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SkiA Sweetspot Trainer

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by ski diva, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. ski diva

    ski diva Administrator Staff Member

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    Anyone heard of this? It's a new dryland training device that's supposed to help you improve your stance over your skis.

    I just posted a review of it on my blog. To see it, go here.

    There's a discount code for it in our Deals for Divas section, too (good til 12/25). And though SkiA is advertising on the site right now, please don't think this influenced my review. I make it a point to be as objective as possible.
     
  2. MaineSkiLady

    MaineSkiLady Angel Diva

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    This sounds quite intriguing!
    :smile:
    Nice blog on it, btw.
     
  3. VickiK

    VickiK Angel Diva

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    Yes, great post. Discount code, hmmm? Thank you!
     
  4. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    Great review! The pics you included should be in the manual. Although the US version is much better than the original UK manual, especially for the initial set up.

    I first heard of the Sweetspot about a month ago when SkiA became of sponsor of another ski forum as part of a move into the US market. Very glad they are a sponsor for TSD too. Given what I learned last summer about the importance of improving proprioception by doing balance exercises for knee injury rehab, I didn't hesitate to order. SkiA customer service is certainly good. The company was quick to respond to my email questions. They sent a PDF file version of the US manual even before I ordered. Also refunded the shipping fee as a goodwill gesture because delivery took a bit longer from the UK. They will be shipping from somewhere in the US soon.

    I got my package last week. Decided to use my old boots for training purposes. I was still using them for skiing at Massanutten last season. Since they are softer flex and have a walk feature, makes them a bit easier to get on and off. I figure that makes it more likely I'll do Sweetspot exercises more often. My current boots are the same brand so the fit is not much different. Later on I may use the Sweetspot with them, at least to see if it makes any difference.

    I've only used the Sweetspot a few times. Once set up is complete, you have to re-attach the Sweetspot every time after putting on the boots. The quick release makes that fairly simple.

    There are four exercises: Centered (Centred) Balance, Movement (up & down) in Balance, Rotation Movements, Edging Movements. As shown in the SkiDiva's blog review, there are four sets of blocks going from Green to Black going from about 2.5 inches to 0.5 inch. I'm taking it slow. The suggestion in the manual is to "excel" on a level before proceeding to the next. On Green, I can stand still (natural flex of my boots), move up & down (crouch and touch toes), and tilt as if putting skis on edge, all without losing balance. Rotation is more difficult. Plus I need to figure out the best surface to stand on for rotation that doesn't mess up the blocks or our floor.

    The instructions in the manual are to do an exercise for a bit, then take off the Sweetspot and stand for a bit without them, then repeat a few times. The questions you are supposed to ask yourself immediately after the Centered Balance exercise are:
    * Do I understand where the balance points are?
    * Can I feel the balance points under my feet?
    * Did my balancing on the trainers improve during the session?

    Ideally, you are supposed to use the Sweetspot for an exercise, then do a related drill on skis until you feel the same balance during a drill before moving on to the next Sweetspot exercise. Needless to say, that's not how I'm going to do it since I'm not at a ski hill and don't want to wait. I certainly could feel a variety of muscles working while using the Sweetspot, especially my glutes when doing Movement in Balance since that's essentially doing squats with something extra.

    One thing that isn't obvious until you see the blocks is that they aren't completely flat on the bottom. They are slightly curved. That's deliberate to make edging movements safer to do.

    One thing for sure, doing the edging movements in ski boots makes me feel that much more confident that skiing without an ACL will be no problem. Had done the same tilting motion on the Skiers Edge II, but not in ski boots and not as much of an angle.
     
  5. VickiK

    VickiK Angel Diva

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    ski diva & marzNC, what do you think of the the SKia Sweetspot now that you've had more time on the snow?
     
    MissySki likes this.
  6. ride_ski

    ride_ski Angel Diva

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    I'm curious as well so I look forward to hearing....
     
  7. ski diva

    ski diva Administrator Staff Member

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    I've been using it, and I still think it's a worthwhile way to improve your fore-aft stance. It really gives you a sense for where you ought to be on your skis. I find myself trying to balance on that spot when I'm skiing, too. So yes, I think it's a good thing.
     
    VickiK likes this.
  8. Ashleigh Lawrence

    Ashleigh Lawrence Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Sigh.....I really need to stop reading threads like this! It's now on my 'wish list'!
     
  9. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    I'm definitely a fan of the Sweetspot. I know it helped give me confidence for the first few ski days because I was able to get the feel of edging in ski boots beforehand. Harder to say what the added balance training did because there were so many differences in the situation for my pre-season conditioning and first few days on snow. I was conservative and stuck with the green blocks (easiest). Be interesting to see how it feels after 10 days of skiing.

    With all the ski days lately, I haven't use the Sweetspot for a couple weeks. Fully intend to use it more after my last local ski weekend mid-Feb. That will be part of the prep for Big Sky and Alta in late March/early April.
     
  10. leisure skier

    leisure skier Certified Ski Diva

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    This sounds great. I still am not sure I'm using my feet enough when I ski and this looks like it might help. Need to also add it to the wishlist. I could see room for this in my home more than the skiers edge machine that would also be in my dream home gym that currently does not exist.
     
  11. Ashleigh Lawrence

    Ashleigh Lawrence Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    I treated myself to this the other day. Waiting with great anticipation for it to arrive! :banana:
     
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  12. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    I moved onto the blue blocks (green is easiest) a couple weeks ago. Do think it's helping, especially when combined with the time spent with the instructors for the Senior Clinic at Massanutten. Feel like I'm keeping my Center of Balance in the right place more often when on steeper slopes or on bumps.

    I do all four exercises, each for just a short period, then take the Sweetspots off and stand, then repeat for a second time, sometimes a third. Taking them off in between is in the instructions.
     
    VickiK likes this.
  13. VickiK

    VickiK Angel Diva

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    Thanks!
     
  14. Ashleigh Lawrence

    Ashleigh Lawrence Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    I tried mine for the first time last night. I must confess that I looked at the green blocks, and thought "Pffffttt, no problem!". But actually it was quite challenging for me.

    They are a bit fiddly to put on, and I was a bit paranoid that once on my feet, they weren't quite lined up properly, but when I was standing and crouching, I could definately feel that I was getting a good core workout!
     
  15. ski diva

    ski diva Administrator Staff Member

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    Yep, I thought the same on all counts, Ashleigh.
     
    Ashleigh Lawrence likes this.
  16. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    I brought mine along to Blue Knob. My housemates got to watch a Diva try them out with the blue blocks. One of them went home and bought a set. He is the type of skier who is interested in improving technique.
     
  17. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    bump since the Diva discount is still on.

    Definitely plan to use mine come fall.
     
  18. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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  19. ski diva

    ski diva Administrator Staff Member

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    For anyone who's interested, there's a special ten percent discount offer for the SweetSpot Trainer in the Deals for Divas section. Go here.
     
  20. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    Anyone else been using the Sweetspot this winter? If so, what color block did you get to?

    Divas have a chance to win one . . . look here.