Frequently Asked Questions
What's in the pack?
The trainers come as a pair, with all four pairs of balance blocks - green, blue, red and black blocks - and a detailed training manual included.
How do I fit and use the Trainer?
There is detailed information about fitting and using the trainers in the SkiA manual.
The trainers take a minute or two to fit accurately to ski boots, and seconds to remove.
Where can they be used?
They are a dry land trainer, designed to be used with ski boots. Use them on a firm, dry surface, such as tiled or wooden flooring or relatively smooth outdoor surfaces. Make sure that the surfaces aren't wet or slippery. The trainers can be used on carpets, provided the pile is not too soft or deep - carpet will have the effect of making the blocks harder to balance on.
Very rough surfaces - such as coarse concrete or chewed-up tarmac - can damage the rubber bases of the blocks, particularly if pivoting. If pivoting, choose a firm, relatively smooth surface, and check your blocks frequently for signs of wear.
Can they be used on snow?
The trainers CAN be used on firm and compacted flat snow - just make sure that the surface doesn't become icy and slippery in use. The larger blocks (green and blue) are the best choice on snow, as the smaller red and black blocks will dig in (unless there is something to place on top of the snow).
Do I need ski boots?
Yes - they are designed to work with ski boots. Ski boots limit the range of movement of the ankle, which means that the body has to balance in a way that very closely matches the experience of being on skis.
Using the trainer in bare feet, shoes or walking boots won't be effective.
Users without their own ski boots will benefit from using the trainers in resort with hired boots. However, apart from the SkiA Trainer, owning well-fitted ski boots is just about the best investment any skier can make.
What size boots do they fit?
They fit all sizes of adult alpine ski boots perfectly, from the smallest to largest adult sizes.
Specialist ski touring (AT) boots have walking soles that are wider than normal alpine ski boots, which will sit over the edges of the footplate. Our tip for AT boots is to use tape to hold the trainers snugly in place during use. This will hold them safely and securely, and can then be easily removed after use.
Can children use the trainers?
The Trainers have been extensively used and tested with children of all ages. They are safe for children to use, provided an adult supervises their use, takes sensible precautions and ensures that the trainers are not being misused
Children's ski boot sizes are narrower than adult boots, so they fit loosely but safely on the tray between the edge 'lips'. As above, we suggest using tape for a really firm and secure fit for children.
The key thing for children is that they have fun - play games such as catch and throw, touching their toes, and catching and picking up candy.
How long does training take?
We advise using the trainer for short sessions of up to 10-15 minutes, repeated as often as you like.
The more you practice, the more quickly you will improve.
Rest and repetition deliver the best results. If you start to tire when using them, take a break and come back to them later.
You might like to use the trainers once a day, or almost every day, for a week or two. Alternately, you might like to use them more intensively - multiple times a day - over a few days.
Although there are immediate benefits from the very first time they are used, it takes a little time to get the full benefits. Your body will physically develop new nerve pathways to enable you to cope with the challenge, and this takes time. Rest and sleep between training sessions will greatly help this process.
Because there is a physical adaptation to the challenge, the benefits of training are surprisingly long-lasting. The nerve pathways reactivate remarkably quickly once they have developed, even months or years later. It's a little like learning to ride a bike - it's something that you never forget, although you can improve further with practice.
When should I start training?
When you first get the trainers, ideally start using them straight away. Keep using them regularly until you can confidently balance on your target blocks. This might be every day for a week or two, or multiple times a day over a shorter period.
If you can balance on the red blocks, you will have developed a highly accurate and refined sense of balance for skiing. If you can balance confidently on the black blocks, your sense of balance is exceptional.
Then use the trainers periodically to keep your skills refreshed.
Ideally, start training again a week or two before you ski. If time doesn't permit, then start as soon as you are able. Even a single day's training will make a difference.
During a ski trip, aim to use the trainers for a few minutes every morning before you ski. This will have quite a dramatic effect, activating your balance and proprioception for skiing.
If you are able to use the trainers during breaks from skiing during the day as well, then even better. SkiA training distills the balance challenge of skiing into minutes rather than hours, without the time spent queuing or riding lifts.
Any do's and don'ts?
Do read our safety and fitting instructions in the manual
Do start on the green blocks, even if you are an expert skier. The key to success is to perfect your balance and movement patterns on each size. Starting with the green and blue blocks provides you with the foundation to move to the harder challenges, even if you use them only very briefly
Do take your time to progress. Gain confidence and expertise on each block size, before you move onto harder blocks. The flip side to this is that challenging yourself on harder blocks, and then moving back to the easier blocks, is a great way to improve your skills quickly.
Don't be in too much of a rush to get to the black blocks. Skiers love a challenge and are naturally competitive. If you're a good skier, you may want to get straight to the black blocks as quickly as possible. We often see this in training sessions. The black blocks are extremely hard - they are like balancing sideways on a tightrope in ski boots. You will need exceptional balance skills to use these confidently. The good news is that almost everybody can develop these skills with time and practice. The best way to develop these skills is to perfect your balance and movement patterns on the larger blocks, and gradually increase the challenge.
Do try to keep your feet still on the floor, and use your body to balance. Don't use little 'baby' steps forwards and backwards to balance - if you have to do this repeatedly, then you're 'cheating'! Practice your skills on the larger blocks again
Do keep your feet side by side - having one foot forwards is another way of 'cheating'.
Do keep your feet no more than hip-width apart - you are aiming for the same separation of your feet as when skiing.
Do look ahead - if you look down (at your boots, for example) this will take you out of balance. Ideally, look into the far distance.
Do have fun. Train with friends. Try doing the exercises in time to music. Play catch and throw, and find new ways to challenge your balance.
What countries do you ship to?
We ship worldwide, and also have a dedicated shipping centre in the USA for American orders.
I have a question that is not answered here or in the manual
Please contact us - we will reply promptly and personally to any queries