02 Feb Kiroro International Ski & Snowboard Academy
Daryl and I were presented with the option of learning how to ski or snowboard at the Kiroro Ski & Snowboard Academy on our second day there.
The thought of learning how to ski was both terrifying and exciting at the same time: thoughts like “What if I fall and become an embarrassment”, “Why did I agree to this?”, “Will I pick up skiing quickly?” were running constantly in my mind. But according to my dad and friend Eva, both of whom are avid skiers, skiing would be an amazingly fun experience, and they suggested I try skiing instead of snowboarding for starters, because according to them, skiing is *relatively* easier to pick up… I hope!
Daryl and I booked an AM Lesson slot (10am – 12.30pm) for ¥30000 (approx SGD $375). The rates for the AM lessons stay the same for up to 6 pax, and all lessons are private to you and your group of friends, and are conducted in English. The rates do not include the ski lift pass and rental equipment, which can be purchased at 3-hr, 6-hr, 1-3 days intervals. For more information about rates and lessons, you can check out the Academy’s website here.
We arrived at the Academy at approximately 9am – The Academy is located just a 5 minute walk away from our hotel, Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort, via a connecting passageway. We were then introduced to our ski instructor Chris, who then brought us to get our rental ski equipment sorted. The Mountain Centre has everything you need for rent: helmets, waterproof and windproof ski clothing, boots, skis, poles, gloves, eyewear – but still come dressed warmly – I had my thermalwear, a sweater, and an ultra light down jacket underneath my ski suit!
We had 2 and a half hours to pick up skiing – and we were worried it would be a feat to accomplish that, but we were hitting the slopes after a half an hour crash course! During the first 30 minutes of the lesson, Chris taught us how to wear our skis, the basic dos and donts, the correct posture to have when skiing, and most importantly, how to stop! We weren’t allowed to learn its ski poles as poles may inculcate bad habits and posture!
Chris walked – or skied – us through every step, he accompanied us down the slopes, and with every round our confidence grew! Before we knew it, we were just zipping past Chris and reuniting with him only at the base of the slope!
We were still a long way to go before attempting longer steeper slopes, but I can safely say if we had 2-3 more days to spend at the academy, we would be able to ski unaccompanied!
My only wish was to have Imran and my family there with me. I plan to come back to Hokkaido for a proper ski retreat next year with them, and who knows! We’ll be zipping down slopes together by the end of it!
Thank you Chris, and Kiroro Ski & Snowboard Academy for this once in a lifetime experience!
This Kiroro series was produced in conjunction with http://momentum.travel/, a site is dedicated to travellers who thrive on life, love and culture: head on to the website to look up travel articles, suggestions, tips, specific to destinations all over the world. x