Wednesday 16 October 2019

Chill Factorᵉ Snowboarding Taster Session Review (Guest Visit).

On Saturday evening we were guests of Chill Factorᵉ indoor ski slope just off the M60 by the intu Trafford Centre to review their Snowboarding Taster Sessions. This is a 50 minute session which is ideal for anyone aged 8+ who hasn't been on a snowboard before (children under 10 need a responsible adult with them).

We really love visiting Chill Factorᵉ and have worked with them many times now. Although we have tried most of their activities before, Snowboarding is completely new to all of us. I'm still not able to go on the snow after my operation, but my partner and our 9 and 11 year old boys were really excited about learning something new - especially when it's as cool as Snowboarding!

Chill Factorᵉ Entrance with legend ski board eat climb play shop watch

We arrived in good time. There is always plenty of free parking, but it's always wise to leave a good half hour to collect tickets, get kitted out and changed. There are ticket collection machines for those who have pre-booked, then over to collect clothing.

Pre paid ticket collection at Chill factore

You can wear your own clothes, or hire padded trousers and a jacket for £8 per person. The air temperature on the slopes is -4 and you may find you are standing around for 5 minutes if you are having a group lesson, so you need to be really warm. Bring your own thick socks, gloves and a hat. If you do forget anything, you can buy some branded Chill Factorᵉ items at a fair price.

Clothing hire and purchase at chill factore manchester

Boots are collected at the other counter past the lockers (which take a £1 coin). If you are skiing then you need to have your feet measured, but for snowboarding it's just your usual shoe size. Don't forget to go for a wee before you get togged up in your Winter gear - it's a lot quicker!

Getting changed at Chill Factorᵉ locker area ready for snowboarding

This is where you also collect skis or snowboards. My 3 all had different sized boards to match their different heights. They were bigger than we expected, and quite heavy, but you should be able to carry your own okay.

Helmets are available for anyone to use free of charge, and all children have to wear them. You only get one brain, look after it.

v Changed at Chill Factorᵉ benches ready for snowboarding

Once you are ready, head to the benches to wait for your instructor. They'll collect you when your lesson begins, and you can look at the screens to find out their name and who else you'll be learning with.

Chill Factorᵉ Information screens for lessons and sessions with names

I headed back off to the balcony upstairs to watch, and my 3 all set off through the doors onto the snow.

Bar and Cafe Balcony at Chill Factorᵉ overlooking slopes and snow park

None of my 3 have ever used a Snowboard before and the taster is so that you can learn the basics.  The group started out by walking and 'sliding' forwards and backwards down the hill in their boots, to get a feel of how steep and slippy it is. The answer is 'not as bad as you'd think'.

Chill Factore Snowboarding Taster begins with walking on the slope

Then it was time to try the snowboards. Everyone started with one foot on the board and made their way half way up the hill for their first slide down and real feel of the board.

Chill Factore Snowboarding Taster first with one foot attached to the snowboard

My son was first and he looked really confident. No-one fell over at all. I think the skiing they did earlier this year really helped. They had better balance than I anticipated.

They followed it up, as they did with skiing lessons, with the learners having to touch their heads, shoulders, knees and toes as they went down. Here's my 11 year old in action.

Chill Factore Snowboarding Taster first trip down the slope on a board

Within half an hour all of the learners were sliding from half way down the small slope, with both feet on the snowboard. Admitted they only had one fastened to it still, but they were doing it.

Jumping while travelling downhill sorted the wheat from the chaff a bit! This was when they all started to fall over and it was clearly a lot harder. Even so, they did really well. My 9 year old (in black) even managed to look cool!

Chill Factore Snowboarding Taster 9 year old looking cool coming down the hill

For the last 10 minutes of the lesson the learners were competent enough to start from further up the hill, increasing the speed and the number of times people ended up facing the wrong way!

Right at the very end they all had a couple of turns with both feet strapped to the board. It was not easy to get fastened on that first time, and getting back up requires you to release a foot or do some pretty deft maneuvering - or a bit of both.

Snowboarding Taster at Chill Factore close up high on hill putting snowboard on to both feet

They loved it. I went down to meet them and they were full of chatter about the lesson. They really did all have a 'taste' for it, and are keen to get some more practise in and experience coming all the way down the hill on a board. My partner said he was amazed how safe it all felt, he'd been a little worried beforehand, but once on the snow his worries vanished...

The Chill Factorᵉ Snowboarding Taster Session is a 50 minute fun introduction to snowboarding, familiarising you with the equipment and the sliding technique. Suitable for adults and children aged 8 or over. Under 10's must be accompanied by a paying/participating adult, with 1 adult to 2 children.

Over this October half term Chill Factorᵉ are offering Snowboard Fun Tasters and Ski Fun Tasters for the bargain price of only £19 per person. It's a fantastic and great value experience, especially in Manchester when it's pouring rain outside. A you learn something new!!

We have previously reviewed:
'Learn To Ski In A Day' Skiing Lessons (with video)
Snow Play 2014 / Snow Play Parties 2013
Santa's Snow Grotto at Chill Factorᵉ 2014 / Santa's Snow Grotto 2013

You can find out more about the Half Term £19 Fun Tasters and all of the other lessons and sessions for visitors of all ages, including the newly revamped Snow Park on the Chill Factorᵉ website.

Chill Factore layout with beginner slopes luge snow play ski lift and ski slope

Our sessions were free for review.

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