Category Archives: Tips

The Rules of Table Alpine Table Tennis

The Rules of Table Alpine Table Tennis

It seems fitting that you should be able to get your Table Tennis fix when out in the Alps and staying in a chalet. After all, it was invented over at a dinner party and was originally played with a wine cork as the ball. So where can you play this? Well if you are planning a ski holiday to Meribel then you may want to consider the Chalet Serpolet, as not only does it have a sauna and hot tub it also has a games room complete with a Table Tennis table.

The game has seen a major resurgence since its inception in the 1880s, as an after dinner game played with books for nets and rackets. Its recent popularity has come from many sources. Thousands of people took an interest in it when it appeared in the 1994 movie Forest Gump. It was also a ratings winner in the 2012 summer Olympics despite the Chinese dominance of the game. Also as part of the Olympic legacy, 100’s of outdoor tables have been put into our parks and recreation areas. Also, many Table Tennis themed bars such as Ping in Earls Court have popped up, not as part of the Olympic legacy.

So let’s imagine that you have never heard of Table Tennis, Ping Pong or Wiff Waff before and you have booked into stay at the Serpolet. You will probably want to know the basics and the rules.

ping

What you need to know.

Equipment
To play you will need a racket or paddle as it is also known. A ball and a 9 ft long by 5 ft wide table with a 6 inch net to divide the table up. All of these items are available in the games room of our chalet Serpolet.

How to Play

Deciding the serve.

This is done by the toss of a coin.

Serving
To serve you must throw the ball up into the air, which must be at least the height of the net. You must then hit the ball so that it bounces first in the servers court and then in the opponents, without hitting the net.

Returning shot
When returning the serve the receiver must send the ball back before it bounces a second time in their side of the court. The returner must not hit it into their side of the table or the net.

Let
A let is allowed if the ball touches the net in service or when the player receiving the service is not ready to receive the serve.

How to score points
Points get scored when a rally is concluded in one of the following ways: The return of service fails; The ball is hit and does not touch the table on the opponents side; One of the players obstructs the ball; The ball is struck twice by the same player; A point is awarded to you if the competition hits the ball with the wrong side of the bat; If the opposition moves the table or net during play; You opponent is awarded a point if you touch the table with your non-playing hand.

The winner is the person who scores 11 points first. In the event that both players reach 10 points then the game is played until one person has a lead of 2 points. If you are playing a match then you should play to the best of 5 or 7

Who serves and from what end?
At the beginning of each game the players change ends. The services is decided rotated every two serves, this is regardless of who won the last point.

If you should choose you can also play a doubles game. The rules effectively remain the same with some additions

Doubles rules
When serving the play must go diagonally as the table is divided up into 4 quarters, this means the server must serve from the right hand side of the table to the left hand side. During play each team member must hit the ball in an alternating pattern. When the service is changed the receiver becomes the server and the partner of the server becomes the receiver.

Sometimes a match may go on a long time, especially if you are a novice. This could be annoying if you have a deadline, such as Canapés and wine being served at 7.30 or the ski lifts opening and it is a fresh powder day. The good news is that there is speedy version of the game. Sadly this only really benefits those of us that can have a rally of more than 13 returns.

Obviously Ping Pong is no substitute for getting on the mountains and skiing, but it can provide you with a lot of entertainment in the evening. That is once you have finished in the hot tub or jacuzzi.

Check out the that Chalet Serpolet here.

 

 

 


How to make your ski holiday even better

How to make your ski holiday even better

For most people the summer is a ski free time.  Unless you head to one of Europe’s glaciers such as the Grand Mott in Tignes or the Glacier Paradise in Zermatt. Some of us may head down under and take on the slopes of New Zealand and Australia. The rest of us may try and head to the nearest snow dome but unless it is next door you are unlikely to go regularly.  As we all know, unless you do something frequently you lose your edge a bit and as we just pointed out, regularly skiing out of season is a bit tough. What we can do is keep fit for skiing, ready for the winter.

