Tag Archives: skiing

How to deal with a partner that doesn’t ski?

I can hear the sighs form here. Yep, turns out your dream partner doesn’t ski or snowboard after all. So much for the famous speed dating meme huh…

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Despite your best efforts, he/she doesn’t share the same passion.

However, I am here to tell you it’s not the end of the world. I’ve taken my wife skiing a few times. She didn’t hate it, nor did she love it – she’s just not a snow loving maniac like I am.

After doing three successive boy’s trips in as many years, I asked my wife if she join me on a trip to Japan, along with our two children. The whole experience – as it turned out – was pretty amazing. I went skiing with he boys, and she enjoyed a well deserved break. A win-win, so to speak.

When we returned, she asked if she could pen a few words about her most recent experience; what she enjoyed about the trip and her recommendations for other non-skiing partners. This is what she said:

“I couldn’t go on a ski holiday, I don’t ski, what would I do?”

Many of my friends have said this to me in the past. As for me, I like skiing and I’m ok at it, but it isn’t a passion for me like it is for my husband. You see, I married into the hobby. I knew before we got married that he skied. We went on a few skiing holidays early on in our relationship but I didn’t realise how much it would feature in our lives.

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Ahh, solitude

Fast forward quite a few years and a couple of kids later. The family ski holiday my husband had been dreaming of was upon us. We packed the family onto a couple of planes, trains and a bus, and headed off for the ski fields of Japan, Madarao to be exact.

Madarao is a smaller ski village, which is fast growing. There are hotels, places to eat (traditional Japanese food and Western), a few small bars, a convenience store and all things ski related (hire, instructors etc).

Most people have different definitions of a good holiday – some are ‘action people’, some are ‘relax by the pool enjoying a cocktail and reading a book kind of people’, and then there are the ‘in between’ people. I am an in between person who loves to relax with a bit of sightseeing thrown in. If you are too, then a ski holiday could also work for you.

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The kids faces were priceless

How do you enjoy a ski holiday, share the joy with your family but also enjoy yourself doing other things?

My day would begin skiing with my kids and husband, when I needed a break I would wonder back to our hotel. Along the way I enjoyed the environment around me and loved taking photos. Not necessarily professional quality photos but fun photos. With the solitude and the head space, I found myself really looking at the things around me (I just don’t get time at home). I’d then head back to the accommodation to read my book and write.

Next to me was a window through which was a most breathtaking scene of white mountains and trees, looking at it was just blissful. I’d sit at that window and feel quite inspired. I could imagine other people sitting, reflecting, painting, doing a craft, jigsaw puzzle, anything really….. gazing out over that view.

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The view from my window

At lunchtime I enjoyed walking along the snow covered cat tracks to meet up at a restaurant with my family. Along the way I really enjoyed taking photographs and just loved the solitude and serenity of my environment. When the kids and my husband finished up for the day, we’d all go to dinner together, share in the adventures of the day whilst enjoying a drink or two. The kids would then be happily occupied with the in-house pool table, fuse ball table, darts and PS4 (thanks Active Life Madarao).

Prior to Japan, I also visited larger resorts. There I also enjoyed going to the day spas, visiting book and clothing shops (mostly winter, ski related clothes). I didn’t miss the day spa or shops on this holiday, I found the quieter environment uplifting and soul filling. I loved seeing the smiling faces on my children at the end of the day as they mastered the skill of skiing. But, mostly I felt happy seeing my husband have his dream fulfilled.

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Getting the most out of skiing when you’re over 40: six handy tips

If like the SRA directors, you’re over 40, you’ll know what it’s like nursing aching limbs after a full day of snowriding. Yeah, yeah, we hear you. Nothing a bit of Ibuprofen and a glass of red cant fix, right? You’re partly right.

All those things help, and we’ve certainly used them ourselves – still do in fact. But there are plenty of other things you can do without turning to drugs:

1. Train hard before you go

You’re all busy we get it. But trust us, nothing prepares you better for skiing and snowboarding than training.  Leg strength and core strength are key. For leg strength, find yourself a good set of stairs and climb them.  Regularly.

