2017/18 Ski Season

Top Tips for Taking Your Skiing to the Next Level

01Aug

Skiing is an exhilarating experience that if you once master, you never want to stop. The adrenaline rush from both the speed and pull of gravity as you slide through the snow is out of this world. The right trainer and the right skiing track are also imperative for your skiing. Check out the Madarao resort in Japan that offers the best when it comes to skiing. If you start right as a beginner, and if you master the right tricks, skiing could be added to your list of hobbies. That being said, let us delve right into some of the top tips for taking your skiing to the next level.

The Basics

To move to the next step, you need to master the basics. Some of the most important basic tips for skiing are:

  1. Clothing: Have your gloves, skiing socks, and water proof jacket and trousers. In short, keep warm.
  2. Equipment: have with yourself well-fitting ski boots, ski boards, and ski poles. I cannot overemphasize the importance of wearing a helmet, no matter how fast you’re learning.
  3. Practice with patience- when you fall, and you will fall, get up and keep at it.
  4. Get help from the right qualified people. Avoid friends and spouses, as you might all get worked up when things do not work out as you expect.

See more on what to expect as a beginner.

 

Advancing to the intermediate level

Stance:

Adopting the right position/posture not only helps you ski with utmost ease but also puts you at less risk of injuring yourself.

 

Tips for maintaining the proper stance include:

  1. Keeping all joints, especially the knees bent at the correct angle, to improve balance and control.
  2. Keep your eyes trained ahead, to get a view of what’s ahead, and to prepare for it.
  3. Avoid leaning backward for balance, otherwise known as back seating. A useful tip to avoid back seating is using your shins to apply pressure on your ski boots so that they bend at the ankles. You must, however, be careful not to bend forward too much as you don’t want to be falling over on your face.
  4. Strive to keep your body weight directly over the skis’ narrowest points, also known as the ‘sweet spot.’

 

Speed Control

Speeding downhill can be breathtaking up until you realize that you’re losing control of speed. Lack of control leads to panic which is equal to disaster. Here are a few techniques for speed control:

  1. Skidding: Skidding involves breaking the top layer of the snow with the ski boards, hence slowing you down.
  2. Turn shape: Turn shape is a smoother technique, whereby you get to turn your skis into clean arcs, which flattens the snow underneath, making you slow down.
  3. Checking: Checking is more useful when you need to stop instantaneously. It involves briefly setting your edge to a stop.

Turning Techniques

The easiest method is whereby you use your feet and shoulders to turn. To turn right, you drop your left shoulder towards your left ski and turn your feet to the right. To turn left, you drop your right shoulder towards your right ski and turn your feet to the left. This is best done when your feet are at the plough or V position. A useful tip is keeping your head, torso, and hips facing in the direction you want to turn. Your legs and skis will automatically turn to face the intended direction.

Parallel Skiing

Parallel skiing is a graceful skiing technique that involves keeping your skis parallel to each other at all times. This is unlike the snow plough position where your skis are positioned in a V shape. The key tip for parallel skiing is keeping your weight on the outer ski when turning. When you master turning, you can then move on to edging where you move your weight to the inside of each ski, creating perfect, effortless turns.

Skiing Moguls

Moguls are bumps/ lumps of snow that have been created by other skiers as they turn, pushing the snow aside. Skiing moguls can be tricky and require right instruction and practice.

Mogul skiing requires keen and fast calculations. It includes knowing how to control speed, knowing when to break, calculating the space needed to turn and break comfortably, and being able to select the best route for skiing moguls.

 

Just like any other thing in life, moving to the next level requires practice, practice and more practice.

Experience ‘Hakken’ by Active-Life Madarao

09Jun

Finding the right accommodation isn’t always as easy as you’d think, especially given the sheer volume of options that come up with every search. After a while it can begin to get rather stressful, as when you’re spoilt for choice it gets harder to make a definitive decision. Well, before you make any snap decisions you should ask yourself the following question:

What are your intentions when you book a skiing holiday? To pursue your passions; breathe in the crisp mountain air; push yourself to new heights and most important of all: to discover! Well, Active Life is proud to introduce to you the ultimate discovery: Hakken – a relaxed snow lodge with a unique Japanese experience – the perfect place to rejuvenate after an immense day on the slopes.

