I’ve been going to the London ski show pretty much every year (now ski and snowboard show) since circa 1986 – I remember when the C&A fashion show was about as exotic as things could get.
I remember when standing at Earls Court tube station with a pair of skis and a Salomon boot bag was a rite of passage.
The world has changed since then and so has the ski and snowboard show, although the basic format has remained the same, the internet revolution has changed the way we shop. Still, heading to this event remains a must do for all keen skiers and snowboarders from the UK and it was time to introduce my five year old daughter Amelie and my two nieces (aged 10 and 12 respectively) to this cultural experience for all things snowy.
I saw the show for the first time through the eyes of a child and I rather enjoyed myself.
There’s a large bouncy slide situated in the hall of the show and my strategy was to ensure they didn’t see this too early as I knew it would be too hard to resist and the day would fall apart very quickly.
Unfortunately, despite the appearance of the husky dogs on the France ski resort stand and the distractions of sweets on every corner, they somehow spotted the slide within the first ten minutes.
All it took was a split second glance and it was on the radar – we were lost. It gave us a chance to have a coffee for 20 minutes before they all came off a red, sweaty mess.
Next, onto the Riglet Park – a snowboard instructional area for three to seven year olds. Things were going from bad to worse. Firstly a bouncy slide, now snowboarding – my dreams were being shattered.
Amelie jumped on and performed brilliantly though and I was very proud, although when she stated she’d rather snowboard over skiing I started to think the whole experience was a bad decision.
Seriously though, the set up was fantastic and the way they managed to get little kids around a course was very clever. I was even tempted myself.
Onto the tubing – fun for all, even my nieces who’ve never skied. Booked on at 1.15pm they dragged their tubes up the slope and whizzed down, shrieking all the way.
If the noise wasn’t loud enough then heading down to the Mountain Talk Theatre to catch the Japanese National Drummers would fulfil that particular gap rather easily. Clearly thousands of years of highly skilled, detailed and technical drumming went down well as Amelie held her ears.
The great thing was that all the kids got to play on them at the end was which more than they let me do.
Korean car manufacturer, Kia, kindly set up a bouncy castle just to ensure that boxed would be ticked (well someone had to do it) and to finish it all off, a bucking bronco for those who dare seemed to prove a popular attraction even though to me it seemed utterly pointless.
Ski show, what ski show?
Considering kids under 11 years old go in free, it proved to be remarkable value for money and possibly provided more entertainment value than the full price adult ticket could offer.
The only downside? My daughter now wants to be a snowboarder, but I blame Jenny Jones for that one anyway.