Telford Ski Centre - SkiBikes On Test

Posted: Saturday, 6 July 2013 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

Having spent the night at The Shakespeare Inn, Coalport, I arrived at Telford Ski Centre just after opening and set up my skibikes. Both resident instructors Richard and Duncan were quite excited and keen to have a go on them as soon as possible. After a single test run on the nursery slope, they both headed up the main slope to give the bike a go.

Telford Ski Centre

For Richard this was his first experience and bravely made a number of runs in a pair of shorts, you don't want to fall on Dendix at speed as you can get quite a bit of a rash, as I was to find out later.
Duncan had used a SnowScoot previously and took to the skibike like a duck to water, immediately preferring to ride standing on the pegs, Enduro style. Duncan commented that the balance skills needed reminded him of his instructor training where he had to ski on just one ski.

Image of an instructor freestyle skibiking at Telford Ski Centre
Richard skibiking in shorts - risky

Before long the first customers of the day arrived for an over 50s group session and the boys had to get back to work. Whilst this was taking place I was able to put in a few runs and get used to the feel of riding a skibike on Dendix. The system at Telford Ski Centre has water misting to keep the slope running smoothly and not melt the bases of skis. It is not as slippery as real snow, but the tipping point between grip and slip is progressive and in my humble opinion a whole league above the "modern" carpet systems being installed elsewhere. I even managed to get a few runs in on a pair of SnowBlades and soon began to "dial in" to the new medium.

Image of an instructor freestyle skibiking at Telford Ski Centre
Duncan - Enduro style

The over 50s group were due a coffee break, but one of the group wanted to have a go. With minimal instruction he made 3 runs from halfway down the slope to get used to controlling the skibike and then made an excellent run from the top.

Picture of the dry slope at Telford Ski Centre
A completely empty slope

There was somewhat of a lull afterwards which gave me the chance to put in a few runs on a completely empty slope. I put myself in the position of a complete numpty and went for a run from the top of the extension slope above the top of the drag, straight down the fall line, I picked up a lot more speed than I was expecting and almost ran off the end of the slope into the underbrush, but crashed as a result. Due to the heat, I was wearing a short sleeved top, the result, one bloodied forearm, ouch.
Still you have to find the limits.

Picture of a grazed forearm after crashing on Dendix matting
Numpty skibiker - finding the limits

Well overdue to return to London, I bade farewell to Telford and made the return home. But I will be back to Telford Ski Centre, mainly because they now have my 2 skibikes on evaluation for the next month.