The joy of skiing comes from the outdoor environment and the perceived interaction with nature at its most extreme. There are obviously other joys to the sport and the activities that make up your ski holiday, but being outside and being active are the most attractive. So what are the best substitutes for an outdoors summer, getting out in nature as well as keeping fit and strengthening the muscles that you will use when back out skiing on the slopes next winter?

There are two sports that fill all the above requirements; cycling and walking. The great thing about these two activities is that they are good cardiovascular workouts and help to work your core and leg strength. When you go skiing you use these muscles all the time. If you lack these strengths then you will get tired quickly and along with the draining effect that the altitude can have on your body, injuries can easily happen. Whether you do or don’t exercise regularly you should consider adding these two pursuits to your summer schedule.

Cycling is growing in popularity ever since the Wiggins win of the Tour de France and the outstanding achievements of the Great British cycling team
at the London Olympics in the summer of 2012. So why not jump on the band wagon and improve your fitness for next winter. There are so many varieties of cycling so you will probably find one that suits you and like skiing there are also different levels of extremeness. The options for you will depend on where you live but you will probably have the options to take part in Mountain Biking, BMX, Road Riding or if you do fancy the indoors, you could head to the local Velodrome. If you don’t have the time to fit cycling into your busy life then you could try using your bike to commute to work.

So why is cycling such a good exercise companion for skiing? Cycling will use your quad muscles which are key for a long day on the mountain. Cycling, unlike skiing, has a low impact on your knees, by exercising this way your knees will not wear out so fast and you can enjoy many years of skiing.  Cycling can also be tailored to feel like a day’s skiing. When we are on the piste we will use short burst of energy then periods of rest. This can easily be recreated on a bicycle and will be the perfect aerobic workout.

Walking is also a great workout and has many of the benefits that cycling has, when preparing yourself for your favourite winter activity. What we are not talking about is a stroll to the shops or the pub. We are talking about hiking, which by definition means walking a long distance. The UK is full of beautiful places to go walking and a beautiful view is a great reward. A long hike will work your core and leg muscles, you can also take walking poles to help with upper body strength, ski poles work just as well.

The best thing about walking is that it can be relatively inexpensive and can form part of a long weekend or mini break. If you really wanted to you could even head out to the Alps in the summer and try out the thousands of walking routes that are in the ski resorts. One important thing to remember when planning a walk if you want the best exercise, you need to add in some hilly routes. This is great as it will lead you to walking in some of the best places in the UK. Try the following places for some great hikes Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, Peak District, South Downs, South and North Wales, North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Galloway, Northumberland and the Scottish Highlands.

Whichever way you plan on staying fit make sure you stay safe and always use the correct equipment. If you are planning to start cycling then there are clubs you can join. Make sure you always wear a helmet when out on your bike. Walking can be dangerous too, if you are planning a long walk then make sure you register your route and take enough provisions. Why not set yourself some goals. There are lots of walking events around the country of varying lengths that you could train for such as the Startreck Challenge in Devon. The same goes for cycling, one great event to be part of is the London to Brighton cycle ride that raises money for the British Heart Foundation.

Get fit in the summer and make your ski holiday even better.


Tip of the week #7

Take a gangway with one “adaptor plug” to be able to plug in your all your needs in your bedroom, chargers, phones, iPods, iPads, laptops, hair-dryers, hair straighteners the list is endless!

 

plug


How to stay safe on the slopes

How to stay safe on the slopes

How many of you know that there is a code of conduct for all slope users? In 2002 the Federation International de Ski (FIS) introduced a code that all skiers, snowboarder, telemarkers and all other disciplines should follow. Take our short quiz to see how much you know.

Quick FIS ski code quiz

Question #1: Which side can you overtake on?Question #2: According to the FIS what does respect for others mean?

Question #3: Where should you not stop on a piste?

