Dry slopes are artificial ski slopes built to allow people to snowboard where natural slopes are inconvenient or unavailable. They are also an alternative for snowboarders who wish to snowboard during the warmer months or for those who live too far away from the mountains.
Dry slopes are found predominantly in the United Kingdom and certain areas of Europe.
Learning to snowboard on dry slopes
It can be a steep learning curve for those looking to learn snowboarding on dry slopes. Dry slopes tend to have shorter runs with most of your time spent going up on lifts.
Dry slopes are harder to snowboard on as the artificial nature of the snow is not comparable to real snow. The terrain is vastly different than being on real mountains. If the surface is extremely dry without much lubrication, it can be difficult to ride on and unpleasant to fall on.
The benefit of learning to snowboard on dry slopes is that they are a good platform to learn the basics and work on your snowboarding technique. Once you master snowboarding on dry slopes then it will make it all that much easier riding on actual snow.
Injuries can be pretty nasty on dry slopes with all too many reports of dislocated fingers, thumbs and cuts and bruises sustained whilst snowboarding. The injuries can be worse on dry slopes than on actual snow itself. Dry slopes can lend themselves to you catching your fingers or limbs in the gaps on the metal base of the slope.
Wearing wrist guards, helmets and padding will reduce the chance of being injured seriously as well as ensuring your equipment is fitted and appropriately adjusted.
Board damage can occur easily due to the material that the dry slope is made of. As the dry slopes are made of plastic, it can lend your board to gathering dirt and grease. Additionally, the base of the board can produce marks and scratches frequently if you often board on dry slopes. Consequently, if the snowboard is used regularly on dry slopes, it can make boarding on real snow slower and harder. It is advisable to use a cheap board or even hire a board if you plan to snowboard on dry slopes.
If heading to the mountains is too far and expensive for you to travel to, dry slopes are an alternative for those who would like to hone their snowboarding abilities. However, it is best to be aware that learning on dry slopes can be a little bit more difficult, that injuries can occur easily and it is advisable to rent snowboards if learning on dry slopes.