A few months ago I saw a Groupon for Rollerskiing in Hyde Park. Never one to shy away from a random sport, I bought two and waited for good weather.
Finally, on a Saturday in June I dragged Alex to Hyde Park and promised him it’d be an adventure at the least. We’re both experienced snowboarders, he’s played roller hockey and I’ve done a bit of skiing so we weren’t too scared of the whole go fast on skiis thing.
We put on all the gear provided by the company (in very nice condition I might add) and made our way down to the grass to get started with some very simple basics of balance before we even strapped in. The group was split into 2 but there were beginners and advanced in each group so there was a lot of time spent on balance.
Once we put the skiis on it was a whole new ballgame. I was flying around left right and centre with little to no control. Those things are CRAZY. We spent the hour doing drills back and forth which were fun for 10 minutes but then got a bit boring as we clearly weren’t getting any better but were still practising turns and drags.
I half expected to be able to ski around Hyde Park a bit with the group, but this was more of a lesson to then join their club and do that then anything else. Probably not something I’ll take up as a sport, but a lot of winter sport athletes swear by it as a great way to cross train.
If you’re looking for a random day out in London defo give it a go.
Hi Laura, good to read your writeup. I’m involved in running the rollerskiing and it’s always good to hear what people think. As an instructor, I’d say that all the balance drills and exercises are really very necessary – these are what will build up your muscles and control of the rollerski, and stop if feeling so wobbly. I know it’s frustrating and you probably want to go racing round the park, but there are really no short-cuts. It’s like doing your first swimming lesson, you shouldn’t necessarily expect to be doing lengths by the end of lesson #1! You’ve got to build up the balance and strength needed to control the ski. Having said that, we have some groups which do go a lot further on their first session. It depends on how everyone is doing, and to a certain extent we have to make allowances for the weakest person in each group, who may not be able to go that far if they have very limited inherent balance. The Groupon groups are necessarily quite large (due to the low value of the vouchers), but for our regular 4-week courses we have smaller numbers, generally more motivated people, and by week 4 everyone is going pretty far. In an ideal world we’d only do the 4-week courses, as if people do just one session, they don’t necessarily get a great feeling of skiing by the end. But unfortunately the 1-off sessions sell a lot better, so from a business point of view they keep us going in the quiet season, before all of our skiing clients come back in the Autumn! If you’re interested, here’s a blog report from someone who did a 4-wk course, who’s skiing to Antartica next year – http://www.south2014.com/sebs-first-rollerski-lesson