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Ski Tips

Tips on Teaching Your Little Ones How to Ski

29Nov

With winter approaching, you’re probably excited to hit the slopes with your family. Make this year’s skiing trip a memorable one by sharing your love of the snow with your kids. Many kids start learning how to ski at 4 years old. If you think your little one is ready to learn how to ski, you can teach them yourself without having to spend an arm and a leg on lessons. Although teaching your kids how to ski is a fun experience, it also takes patience. Learning how to ski isn’t easy at any age. Use these tips and tricks to make your experience positive for both you and your kids.

Time and Patience is Key

When it comes to teaching little ones how to ski, it’s important that you start out slow. Think back to the first time you went skiing. How long did it take you to feel comfortable on the board? Skiing can be scary at first, so keep that in mind. Your kids will fall down a lot at first, but they will get back up. Try to have patience with them as they get comfortable having the skis on and doing the basics.

Start Out Small

If you go into this expecting your child to catch on immediately, you’re setting you both up for failure from the beginning. It’s important that you teach your kids the basics and make sure they have them down before moving forward. Get ready to spend a lot of time on the bunny hill, because these basic maneuvers will take some practice. Make sure you work on one step at a time, so they don’t get overwhelmed.

  • Stopping – This one might seem obvious, but before you teach your kids anything else, make sure you teach them how to stop. The best stopping technique for kids and beginners is a wedge. Show them how to move the tips of their skis together and then apart and let them practice it on flat ground until they get the hang of it. Once they seem comfortable with it, let them try it on the hill until they’re able to stop
  • Turning – Once they have stopping down, it’s time to teach your kids how to turn. For many kids, the side-to-side movement needed for turning comes easier than stopping. ‘S’ turns are the best for kids and beginners. If your kid is nervous, try skiing in front to make it easier to follow your motions.

Make Skiing Fun

Skiing is a blast already, but kids have short attention spans. One key tip to keeping your kids interested in skiing is to make it fun. If it feels like a chore or something they have to do, they won’t be as excited to learn. For example, kids love games! Choose a game your kid loves like tag, and let them play while wearing their skis. This will get them used to simple movements without even realizing it. If your kid is scared of skiing, this can help them overcome their fear.

Stock Up on Equipment

The biggest mistake you could make is not being equipped. For starters, you want to bring a few changes of clothes. There’s no doubt that there’s going to be lots of falling and wipeouts. Make sure your kids have a few changes of socks, pants, and sweaters. Gloves and headgear are also important. Kids get colder than adults do, so you can never have enough dry clothes on you when hitting the slopes. There’s nothing worse than trying to ski when your clothes are soaking wet.

Take a Break

You could probably spend the whole trip on the slopes, but that doesn’t mean your kids want to. Even if they’re having a blast learning how to ski, take a little time to explore. Reward them with a big mug of hot cocoa or visit one of the nearby attractions. From delicious food and unique cultures to animals and historic locations, there’s a little something for everyone! The best part is, many of these famous attractions are just a short shuttle ride away from Madarao Ski Resort.

Teaching your kids how to ski and truly appreciate the snow can be tedious and stressful, but it’s absolutely worth it in the end. Just remember that kids need time and patience to get comfortable with their skis, so don’t rush things. Try your best to make learning fun and keep safety at the forefront of your mind. If you follow these tips, you’re sure to have an amazing trip with your family!

How to Stay Warm and Comfortable During Your Ski Trip

28Nov

Nothing ruins a day on the slopes like getting too cold. It’s already cold during ski season. Pair the cold temperatures with freezing wind hitting your face when you’re going downhill and then sitting on a frozen lift, and you’re likely to freeze if you’re not prepared. With the right equipment and gear, you can keep yourself warm even in below freezing temperatures. Follow these tips to make sure you stay warm and comfortable during your ski trip.

Check the Forecast

When deciding what to wear and what gear to bring with you on your skiing trip, make sure you check the weather. You want to check the forecast for the Madarao Ski Resort area for the exact day you plan on going. It’s important to check the forecast for the right area because the weather in one place, even if it’s just a few miles down the road, might not be relevant to where you’ll be skiing. Along with checking the temperature for the area, you should check the wind and sun forecast as well.

Eat Enough the Day of Your Trip

Have you ever gone a long time without eating and realized you felt colder than normal? If you’re not consuming enough calories, your body won’t be able to stay warm. It’s obviously important that you eat enough every day, but especially make sure you’re eating enough when you plan to be out in the cold. If you go skiing on an empty stomach, not only are you going to low on energy, but also your body temperature will be much lower than normal.

