Reviews of Onyx Snowboarding (Hemel Snow Centre, UK - England)

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    5 of 5,  "Fantastic day with Onyx at Hemel"  27/08/2012 @ 14:26
Revision #2 (Last edited: 27/08/2012 @ 14:41)
Price Paid
Booked Through
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
I've been riding since January - I love it and feel I've progressed quickly. I'm excited about hitting the mountains this season but until then it's all indoors for me. I go to Hemel and MK as often as possible - both are just a 20min drive. I'm now at the point when bombing down the slope and riding the poma back up again just isn't enough for me and I really need to take things further. My last few visits I've got the hang of Switch, which has now made me think about a bit of freestyle.

I was lucky enough to witness an Onyx freestyle camp while at Hemel a few weeks ago. It was impossible to miss them - they were all wearing horrendous onepiece flourescent outfits and generally making a lot of noise. Once I got over the initial shock of the outerwear, I watched as they taught and performed their stuff. I was impressed and thought 'now is the time'. I approached the Onyx teamleader, Baden - I figured he had to be in charge as he was wearing the most outrageous onepiece of them all - skintight, flourescent, downhill very fast, kind of thing. He gave me all the details I needed to book for the next camp which I did over the next couple of days.

Thankfully the onepiece outfits were a one-off, special occassion!!!

I took the beginners Green Freestyle Camp yesterday. Day started off 9.30 at Hemel, meeting the team and the other guys attending the camp. My instructor was Grant and we all had a brief chat about our goals for the day. Mine were simple - 1) I wanted to find a nice technique for transitioning in and out of switch (instead of the usual skidding in and out that I do) and 2) doing 180's in the air.

We were on the snow by 10, warming up with a few runs. We then did a couple of excercises on riding technique. Then it was straight into some nose rolls in and out of switch. We then moved down to the box. Started off with simple 50/50s and then Grant got us to try and add rotation into it once on the box. Took a few goes for me to get the hang of applying the rotation but Grant got me doing it quite quickly and I have to say I impressed myself and was definitely thinking that my money was well spent. Grant took some video of the group while we practiced on the box, for analysis over lunch. One of the things I liked about Grants teaching style was he wasn't afraid to tell you when he thought you'd done a crap move. I got a friendly 'that was crap' from him as I came off the box - made me laugh and it helped me relax for the next attempt.

We broke for lunch about 1 and I have to say I was shocked at how quickly the time had gone. We watched the footage of us on the box and the team gave their comments and feedback. Was a nice chilled break. One word of advice - keep your lunch light as it seems to zap your energy!

Back on the snow we headed for the Kicker. Straight airs were first, followed by some grabs and then adding in rotation. Got my Frontside 180s dialled in but still need to work on the grabs. At this stage we had the red camp guys also on the kicker which I found helped confidence - seeing them do the stuff I want to progress to. A forward flip was pulled off at one stage - nice!

We headed back to the bar just after 5 to do the video analysis of the Kicker jumps and then back out on the snow for a final freeride session. Have to say my attempts now were very half-arsed as I was totally drained of leg power.

I had a very good day with the Onyx guys and will be booking my next day camp when I can fit it into my weekend schedule. From chatting with the other guys in my group I got the overwhelming impression that they would also be coming back for more - hope to see them all soon. The blue/red camp were all regulars, so obviously Onyx do a great job.

So, thanks to Grant and to Baden. Both made the day highly enjoyable, energetic, friendly and above all, satisfying.

Now if only that woman hadn't skied across the tail of my board taking a massive chunk out of the top-layer...

Teaching style.
Personality of instructors.
Support - lot's of shouting, cheering, clapping and sometimes 'ouch'.
Great 'team' atmosphere.
Hemel - great slope.
Onyx website, very nice.
Would be nice if they could offer weekday courses. Weekends can be hard to take off when you've got a young family. Maybe even offer half-day courses at weekends too?
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Reviews: 1
    5 of 5,  "Just brilliant..."  29/11/2010 @ 13:29
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Price Paid
Booked Through
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Ok so its taken me a while to get round to this but I went on the first ever Onyx freestyle day back in August and its difficult to put into words just how good it was.

The whole day was excellent, absolutely superb coaches who know there stuff and are able to break each little thing down into easy to understand segments. They push you to achieve but not by sacrificing the fun element and thats one thing your guarentee'd with the Onyx guys, fun comes first with this lot.

