Shout out to our Skier’s Edge tester – she did the half marathon in Sydney on the weekend in under 2 hours!
Skier’s Edge is not the cheapest fitness device out there, but it’s far and away the most ski-specific. And let’s face it, getting fit to ski is a no brainer. You spend a small fortune on skiing anyway, so why arrive in no condition to start? Snow Action contributor Vanessa Graham balances a high pressure media career (formerly with Channel 10 as a senior News Producer now with News Ltd) with intermittent ski trips to some of the best destinations in the world. In the Southern Hemisphere her favourite is Cerro Catedral, outside Bariloche in Argentina’s vast Patagonia region (8 visits in past 10 seasons!), and this year she arrived ready for the 2 weeks of constant snowfall thanks to investing in a Skier’s Edge machine a few weeks prior to the trip.
My phone lights up with a volley of texts. “Wow. I love it, I love it, I love it.” “This thing is the bomb.” “I am going to need a wheelchair to get around the next few days, but what a workout!”
It’s my husband, getting excited about the Skier’s Edge machine that has just arrived at our home. We had seen an ad in SNOWACTION, then heard about it first hand from a couple of cat skiers in Red Mountain.
“How is it that you’re not puffing after a run like that?” I asked the two fellow-Aussies. Within minutes they were educating us in the virtues of the Skier’s Edge, and its ability to approximate the motion involved in skiing. Both owned one. And both had given it a pounding in the lead up to the trip. Before even clicking into their skis, they had built up the fitness of someone who’d spent significant time on snow.
“It’s dead set my best friend” one declared. “A love hate relationship. Pain when I am using it. But ridiculous gain when I hit the slopes.”
And here we were, five months on, with this wonderful ‘torture’ machine parked in our living room. Oh what fun we would have. We had the Skier’s Edge on a trial basis, delivered by Markus Nolte, who has represented the product for 15 years. He went to great pains to show us its key features and how best to use it. Being new to the device, and having not recently skied, Markus recommended we start with short 90 second training intervals, with a view to building up to three-minute bursts.
We found the machine’s capacity to replicate the edge to edge movement of skiing remarkable, just as we did its capacity to inflict the leg burn you would incur if you actually completed a run on snow.
Within days, our core fitness had significantly improved, along with our technique. On Markus’s recommendation we sat a mirror in front of the Edge, to properly monitor our upper-body movement, run by run. He’d told us to pick a dot on the wall and ski with our eyes fixated on it. This gave us notably greater coordination, timing and motion. Every session felt like one in a confessional booth, where we were rinsing ourselves of years of bad habits.
Hard sell? Hardly. My call to Markus four days on came as no surprise. “Thought I might be hearing from you,” he said, with a chuckle. “They are pretty addictive. You want one, right?”
$2390 may seem like a lot of money to spend on a training device. But we reasoned this was a 20-year investment, the equivalent of just over $100 annually, which would allow us to comprehensively prepare for our holidays. And why not arrive at your peak, when you’ve invested so much in the travel?
We settled on the T5 Big Mountain Series, the middle of the range device. It was what we had trialed and every bit the genius we had been promised. We selected the all mountain master platform base. But, down the track, these foot-pads can be upgraded to the RPM version, which allows for the addition of more advanced accessories.
Living in a small city flat, we purchased the optional rollers, making it easy to put away after use. And if you are in Sydney spend the money on the company’s assembly service. The rep takes the hard work out of building it, throws in a training session, and leaves you with a program for the coming weeks.
It is recommended you start working out on a Skiers Edge Machine 6 weeks ahead of a ski trip. We had less than a month before Bariloche, but that was enough to turn my husband back into a top to bottom skier, over the 1100m plus vertical there
Our legs were strong enough for the first powder dump a couple of days after we arrived. All the treadmills in the world could not have delivered the ski-specific training the machine provided – you simply use different muscles. Aside from being fitter, friends remarked our technique had improved. I, for one, felt my upper-body was not shifting like it used to. Our ‘love hate’ relationship with the Edge – like our cat skiing friends – has begun.
More at www.skiedgefitness.com.au
*Vanessa Graham, from News Ltd, and a regular SnowAction contributor, likes to get in 2 ski trips a year. She trialed then purchased the Skier’s Edge independent of any company media campaigns or promotions. We saw the difference it made skiing with her in Argentina on their arrival in August – Ed.