Things to do on a winter sports holiday (other than ski)
Skiing can be fun, fast and frantic but the chances are if you're away for a week or so you may not want to ski every day. You may want to try a different activity or maybe just rest those aching joints.
Thankfully, ski resorts are diversifying quickly these days and there’s a whole host of interesting pastimes that don’t just involve strapping on your ski boots.
The Flexicover Team looks at some alpine fun that may inspire you to try something different.
Created by a Swiss snowboarder looking for a way to enjoy the slopes post-injury, the airboard is essentially a high-quality plastic inflatable sled. Riding one is, apparently, similar to riding a bodyboard in the ocean, hence, its other name: snow bodyboarding. The inflatable has grooves on the underside and side handles that allow turns using forearm pressure and shifting body weight to steer. These make sharp turns simple whilst if you get airborne on a run you have a cushioned landing. Becoming proficient in airboarding is not difficult; just grab your board, take a few running steps, drop down on your stomach and you’re off! And stopping quickly in the snow is easier than you may think; simply turn the airboard at a 90° angle to the slope or dig your feet into the snow.
Enjoy one of the most traditional forms of snow travel as an energetic team of lively, eager dogs tow you across the frozen tundra. Covering more ground than by skis and greener and more serene than snowmobiling, dog sledding tours are available to a large spectrum of people from family-friendly outings to challenging mountain expeditions. You can also get trips for varying lengths of time – typically starting at 2hrs and sometimes up to a week long. Dog sledding is a breathtaking thrill ride and the pack can reach speeds of 13 miles per hour – and in the sled behind them with the chill wind in your face, it feels even faster!
If you prefer your winter vehicular transportation to have a horse-powered engine rather than man’s best friend, then snowmobiling is the way to go. A snowmobile is propelled by one or two rubber tracks at the back, with skis for steering at the front and typically powered by a two-stroke petrol engine. There are a number of variations of snowmobile enabling some machines to operate in deep snow or forests. However, most are used on open terrain or driven on paths or trails. These powerful machines certainly can churn up the powder and, if you're looking for an action-packed adventure, snowmobiles can really deliver that real adrenaline thrill in style!
As the name would suggest this is akin to riding a bike, incorporating bicycle-type frame attached to skis instead of wheels, allowing you to sit, steer, and wind down a mountain in one of the easier winter sports to get the hang of. There are two variations of skibikes used at ski resorts – one where a set of foot skis are utilised giving you four points of contact with the snow (also referred to as skibobbing) or the more advanced peg-style skibike where riders typically wear snowboard boots and stand on pegs attached to the bike frame. A tip about transporting them on a chairlift is to keep the bike between your legs, sit on the chair, lower the safety bar, hook the bike seat over the safety bar so it hangs in front of you and secure it with a safety strap to the bar so that the bike can’t fall. When you reach the top, unclip the bike, raise the bar, place the bike on the snow between your legs, take two or three quick steps forward, hop on the bike and away you go!
Relax in ski resorts spa or sauna
Spas are now a quintessential part of the ski holiday experience, so top ski hotels now have full-service spas and sophisticated treatment services to rival anything to be found in an urban five-star hotel. If you’ve been skiing non-stop for six hours and you aren’t used to it then you’re definitely going to get some aches and pains. So after an active day on the slopes or in the wider wilderness, there’s no better way to let your tired muscles unwind than with a dip in a pool, relax in a sauna or a take a massage to remove the knots. Afterwards you'll feel rejuvenated and ready to get back on the slopes in no time at all.
Wherever you go, don't hit the slopes this season without Flexicover's specialist winter sports travel insurance. We cover over 25 different winter sports activities, including off-piste skiing & snowboarding, loss or damage to your ski equipment or ski pass and if your equipment is lost by your carrier you can hire replacements. More important, we are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.