Go slowly and (if you can) take double steps.  If your thighs (on the way up) and calves (on the way down) are burning, you’re probably doing it right.

If you live in Western Australia, ‘Jacobs Ladder’ is a great place to start – just go easy at first.  We train at Jacobs once or twice a week for 5-6 weeks in the lead up to skiing and it’s been really beneficial.  The coffee in Subiaco afterwards makes it all worthwhile. Disclaimer if you have existing knee or back problems check with your physio, chiropractor or doctor before launching into it.

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Jacob’s Ladder in Perth –  a real thigh burner

2. Drop a few kilograms

For those that ski in the northern hemisphere, snow holidays typically follow the Christmas period.  Let’s face it, after the festive season, we could all lose a few kilograms (well most of us). Losing weight makes a big difference.

Think of it this way.  If you were your legs, would you rather carry the version of you right now, or a better version at 5-10 kg lighter?  Your body will thank you for it. You’ll be less fatigued, your legs wont burn out by lunch time, and most importantly you’ll be that much lighter in the fresh pow. Winning all round.

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We hope the units on the scales in this image are not in kilograms!

3. Buy new equipment

This is not a sales push to get you to support our sponsors.  Well, it is kind of. But you don’t need convincing anyway, do you. Everybody loves new ski kit.

What we’re talking about is boots, skis and boards.  Ski boots particularly have a use by date or mileage limit, what ever comes sooner.  Simply speaking, they wear out. Boots particularly lose their stiffness and eventually stop supporting our ankles and feet the way they used to. If your boots are more than 10 years old, get new ones.  The new custom fit technology is pretty standard across brands now too, so you can say good riddance to sore feet and numb toes.

Skis and boards are another story. They don’t wear out as much as they become obsolete.  Ski technology in particular has moved ahead in leaps and bounds in the last 10 years.  If you haven’t heard of rocker, reverse camber and variable ski geometry, then it’s time you checked it out.  We’ve been skiing the DPS wailer in recent years and they’ve been an absolute revolution. We’re skiing better now than we were in our 20’s.

4. Stay hydrated

Of all the things we’ve listed so far, this is the easiest.  It’s really easy to become dehydrated in the snow.  In fact, it’s part of the reason yellow snow looks so yellow – generally because those doing it are probably dehydrated.

It’s also likely you’re dehydrated before you begin.  Coffee and dry air-conditioning (from the flight) or over heating in ski lodges all contribute to an unhealthy amount of dehydration.  So drink a pint of water before you head out for the day.

Once on the hill, we use a range of ‘camel back’ style back packs (the ones with installed water bladders and a hose to your mouth). Add electrolyte powder to improve muscle function and make it a bit more palatable (because drinking large amounts of water can get tedious).  Although it’s cold outside, it surprising how much you perspire under your gear. If you’re hydrated everything works better: your brain your muscles, your organs.  Believe us, you need water.

5. Skip lunch, but snack often

We’re not sure how this advice sits with nutritionists, but we’ve trialed this concept with great success.  Long lunches kill your mojo.  Simple. As much as it’s nice to stop for a big lunch and a beer (and we’ve certainly enjoyed a few of those), we found it just gave our bodies the opportunity to stew in lactic acid and then seize up. Invariably we’d return to the snow at about 1:30 – 2:00 o’clock only to find our legs were blown.  Typically we were good for one of two more runs but that was it (it just became too dangerous to continue).

So our advice is to have a big breakfast (lots of carbs), drink lots of water and snack as often as you can: chocolate is great for a quick shot of energy but the effect is short lived. Better to instead snack on things like nuts, good quality energy bars (not sugary ones) and even simple things like peanut butter sandwiches.  Stopping off for a quick dumpling and a coffee helps too. Using this approach we’ve increased our skiing time by 1-2 hours a day.  As an added bonus, you get the hill to yourself when everyone else goes in for lunch.

