Best Places For Snowboarding
Anyone who’s ever snowboarded will tell you it’s the best thing you can do but you can only scratch that itch for a few months throughout the year, even with your snowboarding gear sitting impatiently in the closet. During this downtime, though, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to plan your next trip, and with so many fun, challenging, and magical places to try out, the search for the perfect slope is never over. To give you an idea of where to go next, here are our picks for 10 amazing places to snowboard in the world.
1. Mammoth Mountain, California, USA
Grab your snowboard or ski goggles and get yourself to arguably the best place in California to snowboard. There are plenty of off-piste and tree runs, and the regular pistes are cared for like they are the resort owner’s own children and these runs are great for beginners as much as they are more experienced riders.
It’s great value for money, but we’d advise avoiding weekend trips, as it can get busy.
2. Chamonix, France
We’ve already discussed the difference between US and European slopes and Chamonix in France is a perfect example of this. The slopes are spread out and often ungroomed, and while this is all part of the charm, beginners may struggle.
There’s a natural half-pipe found along the way, and the off-piste potential is one of the best in the world (and some would say there’s no better). This makes it the perfect place for experts looking to take their skills to the next level.
3. Tignes, France
Tignes boasts some fantastic runs for those looking for something a little cheaper. A lift pass costs €245 for 7 days and you can enjoy open runs and a massive off piste area to test your skills, although there are no tree runs.
The resort offers both group and independent classes to help beginners get more confident, and there are also advanced classes to help you get comfortable with tricks and off-piste boarding. One great feature of Tignes is the nightlife, with fun bars in the villages and try the Aspen Burger if you get the chance.
4. St. Anton, Austria
With the best free riding in Austria, St. Anton is the perfect place to make sure your snowboarding and ski helmet does what it needs to do. There are wide and testing slopes, awesome off-pistes, and superb nightlife perfect for Après-ski, which is the whole reason you go anyway, right?
Experienced boarders will find a lot to love, but beginners may not have such a great time, and while it’s doable on a budget, we’d recommend this only to those with cash to burn and a point to prove.
5. Verbier, Switzerland
This is the Mecca of free riding opportunities with extreme terrain that will get your adrenaline pumping and test your mettle. There are also a variety of pistes and a decent terrain park for freestyle boarders.
The resort offers English tuition for beginners, but we’re not sure newbies lacking confidence will get the best experience. It’s also obscenely expensive, so maybe save buying those state-of-the-art ski gloves until you can afford to wear them in a place they’ll actually be worth it.
6. Big White, Canada
Big White offers pistes suitable for all levels and all purposes to ensure everyone feels comfortable as they fly down the slopes. There’s some decent backcountry and tree routes, although not on the level of others we’ve selected, but there are excellent skate parks for those bored with waiting for ski lifts.
The pistes are well-maintained, and the nightlife is good enough for a short trip, but it’s nothing too wild.
7. Whistler Blackcomb, Canada
Arguably the place to go for snowboarding in Canada, you’ll be surrounded by people in Patagonia jackets who’ve been doing this since they were knee height but it’s large enough that no one will get in your way.
There are plenty of great runs and it’s considered one of the best in the world for freestyle boarding. Beginners will also have a lot of opportunity to get to grips with their technique, and as for the Après-ski, you’ll struggle to find anything better in all North America.
8. Mount Baker, Washington, USA
Perhaps the most affordable place in the States, Mount Baker offers an off-piste like nothing else. In fact, visitors come here just for the off-the-run experience
Anyone looking for an authentic, nature-filled experience should only consider visiting Mount Baker. It’s simple, sure, but this makes it affordable, which when you consider everything else that goes into a boarding vacation is only a good thing.
9. Niseko United, Japan
Our only venture to the Far East, Niseko United is the most famous place in Japan for boarding. This is a destination for powder heads, and you’re unlikely to find anything close to it in the US or Canada. With 14 meters of snowfall per year, you’ll enjoy soft, easy runs that some say go waist-deep in some places.
Even with this, there’s so much snow that by the time you make it back up to start all over again, your tracks will already be covered, which is incredible and is something that many boarders spend their whole lives looking for. It’s not without its dangers, though, so familiarize yourself with our guide on how to stay safe on the slopes.
10. Davos, Switzerland
The Pride of Switzerland, Davos is the place most snowboarders strive to make it to one day. Stretching across 5 mountains, you could spend a whole season here and never get bored, with varied runs and spectacular off-piste potential to mix things up even further.
There are also halfpipes and parks for the more daring, while beginners can enjoy more reserved runs to get themselves into boarding shape. It’s easy to get to, with trains running direct, but it’s busy on weekends, so get the most from it and avoid the lines by heading there in the week.
The Beast Of The Piste
Regardless of budget or location, there’s sure to be somewhere close enough to home where you can get some runs in and test out your skills on some of the best snowboarding slopes around the world. If you want to head further afield than your usual hill, whether that’s traveling to Europe or to North America, or even further to Asia, it will be a once in a lifetime experience, so get out there while you still can and tear up the slopes like a pro.