There are a number of different manufacturers of the material used for skiing, snowboarding and tubing on on dry slopes around the world.
The companies are listed below, and please scroll down for the companies that manufacture ski deck conveyor slopes and ski simulator machines.
Some manufacturers create a carpet type surface, others more of an upturned brush or bristles and others moulded plastic like an upturned brush – some combine parts of all of these. The thickness of the surface can vary between only a centimetre to 5 or 6cm.
Some larger manufacturers offer more than one surface type to suit different needs.
Some produce surfaces in tiles with the idea that sections can be easily replaced.
Key differences between each slope type include:
- Grip: Can ski or board carve the surface as if on snow?
- Slipperiness: How well does the board or skis slide over the surface (Some slopes have water sprinklers ‘misting’ the surface to make it more slippery).
- Durability: Will the slope lasts for just months or a few years or should it last for decades?
- Safety: Some surfaces have a better safety record than others.
- Cost / Value: It’s the usual question of whether a cheaper surface performs well and lasts compared to a more expensive surface which may be better from day one and last much longer.
Each surface type and manufacturer has it’s own selling points:
The manufacturers of Snowflex say:
“Snowflex® is the 365 day snowsports solution from BRITON Engineering Developments, the world leader in design, manufacture and delivery of year round snowsports centres. Snowflex® is the world’s premier high performance synthetic system which enables a commercial snowsports center to be built for year round use anywhere.”
The manufacturers of Playgrass say:
“MK Enterprises has over 35 years design and construction experience within the ski industry. The invention of Playgrass Ski Carpet in 1999 with ongoing product development and research delivers an innovative, user friendly artificial surface for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities from the beginner to the ski expert, advanced techniques, freestyle and fun parks.”
Osborn, the manufacturer of Dendix says:
“Osborn is the pioneer in ski matting (known under the brand name DENDIX). It is the most trusted and recognized name in year round skiing. We have been making high quality Ski Matting in our production facility in Chepstow/GB since 1961. Choose from Galvanized Steel with PVC, Stainless Steel with PVC, Stainless Steel with PBT.”
The manufacturer of Innova-ski says:
“We invented the mat with a plastic base insert with PBT filaments that others have copied. The mat can be used for all kind of winter sports, and testers at all levels from beginner to racers agree it provides a realistic snow-like like grip for edging, turning and stopping as well as excellent sliding proprieties. There are two versions available, one with squares filled with filaments and one with open squares but no gaps in the base or metal on the surface, so they’re safe. Sections are fixed together with clips and we only use new materials.”
Maxxtracks, the suppliers of Maxx-Grass says:
“Specifically designed surface material for synthetic ski slopes consisting of an extruded monofilament pile. MAXX-GRASS © is “Long-life” with typical mean time between replacement of 5.000 – 6.000 hours and very low depreciation per hour. Made of extruded yarn and monofilament pile roll width approx 4.10 metres.”
The manufacturers of JF Ski Mat say:
“Designed and made by KGW sports equipment Co., Ltd in China, the company first started to design JF Dry Ski Mat in 1995, but it was 2011 when their first dry slope was built due to snow sports only then becoming popular in China. Subsequently created ever more slopes including facilities in Japan.”
The manufacturers of Neveplast say:
“Neveplast was born in 1998 with the intent to give everyone the possibility to ski year round, close to urban centres and at very low cost. The company makes a range of products for different requirements including cross-country skiing and tubing slops but Neveplast NP30, the forebear of all the Neveplast products, is an innovative synthetic mantle that permits skiing simulating real snow conditions.”
The manufacturers of Proslope say,
“Using tried and tested brush technology, Proslope’s secret lies in it’s Variable Height Filament. This allows skis or snowboards to glide with less surface contact and therefore less friction build up, thus increasing speed. All this is done whilst allowing for better edge grip, when both upper and lower filaments are engaged.”
Developers Alpine Engineering say:
“This ski grass offers a high quality equivalent to snow especially designed for the SkiMachine, also know as revolving slope, but often used on fixed slopes and placed on other conveyor deck ski machines. Two different layers of fibers with a high density per square meter in combination with a low friction co-efficient provide a real snow experience without the need of any lubrications.”
The manufacturers of Skitech say,
“Skitech Systems offer a unique range of winter sports products. Skitech Systems are the only artificial surface manufacturer with experience of operating our own Ski Centres proven technology. – Our wide product range encompasses ski surfaces, artificial grass and accessories.”
The manufacturers of Skitrax say:
“Skitrax has more than 40 years experiencce and is fast to install with a fleece layer below the Skitrax slope. The surace can be used without water misting and has low operating costs. It can be used for alpine or cross-country skiing and different colours are available.”
Ski Deck Conveyor Machine Manufacturers
Alpine Engineering says:
“The Alpine Revolving Slope, is similar to a treadmill, and can hold up to four skiers or snowboarders at the same time. The indoor ski machine is adjustable in both speed and angle, which makes the slope suitable for both beginners and professional skiers and snowboarders. Having the instructor always nearby, and a large mirror in front of the slope, will provide direct feedback to the user. No lifts, no lines, no cold. It is available in several dimensions up top 7 metres wide and 11 metres long and types, including movable ones.”
“Founded in 1991, Maxxtracks have over 200+ indoor ski slopes at ski centres and sports clubs all over the world. The company engineer, produce and install every ski slope simulator themselves, worldwide. MaxxTracks ski slopes are manufactured in The Netherlands, according stringent EC rules.”
Ski Simulator Manufacturers
“A machine that fully reproduces the sensation of going down the mountain? Sounds like science fiction? It all begins when you step into the bindings in your regular ski or snowboard boots. Multiple sensors track position of your skis on the slope, your edging angles, and much more. The simulator knows what you are doing each and every second. Hidden inside the motion platform of the ski simulator, computer controlled motors generate all the forces and elements of ski technique just as they are. software creates the exact sensation of skiing to ski multiple trails and race courses with the ability to adjust snow conditions and add moguls and bumps. Fully immersive virtual reality allows you to ski endless slopes or pick slalom, GS or downhill. You can jump onto Olympic tracks created by a multiple projectors, and a huge high-resolution panoramic screen.”