I wasn't sure what to expect, but ever since the Liberty Mountain Snoflex Centre opened a few years ago in Lynchburg, I had been wanting to find out.
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. had been nice enough to give me a tour in 2009, just prior to the park's opening. He had explained how the white AstroTurf-type material was designed just for skiing and that it was very popular in Europe. All they had to do, explained, was to trickle water through a system that is not unlike a sprinkler system for your yard, and this stuff was ski-able.
All the gear is the same, skis, poles, bindings etc. No shorts because if you wipe out, the rug burn is pretty bad.
Out on the hill there were some guys doing amazing flips and tricks on their snowboards, so it had to be doable right?
Plus You Tube is full of videos like this one, showing exactly how awesome it is.
Well, not so much. Not for me. I didn't fall, and I was able to turn, but I was not able to link together long beautiful arcing turns (or even fun quick ones) like I can on snow.
To be fair, they say it takes a while and that long-time skiers often take a bit longer to get the hang of it, because they need to unlearn habits born on real snow.
And it doesn't matter what I think. There are tons of people doing this and loving it. The business seems to be growing and let's face it -- we we skiing in Lynchburg -- in July.