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Snack often, preferably with mates with better table manners than these two

 

6. Take regular onsens (or hot baths)

Last but not least, if you’re in Japan hit the onsens as often as you can. If you’re not in Japan, and you have access to a bath or even a hot spa, we recommend that too.  There’s nothing like a really hot bath to relax the muscles and help them recover in time for the next day.  Warning: In Japan, onsens equal seeing your friends and family completely naked. We have no tips to prepare you for that.

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Onsens are great, but there are no tips to prepare you for the sight of your naked friends and family. Image: https://vacationniseko.com

 

 

 

 

Review: 5 Days in Madarao, Japan

Small crowds, a ‘local’ feel, a variety of friendly lodges, lift tickets and food priced the way it should be and tonnes of snow, translates into epic powder days centred around a true Japanese cultural experience that visitors crave – all without those regretful stares from lift-queue’s, back up to quickly-disappearing fresh tracks.

Continue reading Review: 5 Days in Madarao, Japan

5 reasons you should visit the Aussie snow fields this year

The Australian snow fields are undeniably unique.  Juxtaposed against the lush, green-colored plains of central Victoria and NSW, the white sails of Mt Feathertop and the Kosciuszko main range, are not scenes typically found on Australian postcards. Yet every winter, some 66,000 square km of the Aussie landscape is transformed beneath a thick, semi-permanent layer of snow and ice – a feature, which every year attracts 10s of thousands of people, whether first timers or serious snow sports fanatics.

If that’s not enough to convince you, here’s 5 more reasons you should visit the Aussie ski fields this year.

Continue reading 5 reasons you should visit the Aussie snow fields this year

Ten things to remember when planning your Japanese snow holiday

So you’re ready to take your first overseas holiday to Japan. We’re genuinely excited for you. But, let’s be clear; Japan is not Australia, and it’s very easy to arrive completely unprepared.  Here’s a few snippets of advice to help you along the way: Continue reading Ten things to remember when planning your Japanese snow holiday

3 golden rules for predicting Aussie snowfall events

With all the snow and excitement of the last few days, we thought we’d offer a quick lesson on how to predict Aussie snow events using a few simple rules.

In our experience, the difficulty is not in predicting when it’s going to snow, but how much is going to fall.

At Snowriders WA we like to keep it simple. Unlike our cold blooded friends, Snowatch’s Pete ‘the Frog’ Taylor and Mountainwatch’s, ‘the Grasshopper’, we are no experts; but we have been around the mountains long enough to know the difference between a snow-bearing system and a non-snow-bearing system.  If you can handle a bit of G-rated science, we offer a few simple rules to get you started as an amateur snow forecaster. Continue reading 3 golden rules for predicting Aussie snowfall events

15 mins with Australian skiing legend, Steven Lee

This interview represents the first in what we hope will be a series of regular ’15 minute’ interviews, delving deep into the minds of the snow-industry professionals, snowsports heroes (old and new) and well….just a good bunch of interesting people, all of whom have cut their lives in and around the mountains. The interviews will hopefully inspire you, may surprise you AND if we’ve done our job properly, could make you quit your job and move to the mountains permanently……you can thank us if that happens.

In skiing-circles, our first guest needs no introduction.  Steven Lee was practically born with skis on his feet, and was a prodigious talent from a young age. Introduced to the sport at age three in the Victorian resort of Falls Creek, he rose through the ranks quickly, impressing at a National level as a teenager, before being selected at age 22 for the Sarajevo Olympics, in 1984. Steve went on to ski in three Olympics, Sarajevo, Calgary and Albertville, and was a main-stay in the World Cup circuit until 1992, picking up a gold medal in the Furano Super Giant Slalom along the way.  To his CV, he can also add sports commentator (for channels 7, 9 and 10), co-founder of Chill Factor magazine, and more than 10 years as national selector and president of Falls Creek Race Club. He has also done skiing stunt-work in skiing adventure films starring Roger Moore and Jackie Chan.

When we caught up with Steve, he was nestling back into life in his home of Falls Creek, having just returned from Hakuba, Japan, where he spends his summers running Hakuba Powder Detours.  The winter had once gain started slowly, but Steve was optimistic that at least mother nature was trying……

Continue reading 15 mins with Australian skiing legend, Steven Lee