Trapped in the midst of Hong Kong’s unrelenting summertime humidity, pretty much the last thing on my mind was going skiing. But while hiding out in air-conditioned comfort, I received an intriguing invitation from my friend Ed to check out Slope Infinity, Hong Kong’s indoor ski and snowboard training facility.
Slope Infinity is located on the first floor of 148 Electric Road in Tin Hau, close to Victoria Park. After registering at the reception desk you check your shoes into a locker and don ski boots. The trick here is to make sure your feet are snug. Since you’ll be shifting your weight and angling your feet to turn, you’ll need a boot with a good fit.[photopress:Slope_infinity_boots.jpg,full,pp_image]
The next step was to climb onto the slope, which is a huge carpeted platform with a cushioned bar at stomach height that runs the full length of the machine. The carpet simulates the resistance of the snow. Unlike other simulators, there is no actual ice, or freezing temperatures, so you can show up for the lesson dressed in shorts.[photopress:Slope_Infinity_training_dec.jpg,full,pp_image]
After climbing into our skis, the instructor explained a few basics and started the conveyor belt that simulates the hill in motion. A huge mirror that takes up an entire wall is positioned across from the training deck, allowing you to watch your form and perfect your technique. Though I have more experience snowboarding, the feeling of moving on snow was very similar, and I immediately understood the usefulness of the training. Rather than wasting precious vacation time attending ski classes and falling your first day, a lesson or two here could help you understand the fundamentals before you go.
Slope Infinity features instructors for both skiing and snowboarding. Lessons are offered in Cantonese and English. You can also book group lessons with a friend.
Besides the main training slope there’s also a smaller trainer for more advanced lessons. My friend tried this one and was strapped into a harness before taking off and testing his skills.
The training session lasted 55 minutes and I was sweating by the end of the hour. I definitely made some progress during the session, and was able to get the hang of several basic maneuvers including the most important one – stopping!
Check out the Slope Infinity website to watch movies of the training deck in action.