I'd never done any freestyle stuff before the day so I went on the "green" camp and by the end of it we had worked on the basics (stance, balance etc) done loads of flatland stuff (ollies, nollies, presses, 180's etc) and then moved up and on to 50/50's, boardslides on the box and straight airs, grabs and 180's off the kickers. Not bad progression from zero freestyle to these moves. Watching it all back during lunch and at the end of the day on the video's also helped pick up some tips and left me with a huge grin on my face as you watch yourself doing stuff you never used to be able to.

Its also given me the confidence to head down to the freestyle nights at hemel on a Friday and practise what I've learnt, had hoped to follow this camp up with another one but they've fallen on dates I've been working abroad (booooo)

The rest of the group I was in were super cool as well and we had a big mix of people, male, female, old and young but everyone got on well, encouraged each other and progressed together.

Brilliant fun.
Brilliant Coaching
Excellent features
Having fun is the priority
None that I can think of.
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Reviews: 1
    5 of 5,  "Great people, Great coaching, Great Day!"  14/10/2010 @ 22:58
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Price Paid
Booked Through
Onyx Snowboarding
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Found out about the camp on GB, then did a quick bit of searching about and found Onyx on facebook ( & their website ( Was missing the snow like everyone else so thought I would give it a go. Simple to book up couple of e-mails and was all sorted - great start. Had a bit more info e-mailed over a few days before the camp about the venue, coaches etc.

Right onto the main bit, met up with the rest of the group in the edge bar around and was greeted by and insanely excited person for that early in the morning, only to find that he had next to no sleep due to making kickers (1 green, 1 blue) all the previous night and then returning in the morning to finish them off! Great effort and they were just about perfect!
Ended up on the snow at some point around 10 and started off with the lesson.

The group was sorted out into 2 separate ones according to ability levels freestyle wise, those who had done none or very little (myself included), and those could. Started off with everyone doing a couple of laps with things like stance being checked over and lots of advice being given out (mine was shocking but knew this already) then riding a bit of switch with more advice/help. Moved onto flatland tricks popping little 180's heel to toe & vice versa, nose rolls & buttering. Having loads of fun jumping around all over the place and trying out things I'd never done before, time flew by and it was time for a bit of lunch and a chat about technique, tricks and holidays!

Second half of the day we moved onto the kickers & the box. My last experience with a jump was nearly busting my coccyx on my last holiday so wasn't particularly confident. Coaches were great got you to relax, had already been taught how I should be balanced on the board, and just rolled over the green kicker no problems. Once we had all just straight aired a few times we started playing around with grabs, then had a few minutes learning a bit of technique on rotations, before going on to try it out. Everyone was feeling confident so we decided to move up to the blue kicker. Again it was so easy to take off from this, the time spent building was well worth it, you just rolled off the lip into the air really smooth. Landings were a bit sketchy at first but got used to it after a couple of goes and ended up being pretty confident by the end of the day. After playing around on the kickers for a few hours was starting to feel a bit knackered so we moved onto the box. Yet again something I'd never tried. Couldn't believe how easy it was! Ended up being able to do both frontside and backside boardslides, not bad for a novice! Kept on riding until the legs said no more, about 5:30/6 as lunch took a bit longer than expected. We all retired to the bar for a bit of a sing song (birthday), cake (birthday), goodie bags and a few laughs.

All in all had a brilliant day, ached for about 2 days after, but can't wait to go back - just got to work on my switch first!

Atmosphere was chilled throughout the day but you were still being pushed a bit to try different things, and anything you wanted help with all you had to do was ask.

Thanks to Adam, Baden & Ozzi for putting me on the road to becoming a freestyle ninja! (it might be a long one but its gonna be good!)
Great people - really friendly, want to help improve all aspects of your riding not just teach you how to throw yourself off a jump.
Building work - havn't been off many kickers but these were probably the best I have.
Instruction - technique, spins, grabs, rails all really helpful.
Communication - easy to chat with, get points across well on the day, pre camp was very good and afterwards as well
Venue - Can only compare it to MK but HH is the best big fridge I've been in.
Can't think of any! Had a great time, and got everything out of the day I wanted to so nothing of relevance for this box!
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