‘Hakken’ (Japanese for Discovery) is a newly renovated, quaint and relaxing snow lodge that lay quietly in the heart of  . Less than 5 minute walk from the Madarao resort chairlifts, you’ll find Hakken to be pleasantly convenient. What truly sets Hakken apart from the rest is its unique experience, blending western style amenities with a gorgeous, traditional Japanese twist – (The Tatami floors feel incredible under-foot too, offering a truly authentic experience)

Hakken also boasts a friendly team of Japanese, Kiwi and Australian staff who all breathe an open air of passionate hospitality throughout, waiting patiently to oblige your every need with a warm and receptive smile. You can rest assured that you will be well taken care of, with your best interests at the very epicentre of our priorities.

Recover with a perfect nights’ sleep

After a long and hard day on the slopes, when you’re feeling exhausted and ready for a deep sleep, you’ll feel wonderful in the thought of returning to one of the following room:

  • Family Room for 4 people
  • Deluxe Room for 3 people
  • Standard Room for 2 people

All of the rooms in Hakken are equipped with all of the essentials and amenities needed to make your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible; from FREE Wifi, private bathrooms, an LCD TV, a safety deposit box, refrigerator and the most comfortable and dreamy, western style beds. Why would you want to lay your head to rest anywhere else?

Getting from A to B

Hakken is located in the Madarao Ski Resort, (also known as the renowned ‘Madarao Kogen’) in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture, between Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen. There is a nearby train station named Iiyama, which is easy highly accessible and easy to reach. More importantly, Hakken offers a complimentary shuttle service to all guests, taking you from Iiyama train station, as well as to and from the Nozawa Onsen. Check shuttle timetable here: http://beactive.life/transport

Snow-Lodge Amenities

  • Baggage storage
  • Free WIFI
  • Drying Room
  • Ski and Board Hire
  • Vending Machine (Drinks)
  • Luggage Storage
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Onsen

Hakken hotel operates based on the Japanese Ski Season, from 16 December through until 31 March. Keep an eye out for any up-coming deals and get ready to

 

 

 

First Time Skiing? Here’s what to Expect

02Jun

We’ve all fantasised about it at one time or another; the fresh mountain air caressing your face as you bound down the side of a stunning snow covered mountain. It truly is one of the most natural and exhilarating experiences you can imagine, being both addictive and fun for everyone involved.

That being said, skiing for the very first time is rather scary, but with a little persistence and willpower you’ll soon fall in love (but not before you fall over plenty)

Below you will find a guide on what you can expect when you hit the slopes for the first time.

It won’t be easy

Like most new experiences, it isn’t going to be a walk in the park, (unless you’re walking in a park for the first time) particularly if you’ve no experience with something like ice-skating or rollerblading. It will be an alien feeling, though one that you will almost certainly enjoy. And just like anything else, the more you hit the slopes, the easier the sport will become.

Take full advantage of Ski lessons

We definitely recommend that you invest in some ski lessons for your first time. You don’t have to go too crazy with it, but at least take one or two to familiarise yourself with some of the basics before you go trundling down the side of a mountain. You’ll find that even the smallest hints and tips will make the difference between a good and a great first experience!

It’s important to remember that all beginners are in the same boat as you. It can be embarrassing falling over in front of strangers, but if you just open yourself up, embrace the nature of being exposed to something unfamiliar then you will undoubtedly enjoy yourself all the more.

Where to begin

Well, the beginner’s area is probably a good place to start! I’m not sure about you, but the thought of taking to the harsh slopes of Harakiri for a first attempt makes me feel a little nauseous. A beginners area tends to have a lot of flat surfaces, with a little nursery slope to help you find your feet before spreading your wings so to speak.