Don’t Get Cold Feet

When choosing your clothes for a day of skiing, start at the bottom. Having cold toes is never fun, so you want to take every step necessary to keep them warm. Start with a pair of perfect-fitting boots. You don’t want them to be too loose or too tight. The best pair of boots for skiing is one with insulated liners. Perhaps even more important than your boots is the right pair of socks. If you go out wearing an everyday pair of cotton socks, be prepared to have freezing cold feet. Instead, you want to wear socks that are just for skiing. These will usually be knee-high to add warmth to your legs. Don’t make the mistake of getting socks that are too thick either. Sweating when it’s freezing outside will have you shivering in your boots before even get off the lift.

Keep Those Fingers Warm

If you’ve ever had a snowball fight without gloves, you probably remember that stinging cold feeling you get almost instantly when touching the snow. Cold hands is a common problem among skiers, but can be alleviated by wearing the right hand gear. First, buy a good pair of mittens. They keep your hands much warmer than normal gloves thanks to your natural body heat. Don’t buy just any pair of mittens though. A $5 pair at your local shop isn’t going to cut it. You might have to spend a pretty penny on a quality pair of mittens or gloves, but it’s worth it. A few brands that hold up well in below freezing temperatures include Marmot, The North Face, and Dakine.

Choose the Right Base and Outer Layers

A base layer isn’t required, but is extremely helpful on those super cold days. You want to choose a base layer made from synthetic fabric rather than plain old cotton, to keep your skin dry. The outer layer is perhaps the most important part of your skiing outfit. You don’t want to skimp on this part of your outfit. Remember that you’re going to be in extremely cold temperatures and chances are, you’re going to fall a few times. Make sure your outer layer is waterproof and insulated to ensure the best warming action. You also want a jacket that fits tight, rather than one that hangs loose.

Know Your Own Body

It all comes down to your own body. If you’re natural hot natured, you might not need all the extra layers. If you’re one of those people who stay cold all the time, you probably want to layer up. If you get hot a lot, consider clothes with zippers so you can regulate your body temperature if you get overheated. Remember, you can always shed a layer if you get too hot. It’s better to have too many layers than not enough.

Now that you know how to stay warm, you’re ready to hit the snow. Make sure you take breaks to thaw by the fire or enjoy a big mug of hot cocoa.

 

 

 

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Get Fit For the Ski Season

01Oct

What does December to April mean to you? For some it’s winter festivals; cuddling up in front of a log fire and long snowy walks in the countryside.  For others though, it means only one thing: skiing.

Yes, it’s time to get out the winter resort brochures and get that hotel booked! But isn’t there something else to do first? Get fit for the season ahead!

You may think you’re in good shape, but skiers and snowboarders use a different set of muscles when out on the slopes. On their own, exercise regimes that look after your cardiovascular system may not be up to the job.  Injuries can occur when snowboarding and skiing because you haven’t prepared properly, especially if your job demands you sit behind a desk all day. So whilst you’re deciding where to go this season, follow a simple exercise plan especially designed for getting the most out of those winter sports muscles.

Exercise for the Piste

Quadriceps

Let’s begin with most important muscle group for skiing.  Strength in these muscles is vital for skiers and snowboarders. These muscles do the work of keeping you in the right position and also protect your knees. Leg strengthening exercises should be at the top of your exercise plan. For people who take to the slopes for the first time, quad strain can be the first thing they experience and this can stop them from fully enjoying the sport. Simple exercises for strengthening quads are step-ups, squats and lunges.

 

arobicThighs

Both inner and outer thighs play a very important role for skiers. They are the muscles that are used to keep your skis in the correct position. We have all seen those hilarious images of first time skiers who legs are moving farther and farther away from each other as they slip and slide down the slope. Skiers use their thighs to keep their legs together as they ski. Simple exercises for strengthening this group of muscles are front lunges and squeeze balls (squeezing the ball between the legs as hard as you can). For inner thighs, side lunges, and squeeze balls can be used to good effect too.

 

Glutes and Hamstrings

These exercises are all about flexibility. When skiing and snowboarding your body needs to be able to flex, particularly when moving downhill at speed. You need to lean your body to control your direction, speed and stability. This puts tremendous strain on your glutes and hamstrings. Simple exercises for strengthening these muscles can range from simple lunges to more strenuous exercises using weights, sports equipment and discs.

