Chel-Ski: Rainy day solutions

It might not be the first thing you think about as the temperatures are beginning to rise and we see the first glimpses of summer, but when you’re stuck in London in the pouring rain with a demanding seven year old to entertain, suddenly skiing doesn’t look so absurd.

Get your skis on
Get your skis on

The punningly named Chel-Ski is indoor skiing with a difference; to be precise it’s a revolving AstroTurf mat that can be adapted to the individual level of the skier – perfect for first-timers.

I somewhat reluctantly took Magnus imagining it would be a disastrous attempt to ignite a hidden love of extreme sports. I had visions of stomping ski boots, incessant whining and uncooperative behaviour.

How wrong could I be? As soon as we walked in Magnus’s eyes lit up; the unimposing fake pistes made for a joyously easy introduction to the world of blizzards, sore shins and avalanches.

Getting to grips with snowplough

There’s no need for any bulky skiwear either – a warm jumper and trousers are all that’s required. Once booted up Magnus was taken to the bottom of the slope with the other novices, classes can accommodate four but we were lucky to have an almost private lesson.

The charming instructor wasted no time and it was straight into skis and onto the slopes. There’s a conveniently placed safety bar, and rather like a ballet class it’s used to help with balance and ward off any first-time wobbles.

The class is done in three 10-minute bursts allowing any tired legs to recover before each session. I was impressed with the teaching; soon our instructor was shouting ‘chips’ and ‘pizza’ instead of parallel and snowplough, making the experience as fun as possible.

By the end of the lesson Magnus was beginning to moan that his legs ached but as first ski lessons go I couldn’t fault it – and the best part? Not having to drag skis back to the hotel after a few too many schnapps.

For more information visit:

Tel: 020 3829 6961

Prices start at £34.95 for a single session