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FAQs

How do I fit and use the Trainer?

There is detailed information about fitting and using the Trainers in our manual, which can be downloaded from this link.

This has replaced the first edition of our printed manual.The fitting instructions, in particular, have been improved and expanded. If your version of the manual is printed in ‘landscape’ format, rather than ‘portrait’ format, then we recommend downloading this new edition.

We've also updated some of our guidance very recently - see below for up-to-date information on using the Trainer on snow, and with children's boot sizes

 

What is included in the pack?

The trainers come as a pair of devices (right and left foot)

 All 4 pairs of balance blocks are included in each pack - green, blue, red and black.

 

How are they used?

The Sweetspot Trainers are a dry land ski training device, which are used with ski boots 

 

Where can they be used?

Use them on a firm, fairly smooth dry surface that is not slippery or icy. For example, they will work very well on many tiled or wooden surfaces. They will work well on carpet, provided the pile is not too soft or deep - though carpet will have the effect of making the blocks harder to balance on. Please be careful not to damage the surface in use.

Very coarse or rough surfaces can damage the rubber bases of the blocks – particularly if pivoting on the trainers. If pivoting, choose a firm, relatively smooth surface, and check your blocks frequently for signs of wear.

 

Can they be used on snow?

We originally advised in our manuals that the trainers weren't intended to be used on snow. In fact, experience has shown that they can be used very successfully on firm snow - just make sure that the surface doesn't become icy and slippery. The larger blocks (green and blue) will work better on snow than the smaller red and black blocks, as they won't 'dig' in 

Do I need ski boots?

They are designed to work with ski boots. Ski boots limit the range of movement of the ankle – this means that the body has to balance in a way that very closely matches the experience of being on skis.

It's possible to stand on the trainer in shoes or bare feet, and they can be used safely in this way without ski boots as a type of balance challenge. However, they just won’t work as a ski trainer in this way.

If you don't yet own ski boots, you can still benefit from using the trainers intensively in resort when you have access to a pair. Owning well-fitted ski boots is, however, 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. 

They don't fit ski touring (AT) boots so neatly because the soles are wider than normal alpine ski boots, and sit over the lips of the footplate. Although they won't be the usual snug fit, they are still very usable with AT boots. You are welcome to contact us for fitting tips.

 

 

Can children use them?

Children's ski boot sizes are narrower than adult boots. Therefore, children's boots fit loosely but securely between the edge 'lips' of the tray. 

When we first launched in 2012, we hadn't tested extensively with children's boots, and at that time we were unable to state that the Trainers could be used with these smaller sizes. Since then, the Trainers have been very extensively used and tested with children of all ages. At the time of writing, May 2014, we can advise that the Trainers are safe to use with children's boots provided an adult supervises their use, takes sensible precautions (as outlined in our manual) and ensures that the Trainers are not being misused

Our manuals were written in 2012, and do not yet reflect this new guidance. We will update our printed information in due course.

How long does training take?

Typical training sessions last approximately 10-15 minutes

 

How often should I train?

That depends. Quite simply, the more often you practice, the more quickly you will improve.  

It's important to use the trainers when you feel fresh and rested. If you start to fatigue when using them, take a break, and come back to them later.

Some users may prefer to use the trainers every day, or every few days, over a period of time. Others may like to use the trainers for repeated sessions - 4, 5 or 6 times a day -  over a shorter period of time.  

Although you will see immediate improvement, right from the very first time you use them, it takes a little while for the brain and body to adapt to the challenge. Periods of rest and sleep are vital to building improvement

 

When should I start training?

There are different stages of training:

  • When you get the trainers, start using them straightaway. Use them regularly, until you can comfortably manage to move in balance through a full range of movement on your target blocks. If you can balance on the red blocks, you will have an extremely highly developed sense of centered balance. If you can balance confidently on the black blocks, your sense of centered balance is awesome.
  • Once you have reached your target, use the trainers periodically to keep your skills refreshed. You’ll find that the skills are very enduring, but benefit from being refreshed.
  • Ideally start daily training again two weeks before a ski trip. If time does not permit this, then start as soon as you are able. Even a day’s training will make a difference on snow.
  • During a ski trip, aim to use the trainers for 5 minutes every morning before skiing.  If you are able to use the trainers during breaks as well, that is even better. This will help you to focus in on exactly the right point, and apply the skills when you are skiing.

 

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 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 see this over and over again 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!  You need to develop your skills on the larger blocks again
  • Do keep your feet side by side - having one foot forwards is another way of cheating!
  • Do have fun. 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 anywhere worldwide. Our UK site www.skia.com lists 62 countries. If your country is not on the list, please contact us.

 

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

 

What guarantees do you offer?

See our guarantees here

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