Question #4: If you witness an accident what must you do?

Question #5: Where must you look before starting to ski on a piste?

How did you get on? You really should have scored 100% in that quiz. However, whatever your score you should still refresh your memory of what is in the code of conduct for skiers and snowboarders.

Respect for others – Every mountain user must conduct them self in a manner that does not prejudice or endangers others.

Skiing or snowboarding within your ability and conditions – At all times you must be in control of your movements allowing for the conditions and traffic on the piste.

Choice of route – The person on the slope below has the right of way. This means the uphill skier or snowboarder must choose a route that does not endanger the person below.

Overtaking – Overtaking is permitted from any direction. The person that is overtaking must allow enough space should the other person perform a voluntary or involuntary movement.

Entering or starting to ski on a piste – When entering a piste or starting to ski or snowboard from a stationary position on a piste, you must look up and down the slope and make sure it is safe to move.

Stopping on the slopes – Unless it is unavoidable you must never stop in a narrow section of the piste or in a place where there is restricted visibility. Should you fall at any point you should move to the side of the run when it is safe to do so.

Walking – Should you find the need to walk up or down the mountain you should do so at the side of the slope.

Follow signs and marking – Please take notice and follow directions on all signs and information boards.

Help others – you are duty bound to assist where possible at any accident involving fellow slope users.

Identification – If you witness an accident or are involved in one you must identify yourself and exchange details.

This code will help you and others stay safe on the mountains. So please follow them and make sure you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.


Tip of the week #6

Following the huge amount of snow that has fallen in the ThreeValleys we thought POWDER tips would be appropriate.

~ If you are skiing:
Make sure you make a positive pole plant in powder. It gives you timing and rhythm and is an essential part of off piste skiing.

~If you are snowboarding:
Lean back, keep the front tip out of the snow. That back leg will ache a little if you are doing it properly. Use the balls of your feet more for turning. A lot like surfing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-9A0BPhkYs

POW POW POW – enjoy and remember to always be safe!


Tip of the week #5

Safety on the slopes – Essential bits of equipment for the off piste skier or boarder.

Avalanche airbag – all airbags have a handle located on one of the shoulder straps for activating the airbag, if you are even caught in an avalanche you will pull on the handle which causes the airbag to inflate and will keep you from going under.

Transceiver – An avalanche transceiver can be used to receive a signal from a possible avalanche victim, it will allow you to quickly pinpoint their location in the snow and dig them out ASAP.

Avalanche probe – Avalanche probes help you pinpoint the exact location of an avalanche victim and to measure the burial depth.

A shovel. for off piste

We have done a little research, the best combined price we could find was around £900 

It may sound a lot but remember you can’t put a price on a life.


Tip of the week #4

How to survive a whiteout/bad visibility on the slopes this season!

When visibility is poor on the slopes, it’s not just about the nerves, you just cannot see where you are going, it can be dangerous and frightening.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: That the piste poles on the right hand side of the piste all have orange tips. So stay close and move down from one to the next, keeping to the left of these “orange” poles. If you stay to the left of the right side poles you will ALWAYS be on the piste. How do you think the experienced appear so calm, it’s not easy for anyone in poor visibility.

 whiteout


Tip of the week #3

Pre-book your ski hire online for Meribel or La Tania, when staying in one of our chalets and you can get up to 30% discount. Delivery service offered by all the companies we use. Please feel free to ask for more information.

2586347 The Skier


Tip of the week #2

When at the mountain restaurants, you will see locals and the instructors ordering and enjoying the “Plat du Jour” or the special dish of the day. It is often the best value and the freshest food on sale.We would recommend trying it yourself.

Warning: Andouillette or diots au vin blanc, (tripe sausages) this is not recommended as this is an acquired taste.

 Plat du Jour

 

 


10 things that make a great chalet holiday.

10 things that make a great chalet holiday.

