Dry slopes are man-made slopes which provide an alternative terrain
for snowboarders wanting to snowboard during the summer or for those
who do not wish to spend a whole day traveling to a mountain miles
away which actually has a decent amount of snow to ride on.
They are constructed with a solid cross-hatched metal base which
hold plastic bristles for riding on. Dry slopes are commonly found
in England and parts of Europe but are rare in the States.
Learning to Snowboard on Dry Slopes
Learning to snowboard on dry slopes can be a slow and painful experience.
Because of the short length of the runs, you can be spending a good
deal of your time going up the lifts.
Dry slopes themselves don't really come close to simulating the various
types of terrains and types of snow. If the surface is very
dry without some form of lubrication,
it will be extremely hard to ride on and definitely not pleasant
to fall on.
Having said that, dry slopes are a good platform for getting the
basics down or working on your technique.
Because of the added difficulty in riding on that surface, once you are
actually competent on the dry slope, you'll find riding on actual
snow to be a breeze.
Potential for Injury
If, over time, the metal base of the slope becomes detached from the floor,
there is a possibility of you catching your fingers or limbs in the gaps and, in
more severe cases, breaking or losing them, particular if you get
too adventurous or over-confident.
There have been many reports of dislocated fingers, thumbs and various cuts
and bruises from snowboarding accidents on dry slopes. The severity of
these injuries are far greater than from an identical wipeout or crash
Dry slopes themselves should not be considered to be inherently dangerous
but you need to be extra careful when riding on them and be sure that your
equipment has been properly adjusted and fitted. And, as with riding
on snow, wear
protective gear like wrist guards, long sleeves and padding.
Damage to Your Board
Snowboarding on plastic, particular the older slopes,
will usually lead to your board accumulating various bits
of dirt, grease and other nasty stuff.
The material used for the construction
of the dry slope will also result in various marks and scratches on
the base of your board
while also blunting and removing the P-Tex around the
edges of the board fairly rapidly.
After using a board on the dry slope, in all likelihood, you'll find that
riding on snow using the same board will be slow and cumbersome with the
board unable to slide as smoothly.
If you're going to be riding on a dry slope, it would be strongly recommended
that you did not use your prized snowboard that you would normally use on
the snow in the mountains. If possible use an old retired board, a cheap board
or a rental hire.