it also kept things interesting. Each training day I try to do three 2-hour blocks, with breaks in-between. During the sessions we work through lots of basic drills, often using parts of the central theme as a development tool to help improve high-end piste performance. Having the controlled environment of an indoor slops can really help with this method of training. It allows you to break down movements and really build from the basics upwards, and explore how everything fits together.


During the indoor sessions I also like to set basic rhythmical slalom courses with brushes and stubbies, as this challenges and helps to develop the technical area we have been working on. In the past, I have often found myself getting frustrated in trying to describe to trainees what changes they should make to the rhythm, size and shape of their turns. In snowdomes trainees tend to do way too many very short flicked / pushed turns, and this can prevent any serous performance being generated from the ski. I put this down to them wanting to get their money’s worth out of the slope!

I find using rhythmical slalom courses indoors can really help to develop a understanding of rhythm, size and shape of turns, because each trainee is forced into a defined path. You can then repeat it run after run, session after session, and so it helps to build development through consistency…… its really fun!

Lastly, New Generation are also running a very unique training session in October – bumps! If the thought of skiing the bumps (or moguls) then the Hemel Hempstead day session will help you face your fear. This is really important for trainees going for their BASI Level 2 as you can’t avoid them in the exam.

Gareth Shelbourne

So if you are a frustrated skier in the UK this summer get down to your local snowdome or dry slope, get involved in the local clubs, join in with my sessions or just go and make your own plan to keep things rolling. Remember what they say in GOT, winter is coming!