Winter sports enthusiasts are known to tote snow machines to fault lines, waiting for the moment the ground to cracks open to create a gnarly natural half-pipe. Learn snow sports the less extreme way with today's Groupon: for $48, you get a 60-minute snowboarding or skiing lesson (an $80–$160 value; prices are based on each individual's needs) at Virtual Snow in Huntington Beach or Virtual Snow Mountain High in Wrightwood. Thought into existence by two-time world-skiing king Bob Salerno, Virtual Snow's safe, controllable simulator puts students of any skill level on a carpet of faux-snow that rolls beneath the feet like baby powder. Unlike learning to ski on an avalanche, Virtual Snow introduces you to chilled sports without the risk of injury due to frostbite. All equipment (boots and a board or skis) is included with the lesson.
NBC Los Angeles featured Virtual Snow's "slopes" on its morning program.
Nobody in Santa Monica has a snow-covered slope in their backyard to practice slalom runs. Some think they can just march up a mountain and dominate a black diamond on courage and instinct alone. Instead, they wind up face first in snow, wishing they’d practiced.
In order to prepare skiers and snowboarders for the real deal, and to spare them from slushy, frostbitten shame, US Ski Hall of Famer Bob Salemo devised his innovative Virtual Snow training system. In a controlled indoor environment far away from menacing ski lifts and snowballs tossed by mountain goats, winter-sports enthusiasts perfect their maneuvers in fun training drills led by skilled instructors and the clever teachings of Salemo himself. The faux ski-course simulator, which resembles a large conveyor belt, mimics the smooth surface and wily turns of a downhill slope as its snowy surface rolls beneath the feet of students on skis or snowboards. Future Picabo Streets or Shawn Whites not only expand their abilities to new levels, but they can also practice tricks without bailing out and shake off any bad habits they learned from sleet gangs.