Learn to board in the UK before you hit the slopes

You might be fit. Relatively. You may be a sporting type. You may well have the latest funky gear. But when faced with a downhill slope and nothing to stop you save a minature ironing board strapped to your feet, it may be a good idea to get some practice in before taking out the 10 year old pros who zip around you like Eddy the Eagle Edwards. But better.

There are several places dotted around the UK where you can try out your killer moves:

Xscape - the Dolomites of Milton Keynes. Head to the Sno Zone where a three hour boarding lesson will set you back £72, but you'll gain credibility on the real slopes when you get there. And perhaps not break a leg.

The Sandown Sports Club - Surrey's greatest artificial piste.

Bearsden - Boarding, Glasgow style.

The Ackers - Head to this well equipped center in Birmingham for a menagerie of outdoor activities. Snowboarding included.

Christchurch Ski Centre - The gentle folk of Dorset have no problems on the piste if they pay a visit to their local ski slope before hitting the white dust.

Rosendale Ski Centre - Lancashire lads and lasses get an upper hand with boarding lessons here.

John Nike Leisure Centre - Made famous by Ali G, this ski centre actually offers some fantastic lessons and can be found in the picturesque new town (?) of Bracknell.

Final words of advice? Take a couple of lessons before you try snowboarding. Even if you can ski and you think you could give Shaun White a run for his money. It will save you at least a day or so of utter slope shame. Here's one of America's top boarders in action:

(Image: YouTube)

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