You WILL lose your balance

Be realistic and don’t set yourself impossible standards. It’s feels great to excel in everything that we try, though it’s important to remember that there will always be hurdles along the way. (Or in this case; great big trees!) Again, just dust yourself off and have a laugh with it. That being said, at least endeavour to fall over less than your friends and family, that way you can turn the abuse back around on them.

Don’t allow yourself to feel intimidated

As a beginner you are going to be pretty pants at first, so try not to compare yourself with others. When you’re tumbling down a little slope and a toddler zooms past and flips you the middle finger, just remember that it’s your first time – enjoy it!

Write Your Life – Become Who You Want To Be; No More Excuses

26Apr

Skiing lessons in JapanIn this modern internet age we have a wealth of awe-inspiring things at our fingertips and that can at times, be rather discouraging; particularly when it comes to pursuing our dreams.

You’ll find that it’s easier to sit and watch someone else achieve greatness, rather than go after it yourself so you don’t even bother trying at all. Ever watched the ‘people are awesome’ channel on YouTube? It’s an inspiring watch, but it is also a sore reminder of how uneventful your life really is…but does it have to be so? You are the commander of your life and it is time for the rest of you to fall in and follow orders.

You see, creating something average is a darn-sight more impressive than doing absolutely nothing at all and even if you don’t shake the very foundations of this planet in the process of trying; I guarantee that you’ll have an incredible amount of fun either way!

That is what life is all about, is it not? – Creation, activity and achievement. We have been blessed with the capacity to endure and aspire and yet the majority of us squander this on mere day dreams, when in actuality all we need to do is say yes. Say yes, as opposed to: “I’d love to be able to Ski like that one day!” – Never mind your half-arsed, speculative wishes and set a date. If you’d ‘love to be able to Ski like that one day’, then book your Ski Trip today!


We are at our happiest when we are expressing ourselves, sharing our passions and achieving our goals. Why aren’t you pursuing your goals? What is stopping you besides your own inaction and procrastination? Is it your age? Do you think that perhaps ‘your ship has sailed?’

Don’t let your age dictate what you can and cannot do! It is never too late to pick up an old guitar and strum your way toward a life full of music and harmony. Sure you’re likely no Bob Dylan, but if the times are changing then so should you be.

People tend to look at art as being very black and white; a dodgy painting slapped on a canvass by a   drunk with one ear. Well, it runs much deeper than that. Art is creation…and you don’t need a pen or a brush to do so, all you need is a little imagination and some will power. You may not be able to write, but you can sure as hell carve your name into the snow.

Whether you see yourself dragging your fingers through the inside of a barrel wave, baking the perfect cake, building a tree-house or sculpting a statue of yourself spearing a grizzly bear; you’ll never know what it is to be happy until you at least give it a try!

Dream, dare, explore and create! Always fancied a trip to Japan? Why not go one better and tie it in with some Skiing or Snowboarding at Madarao Ski Resort?

Life is to be lived. There are so many people who would give what little they have to be able to actualise their dreams. An estimated 46% of the people on this planet who have never seen snow, and likely never will, and yet you’re just a click away. What are you waiting for?

Madarao Kogen, Japan – Rise above Sea Level and Surf the Snow!

14Apr

Kicking up powder snowboardingSnowboarding has developed into a beloved and well-established winter sport, boasting its own unique culture, equipment and super-star athletes. The sports international competitions draw world-wide renown and have inspired adrenaline junkies to push themselves to great heights, immersing themselves in one of the most amazing natural thrills available.

There are many styles of snowboarding, each of which have naturally progressed and branched off into their own standalone tournaments – such styles include: alpine racing, freestyle, back country and free riding, though where did it all begin? At what point did man decide to rise above sea level and surf the mountains instead?

Well, one day, a young Surfing enthusiast by the name of Sherman Poppen was day dreaming about surfing the winter landscape of the Rockies. He decided to bolt his children’s skis together and turn his daydream into a reality! – Before long, all of the kids in the neighbourhood on his doorstep, begging for him to build them a “Snurfer”. By 1972 Dimitrije Milovich would produce the very first snowboards as we know them today.

