If you’re anything like me, you’re itching to get back on skis as soon as possible. So an invite to go rollerskiing in Hyde Park, London, the other day was irresistible.
Rollerskis are very short skis with wheels on the bottom and the action to propel forward, stop and turn is much like cross country skiing. You lock the toe end of your boot into a binding and your heel is free to go up and down.
“Imagine there is a string attached to your belly button, pulling you forwards,” was one of the bits of advice our lead instructor Jordan gave as the group of virgin rollerskis gathered around him.
We started on grass, getting used to the strange sensation of standing on wheeled mini planks. It quickly transpired that success in this activity has much to do with balance. Someone who is blessed with balance was one of the members of our group – World Champion telemark skier, Jasmin Taylor. She was there as ambassador for the clothing brand, Maier Sports, who were hosting the event for assorted journalists and bloggers.
Founded 75 years ago Maier Sports kits out the British telemark team as a way for the Geman manufacturer to raise its profile in the UK market – the outdoor and ski clothing is currently stocked in 40 independent retail outlets – and highlight its quality, fit and sustainability core values.
The sponsorship move niftily ties in with the company’s new tag line “Maier Sports Move You.”
A company representative said, “The range of movement in telemarking means perfectly fitting clothing is crucial and Maier Sports, with its large range of size options, is ideally placed to help the team ensure maximum freedom of movement when training. This is one of the reasons why we wanted to create the Rollerskiing experience – it seemed like a great link between skiing and movement and something we can all do right now too.”
Over the course of two hours we learnt to glide across grass then take the first tentative steps on tarmac – a smoother, faster and much harder surface. Jasmin took to it like a duck to water and was whizzing around, one leg aloft. Progress for the rest of us was more pedestrian, for me close to snail like.
However it was an excellent, challenging experience and despite a few falls I can see the appeal, especially as a way of getting fit for when we can return to the slopes.