 

Strengthening the Core

This is so important for skiers and snowboarders. As important as these muscles are for improving the quality of your days on the slopes, exercises to strengthen the core can be amazingly simple to do and require no gym equipment. The last thing you want when enjoying the snow is bad pain. Push-ups help strengthen the core. The plank position is also easy to achieve with results showing in a short time. Lie on your stomach in a straight position and extend your arms to the front of you, then raise your arms and legs as if you intend to take flight. Hold this position for a short time then repeat. Core exercises are incredibly powerful so don’t overdo these exercises. Start with just a few repeats and as your back gets more flexible you can turn on your side and attempt to raise yourself up on one arm. Again these power exercises can show significant results if you stick with them.

Getting fit for your winter sports adventure is a good investment of your time. There will be few days when you are laid up with aching muscles.

 

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Safety First

Any discussion about planning an exercise regime need to include safety tips.  As keen as you are to show off your prowess on the slopes always take care when exercising and follow some simple rules

  • Never exercise before doing some simple warm up exercises
  • Do exercises correctly. Go to a gym or study the correct exercises from an instructor or a good online source
  • Allow yourself to cool down between sets of exercises
  • Go at your own pace
  • Do not repeat the same exercise too many time as you could strain your muscles
  • Drink plenty of water when doing strenuous exercise
  • Don’t put your body through exercises it can’t manage
  • If you feel unwell or overly stiff do not exercise that day.

 

The slopes await you. Enjoy!

Do’s and Don’ts of the Slope

28Aug

Before you hit the slopes, you might want to know a few basic things that are expected of you. Well, some are just obvious unspoken rules, but this doesn’t mean that people do not break them from time to time. Here at Madarao Ski Resort we don’t want you to look awkward and attract some giggles. So we thought we could mention a few do’s and don’ts for when you hit the slopes.

Training

Do: do get trained by a qualified instructor. The formality and professionalism that comes with someone unfamiliar allows you to focus and take the training seriously. Also this allows both of you to not get carried away by emotions.

Don’t: don’t get trained by a spouse, a friend or someone close to you. Both of you might be worked up and end up snapping at each other or worse. So as much as it sounds so appealing, please do not get trained by somebody close.

Gear

Do’s: always wear the right skiing gear. For starters, you can hire gear such as skiing boots and boards. Also wear well-fitting and comfortable gear.  Also remember that you are skiing in the slope, so always stay warm and dry. Layer a lot of light clothes as opposed to few heavy clothes. Also wear water proof jacket and trouser.

Ski Equipment

Don’t: don’t wear ill-fitting and uncomfortable gear. Trust me; this is neither the time nor place to flaunt your Italian suit. Avoid shopping for expensive gear, or shopping online, especially if it’s your first time hitting the slopes. As a rule of thumb, it’s always advisable to first hire skiing gear, and then you can shop later when you get familiar with the skiing ropes.

Caution

Do: exercise caution always. Always wear your helmets and goggles. Also stay in your limits, giving way to other skiers.

Don’t: get carried away by your prowess too fast. You might learn the basics on the first day and get tempted to hit the moguls. Please don’t. Take it one step at a time.

Posture

Do: practice the right stance. Always keep your knees bent and your eyes trained straight ahead. This gives you better control, and enables you to absorb shocks.

Don’t:  lean ahead or lean backwards (back seating), as you could fall forward or backwards. Avoid looking down at your skis as you will end up losing focus of what’s ahead.

Taking Care of Your Ski Board

Do: tune your skiing board as often as you can. This helps keep it in top shape, and you can smoothly glide over the slopes. For more tips on waxing your board, see  .

Don’t: neglect your ski board. Always keep the board dry to avoid rust and jagged edges that slow you down and damage the board too soon.

Exercise in Advance

Do: get your body in top shape before skiing. Make sure that you exercise and are flexible. Remember skiing requires a lot of bending and fast movements. Also learn a few skiing lingo. You don’t want to be looking blank or getting mad when somebody calls you a bunny. For more skiing lingo, see  

Don’t: get lazy. Keep your body and mind prepared for skiing well before you hit the slopes. We don’t want you getting frustrated if you get strains on your first day skiing.

Where to Stay

Do: get yourself booked in a comfortable hotel, resort or chalet. You need a place where you can relax and maybe enjoy a beer or two after a long day skiing. Take into consideration how much you are willing to spend, and for what. Ski resorts are particularly good since they offer the best when it comes to skiing. You can get a qualified instructor, the right gear and the right slopes. You can check out our offerings here.