Back in the year 1846 if someone suggested a ski chalet holiday you would visibly shudder. This is because way back then we associated ski holidays with cold bedrooms, no mobile signal, spaghetti bolognaise six nights a week and burnt porridge. This has changed dramatically and we now expect at least hot water. This is our guide to 10 things that make a great chalet.

En-suite – Walking down the hall in your towel and hoping that no one will see you is something that backpackers are happy to put up with. It is not something that should be endured on a ski holiday. That is why having an en-suite is a must have for most ski tourists.

Wi-Fi – We all like to think that we are highflyers and that the office just won’t be able to cope without us. This makes staying in touch essential. Well… the truth is that we want to add our photos to Facebook to prove how good our holiday is. Also, who can resist uploading a video of them skiing to Youtube, although this shouldn’t be encouraged.

Boot warmers – “Who needs heated boots, what a wussy thing to need”. These were my words before I had experienced the sensation of a heated boot. I remember how I felt the first time I slipped my feet into snug, dry and warm boots that were fresh from the heater. The experience was almost sensual and full of guilt. If you asked me to sum up boot warmers I would say they are the most essential unessential thing you will ever use.

UK TV – Ever since the advent of TV they have been put in all hotel rooms. Normally, when you are abroad this is a pointless, obsolete item in the corner, unless you happen to be fluent in the local language, or have a passion for the BBC World service. So having UK television channels when on holiday is a lot more useful. It may not have the weather for where you are, but at least you know what time the weather will be on.

DVD Player – If being able to watch Eastenders isn’t your idea of fun then maybe settling down to watch a film is. A DVD player is also for popping on a Skiing film and inspiring yourself to attempt a 720 Rodeo in the park or to hike into the back country. Maybe you haven’t seen your friends you are staying with for a while. If so this is the perfect opportunity to put on your wedding/baby/children’s play DVD.

Hot Tub – Nothing says luxury more than sharing a bubbling bath with your friends. That is why so many chalets have one. Sure it can be an awkward place to meet strangers, in your speedos, outside in the chilly night air. But once the other bubbles start fizzing into your mouth there is no better way to relax after a long day skiing.

Table Tennis – In 1994 the movie ‘Forest Gump’ hit our screens. This changed the profile of Table Tennis for ever. But what does having a Table Tennis table in your chalet say about you? It says I’m sporty and want to continue that into the evening of my holiday, but I’m not stupid, it’s cold out there. It also says, I’m staying in a chalet with space and every part of that space is filled with fun, this is going to be one fun holiday.

Selection of Games – If you are one of the lucky ones and have booked to stay in a chalet that has a DVD player and a selection of games, then after your wedding/baby/children’s play DVD, you can settle down to a harmonious game of Monopoly or Jenga.  But what does booking into a chalet with a selection of board games say about you? It says, I’m staying in a chalet with not quite as much space needed for a Table Tennis table but every part of that space is filled with fun, this is going to be one fun holiday.

Sauna – A Sauna is a great place to conduct meetings, everyone knows that. In fact most of the Alpine Action resort staff meetings are held in a sauna. Which explains why the minutes always come back with water drip marks and wrinkled edges. When not being used for meetings, saunas are a great way to relax and ease the pain in your muscles from mogul training. See what we did there!

Catered – No catered ski holiday would be complete without catering. Without catering it becomes a self-catered holiday and who wants that? You could always eat out but what sort of person likes to dine out on a three course meal of potatoes and cheese for seven nights in a row? Of course catering not only means that’s you don’t have to cook during your holiday, it also means that you don’t have to wash up. Unless you foolishly volunteer, some people do.

Our chalets have many of these features. All of our chalets have en-suite rooms, Wi-Fi, UK-TV, DVD players and excellent catering. To find out which of our chalets feature other luxury’s such as the Table Tennis table then go to our La Tania or Meribel chalet pages.


Meribel & La Tania Holidays

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