But we don’t have to fork out a month’s pay in the Alps to hit the slopes.
Olympic slopestyle snowboarder Aimee Fuller is a fan of the indoor slopes too, which be just as fun as getting on the major pistes or at the very least help you bone up on those skills to make the most of the big slopes when the time comes around.
TNT caught up with Fuller, an ambassador for the GO SKI GO BOARD programme, at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempsted ahead of the new season.
Snowsports England have reported an 11 per cent increase in participation in snowsports since the Sochi Winter Olympics – it seems to be booming…
It’s an exciting time for snowsport in the UK and we’re at the Snow Centre today getting some more people up and running on skis and snowboards. And maybe trying a few sticks and getting into some freestyle elements.
There’s a misconception that you need to be up in the Alps with miles of slopes and stacks of cash to get involved, but that’s not the case is it?
Not at all. Most of us on the British team started out on dry slopes or snow domes. Somewhere like The Snow Centre is the perfect place to get started – you get a lot of laps in so it’s great for repetition and practising tricks.
You just need a poma and a few rails and a few jumps and you can get involved and get yourself up to a reasonable standard before you even touch the mountain.
And for non-beginners, the indoor centres are ideal to get back in shape before heading to the mountains?
Even if you haven’t tried skiing or snowboarding before I’d definitely recommend you coming to one of the indoor snow centres and giving it a go, and getting use to the snow. It can make that trip out to the mountains so much better because you already have that bit of snow time and have the feel for it. You could be up and running on day one rather than spending most of the day on your backside.
Some of the freestyle elements you get up to are amazing. How big a step is it for a pleb who’s just getting down the slopes to little jumps or the most basic rail?
It’s very much a case of taking each day as it comes. A steady pace thing. I would never recommend anyone just going off a jump. It’s all risk assessed. Before I go off a jump I work my way up. I start with the small ones, and then medium, and it’s only until the end of the season when Ive had a whole season that we really go for the big ones. You’ve just got to go for it within your confidence level – and each time you go crank it up a notch to what you feel comfortable with and have fun.
You were the first woman to do a double backflip in competition, which is awesome. And then you landed a cab double 900! Firstly, what is that. Secondly, what next?
It was pretty amazing to put that down. That’s a switch double backflip with a 180, so I’m really hoping I can put that in my contest run this year.
That’s got to be crazy points?
Gosh yeah, I’m really looking to push my contest runs this year so when it comes round to the next Olympics I’m ready to fire all cannons and see what I can do.
When an Australian talks about going skiing people get a bit surprised you can do it there – what’s it like being from GB on the world scene?
People are always shocked, they don’t quite get it. I live in Ireland as well. When people ask me where I snowboard I say, well, when I’m at home I don’t snowboard at all, unless it’s at the snow centre.
They’re quite shocked about that. I use that time as time off. When I am in the mountains I really make the most of it and crank up the hours to make up for when I’m not there.
How do you go about training in Ireland without slopes?
I’m at the gym every day, pretty religiously. You’ll see me there at 9.30 in the morning doing weights, two days on heavy and one day lighter. It’s mostly weights and explosive stuff so I’m ready to take a hit. I should be doing more flexibility and yoga but I’ll be doing a lot more of that. You’ll find me at home either eating good food or in the gym when I’m at home, so it’s pretty good.
Put yourself in the shoes of one of us, a one or two times a year skier or boarder keen to get in a bit of shape to get the most out of the mint paid for accommodation/lifts etc – what training would you recommend?
One of the best things is probably to get out on a bike. Any kind of bike. Get a few spin classes under your belt if you’re part of a gym. It’s great for your cardio fitness and strength. Also your core is really important to help manouvre, especially when you get into doing tricks. You need to be fast, flexible and have good cardio so a big combo of everything, but if on a crash course to get ready get on a bike and get some squats in. That’s what my recommendation would be. Mostly just have fun though.
To find out to get involved in snowsports, click here http://www.goskigoboard.org.uk/