Fast forward to now and here you are sat reading this, day dreaming about the very same thing; carving up the soft powder and embracing the winter chill while you experience the pinnacle of adrenaline rushes. So what are you waiting for? It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete stranger to snowboarding; if you’ve any experience in surfing, then you may just find that you’ll pick it up naturally, but there’s only one way to find out right?

Why choose Madarao Kogen for your next Snowboarding destination?

ALM 20170213

Madarao Kogen is one of the hottest Ski and Snowboarding resorts in the World right now and is definitely worth a look. This stunning location is no longer the undiscovered powder prize of the past!

Although Western tourists have long favoured the likes of the Alps; Japan is definitely on the rise. OK, so it’s quite small in comparison, though it packs one hell of a punch when it comes to top quality skiing and snowboarding. You could put it down to the estimated 11 meters of snow that it receives each season, though I’d argue that there is certain mysticism in the mountain air. Japan is a fascinating place, and from the moment you step off the airplane you are immersed in a truly captivating culture that fills your soul with magic and inspiration.

On top of that, Madarao Kogen is a largely “undiscovered” location. There’s nothing worse than turning up to a beautiful location that is absolutely swamped with tourists. Isn’t the whole point of snowboarding being able to get away from it all? – High up on the mountain, looking down on the world as you carve your cares into powder. Madarao Kogen will provide you with this calm; it offers a certain peace that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

Beat the crowds and make the most of this truly exceptional destination before masses jump on the band-wagon.

There’s No Time like Now Time – Book Your Next 2017/18 Ski Season Today!

07Apr

ski japan

If you’re thinking about potentially booking your Ski season for either 2017 or 18 (or both) and you’re dragging your feet a little bit, then here’s a little bit of advice for you: get your rear in gear! There really is no time like the present and as the tide changes like the wind, so too does the cost of flights and late bookings!

If you leave it too late, the prices will rise as gaps are filled and desirability increases. In which case you’ll either not be able to afford it, or you’ll have procrastinated so much that you’ll lose interest all together and promise yourself that you’ll “definitely get round to doing it eventually”.

Learn from the Mountains and be bold and stand firm. Here at Active Life Madarao we are all about grabbing life by the horns and making the most of every given opportunity. Whether you’re an experienced Skier or Snowboarder or you’re an absolute new-comer to the slopes looking to give it a try; get yourself booked in and give yourself something to look forward to!

Not only are the weather projections for 2017 and 2018 going to make the skiing conditions on Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture, Japan), absolutely incredible; but having something for you to look forward to, is actually beneficial for your overall happiness mental well-being as well.

The Psychology behind Early Bookings and how they benefit your mental well-being

Happy Skiing coupel skiing

Want to know how having something to look forward to can make you happier?

There are four key stages for enjoying an event in your life:

– Anticipation – This is one of the key stages of a holiday, or an event in your life. By booking something in advance you not only afford yourself a sense of achievement, but also calm. Instead of having the need to eventually arrange your Ski season looming over you, you will have one less thing to worry about and one more, incredibly exciting event to look forward to.

– Savouring – You’ve finally arrived. It’s been months and months of anticipation and finally you have reached the top of the slope with the fresh mountain air in your lungs and an endless bed of soft powder before you waiting to be carved up. Savour these moments, as they are the memories that you will cherish forever – that is what makes it all worthwhile!

– Expression & Reflection – Sharing your passion and pleasure with others is the key to heightening an already incredible experience, and in the same breath having something to look back on makes it all the more special and memorable for you. While you’re there tearing up the mountain, document it on social media and share your excitement with other enthusiasts.

There are where you can kick back and mix with other like-minded people, whilst cutting up your GoPro footage and putting together some truly stunning video memories for you and yours to cherish and adore.

 

So what are you waiting for? Time is ticking, the snow is setting and the spaces are beginning to fill. Your life will pass you by faster than you can say: “I’ll get round to it”, if you don’t throw your procrastination out of the window and do what you want to do today. Be active.