Infinite Ski is the new indoor ski slope in Dubai and it’s going to change the way you think about skiing and snowboarding. Infinite Ski offers the first Maxxtracks ski slope in the Middle East, taking snow and cold out of the equation to help you master skiing in real life.
How Infinite Ski was born
Owner Ziad Tabbara, an engineer by profession and an avid skier, grew up in Lebanon where snowy mountains and winter sports are a regular part of recreational culture. Tabbara, who has been in the UAE for 13 years, first came across the Maxxtracks indoor skiing technology 10 years ago. Seeing a growing interest in both fitness and winter sports, he began thinking about how to bring it to the Middle East and opened the Dubai location in February.
What is Infinite Ski?
Think of an oversized treadmill, but for skiing. Maxxtracks Indoor Ski Slope, developed in the Netherlands, uses a continuously running slope made of thin carpet with adjustable angles and speeds, so it’s learner-friendly.
Think of it as the same sort of progression involved in running on a treadmill versus running in a park, which both involve the same technique and muscle groups. In the same way, the technique that is employed when skiing on the carpet and the snow is the same, though the experience is different. The ski equipment used at Infinite Ski is the same as at a regular snow slope.
The instructors at Infinite Ski are trained by the slope’s manufacturers to instruct everyone from beginners and seasoned professionals. As a complete beginner, I was constantly guided by an instructor who was ready to stop the slope if I fell. My instructor also adjusted the slope according to my skill level, giving me the best chance at improving. Tabbara says this intensive interaction with the instructor provides a more efficient learning experience for the beginner.
At Infinite Ski, racers can perfect their carving and other techniques because what they can do on carpet becomes easier on snow. Those who have never skied on snow before have found training on the carpet first a great help, allowing them to keep up with peers who have skiing on snow for years.
Indoor skiing is fun and safe
There are a number of other features that make learning on the Maxxtracks slope a great experience. For one, the carpeted slope makes falling much less scary. A guide bar at the front of the slope, which can be adjusted by the instructor, allows beginners to work on balance before they take on more complex maneuvers. A giant glass mirror at the front of the slope is great for photo opportunities, but it mostly helps beginners mimic their instructor’s body positioning. This allows you to quickly correct bad technique. An added bonus is that you don’t have to think about keeping yourself warm, since the room is not icy cold.
Why indoor skiing?
Skiing and snowboarding are often expensive activities that require months of planning, preparation and a large budget. On an indoor ski slope, you can keep going for hours and cover distances that might be difficult to achieve even on a regular snow slope. The proximity and relatively reasonable cost allows you to ski even in the off-season. For those who go skiing abroad every year, the indoor ski slope is a great way to keep your muscles fit and toned ready for a new ski season.
Infinite Ski is a workout, too
I found myself thoroughly enjoying the session as my feet got used to the heavy boots and I started being able to stay up on my skis. I found I was making fast progress, too, which was a definite confidence booster. And my sore muscles afterward proved that this is a serious workout too, with the instructors suggesting that a session on the slope burns up to 860 calories. But as with any skill, practice makes perfect.
Indoor skiing benefits
In the UAE, winter sports are a dream for many who might not have the budget, time or knowledge to try them, so Infinite Ski is an excellent introduction to the sport. It also works to tweak your existing ski skills.
And as an added benefit, Tabbara recommends indoor skiing for adults and children who have had bad skiing experiences in the past; time spent at Infinite Ski can help rebuild their confidence. After this experience I would go back to Infinite Ski for more sessions to get better on the carpet before hitting the snow.
• Infinite Ski is in Dubai’s Al Quoz neighbourhood, off Exit 16 on Al Khail. All bookings can be made using email or the booking inquiry form found on their website. Each session is an hour, and includes 10 minutes on the slope and 10 minutes of rest, adjusted to your skill and fitness level. Infinite Ski offers a trial session for Dh50, during which you can learn more about the slope, interact with instructors and take a test run. Regular sessions start at Dh110.
Photos courtesy Infinite Ski
Neha John is a rising senior studying literature and creative writing at New York University Abu Dhabi. She loves art, books, traveling and writing stories about her life in the UAE.