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Are dry ski slopes any good?

In the skiing world, you’re able to choose between real snow slopes, both indoor and outdoor, and dry slopes. In countries where there aren’t a lot of mountainous regions with snowy hills, dry slopes are ideal for both beginners and experienced ski enthusiasts. But, are dry ski slopes any good? Continue reading to find out.

What is a dry ski slope?

Dry ski slopes are open-air artificial slopes that you’re able to find across the UK and Ireland. Unlike real snow slopes you would find on mountains or at indoor snow centres, like Chill Factore, dry ski slopes are made up of small, plastic bristles.

The plastic bristles are constantly kept wet so that skis can slide over them, giving a similar feel of real snow ski slopes. There is contention in the skiing world over which surface is better, though many argue that nothing beats the feeling of real snow slopes, both indoor and outdoor.

Is dry slope skiing any good?

Dry slope skiing, for the purists, isn’t as good as real snow skiing. However, there are plenty of benefits to dry ski slopes and it mostly involves accessibility. For most people, access to real snow slopes is difficult due to the lack of availability in this country and the cost attributed with travelling to a different country for a ski resort.

So, here are the advantages of dry ski slopes:

  • Accessibility
  • Price
  • Learning


For many people, the allure of a real snow slope is just a tease as they’re unable to actually use one. In the UK, Glenshee, Aberdeenshire is the best chance for experiencing a real snow outdoor ski slope experience. But, if you’re unable to get there, your chances of experiencing a snow slope are slim. Also, if you’re unable to reach Scotland, the chances of you getting across Europe for a skiing session are also low. There are real indoor snow ski slopes instead, though, like at Chill Factore Manchester.

However, if you’re set on experiencing skiing outdoors in this country you’ll have to make do with a dry ski slope for the most part. This is an advantage for the dry slope experience, though, as they are much more easily accessible than a real snow slope. They can be picked up, moved and laid down somewhere different over and over again.

Also, if you’re looking to avoid lift lines and get more runs in during the winter season, then dry ski slopes are ideal. Dry slopes tend to be a little quieter than indoor snow centres.


Price can be another advantage for dry snow slopes too. They are relatively inexpensive in comparison to a trip across the UK or Europe to a ski resort.

There’s a slight difference historically in price between indoor snow slopes and dry outdoor slopes too. An outdoor skiing session on a dry slope could cost less than £20 for a few hours of skiing. That being said, if you check the Offers page of Chill Factore, you’ll see some great savings, including an unlimited slope pass for less than £80 depending on the time of year.


The final positive aspect of a dry snow slope is your ability to learn on it. If you’re looking to learn how to ski, you don’t want to make your first time on an expensive ski resort up a mountain; you’d rather take it easy and make little steps first. This means taking your skis up a dry snow slope to learn.

Disadvantages of dry snow slopes

Dry snow slopes are not all sunshine and rainbows, though. One key disadvantage they possess is they’re unforgiving in a fall. Dry ski slopes are made up of plastic bristles which can tear at your clothes and even hurt when you fall over.

Real snow slopes allow for guests to learn and experience the slopes without having to worry about ruining their kit and hurting themselves as much. While there is still a risk of injury, similar to any sport, the soft blanket of snow allows you to break your fall a little easier.

Another key disadvantage that a dry snow slope has is that it just doesn’t offer the same feel and experience as real snow. If you can find a real indoor snow slope near you, try it.

Real indoor snow at Chill Factore

Nothing allows you to experience a snowy mountain in the UK quite like the real indoor snow ski slope at Chill Factore. With cool air and fresh snow every night, it provides guests with both the look and feel of skiing and snowboarding on mountainous terrain.

Chill Factore, near the Trafford Centre, is packed with fun things to do for the whole family. We’re home to the longest real snow slope in the UK (180 metres). And what says fun more than real snow – and lots of it? From sledging to ski lessons and private tuition, we’ve got something for everyone. There’s even a comfortable viewing gallery for the less intrepid, so you can sit back, enjoy a coffee, and watch the excitement unfold.

All you need to do to get involved is to contact us on 0161 749 2222 or email us at to book a family day out.

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