Dry Slope News endeavours to bring all the latest news from dry ski slopes and their manufacturers around the world.
The site also contains directories of existing slopes and of the companies that manufacture them.
WHAT ARE DRY SKI SLOPES?
Dry ski slopes, sometimes known as ‘Dryland Slopes’, are artificial ski slopes used for skiing without snow, usually created in areas where there’s no reliable natural snowfall. Dry slopes allow anyone to ski or snowboard at any time of the year regardless of the weather.
People have been skiing on slopes without snow for over a century, but the earliest artificial surfaces manufactured especially for skiing date from the 1950s. Since the first few appeared, over 1,000 have been built in more than 50 countries worldwide. The slopes come in lots of different shapes and sizes and there have been several different companies involved in their manufacturing over the past 70 years, so no two are ever the same.
Dry ski runs can be just a few metres long in one area, or up to a kilometre long at a conventional ski area, where the dry slopes offer extensions to existing runs. Often, resorts want to offer year-round skiing, or just guaranteed cover at a resort where snow cover is no longer reliable due to climate change. They can be indoor or outdoor, and although usually static there are also ‘conveyor-style‘ machines – like giant runner’s treadmills for skiers. A revolving ski mat moves towards the skier at varying speeds and at various gradients, to create an endless ‘ski run’.
Dry ski slopes are essential for teaching millions of people to ski or snowboard, who can take the basic skills acquired on the artificial slopes and use them at conventional ski resorts around the world. Indeed, dryland slopes have been a major factor in the success of the global ski industry. Many of the established slopes have strong community support, enabling children and people with special needs to learn to ski or board as well as practice regularly. They have also bred some of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders who have gone on to World Cup and Olympic glory.
WHO WRITES DRY SLOPE NEWS?
The site is maintained by full time professional ski writer, researcher and author Patrick Thorne, who first learned to ski on a dry slope as a school child in the late-1970s and passionately believes that they are great resource to enable normal people to try skiing or snowboarding affordably and hopefully locally then, once they realise snowsports are the best sports in the world, improve their skills or just enjoy recreational skiing or boarding on their local dry slope.
The site covers all types of dry slopes around the world, the development of which Patrick has been following and reporting on for four decades now.
Since 2003 has published a monthly news digest of stories from dry slopes and indoor snow centres (the latter covered by sister site http://www.indoorsnownews.com), producing more than 1,000 dry slope and indoor snow news stories over the intervening years.
He has also compiled The World Dry Ski Slope Guide, a directory of leading dry slopes at countries around the world and the companies which supply their surfaces, which is available for purchase.
We would also like to thank a number of people for the provision of information and advice used on this site including consultant, Chris Exall.