Don’t: overlook your safety and comfort when you go skiing. Also avoid booking a hotel or resort during the last minute, since you could end up spending more or settling for less than what you deserve.

Loosen Up!

Do: by all means have fun. Loads of fun. Laugh at yourself when you fall. Then pick yourself up. Make new friends, and make great memories too.

Don’t: get worked up. Be patient with yourself and avoid dampening your mood as well as that of others.

Top Tips on Different Wax Types for Different Slope Conditions.

04Aug

Tips on Different Wax Types for Different Slope Conditions.

Waxing is a maintenance activity that involves applying a lubricant to your ski’s to reduce friction mainly. Waxing works by providing a hydrophobic surface on your board, which resists water.

What’s the Importance of Ski Waxing?

With time, your board gets damaged by hitting rocks, rusting, friction or chemical damage from chemically treated snow.

The most obvious reason for waxing is to reduce friction, hence being able to move faster. Waxing also reduces the rate at which your ski’s wears out.

How Often Should I Wax My Skis?

There’s no given duration after which you should wax your ski’s. However, logic dictates that the more you use your board, the more you should wax it. Just looking at your board can tell you whether or not you need to wax it. If the bottom looks dull and gray, it’s time to wax. There is no such thing as too much waxing. In fact, the more you do it, the better.

Ski Tuning

Ski tuning is a general term for ski maintenance that aims to keep your ski’s sharp, clean and smooth.

Waxing in itself will not make much of a difference if you haven’t repaired your base and edges. In fact, waxing is the last tuning step, preceded by base repair and edge work.

Base repair involves cleaning out your board or ski using a cleaning cloth, which removes dirt, grease, and accumulated wax. Most tuning kits come with a specialized cleaning liquid, which brings out hidden dirt and dissolves wax. After cleaning the ski, apply this liquid, and then wipe it out with a clean towel after 10 minutes.

Next step is the p-tex filling, whereby you light your p-tex candle and wait until it is flames. Let the drops drip onto your ski’s/board, filling out all cuts and scrapes. Give the p-tex 10-15 minutes to cool then scrape it off with a metal scraper, to remove excess p-tex.

Edge tuning involves keeping the edges of your board or ski sharp. Blunt edges have a weak grip on snow, which slows you down. The first step is running a diamond stone, over the edges, giving you smooth edges

Next step is using a special file to sharpen your edges. Do this from tip to tail, taking care not to distort the shape of the edges.

 

Waxing

What Wax Should I Use?

  1. All temperature waxes- these waxes are designed to work in all temperature conditions. Sometimes you may find yourself skiing in different geographical areas, or unable to predict what the temperature will be. All temperature wax, in this case, will be your best bet.
  2. Temperature specific waxes- temperature specific waxes are usually identified as either red or yellow. They both work in a smaller range of temperatures than all temperature waxes.

Red waxes are designed for colder temperatures of between -4 and -10 degrees (25 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit). Red wax is the best when it comes to hot wax scrape cleaning. It is also the best for most skiing activities.

Yellow waxes are appropriate for warmer areas of between 0 and minus-4 degrees Celsius. (32 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit).

  1. Fluorocarbons- fluorocarbon waxes can either be low or high fluorocarbon. These waxes repel water more, adding speed to your ski boards. As a result, they cost significantly more than ordinary waxes and are most preferred by professional skiers. Low fluorocarbon waxes are particularly suitable for those training and intermediate skiers, while advanced skiers prefer high fluorocarbons. It’s however important to note that the higher the fluorocarbon content, the higher the cost.

Ironing

Wax, is usually applied using a special wax iron. You can use an old clothes iron box, but the wax won’t come out fast. Also, the temperature fluctuations in cloth irons are much higher than the wax iron.

Apply the wax on your skating board then use the iron to melt it and spread it evenly across the entire board, ensuring that the wax gets on the board. Zigzag motions are the best for covering the entire base. Take care not to overheat the wax. Overheated wax reacts by producing smoke.

Scraping and Brushing.

After ironing, you should give the board some time to cool. Say a minimum of thirty minutes. You could use a plastic scraper to scrape off the excess wax until only a thin layer of wax is visible.

After scraping, use waxing brushes to clean off excess wax. Start off with coarse brushes, finishing with the softer brushes.

 

 

 

 

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.