Best Places to Snowboard in Europe

November 14, 2012| France | Chamonix| Tips

Snowboarding has come a long way since it was introduced in the 1960s to the American winter sports culture. It was known then as “snurfing” as it was seen as surfing on snow! By 1998 snowboarding was arecognisedWinter Olympic Sport and is now popular in all winter ski resorts across Europe.

Snowboarding in France

The French Alps have always provided some of the best winter snowsports and snowboarding is no exception. Serre Chevalier provides great powder snow and superb freestyle terrain but it can be crowded. When there is fresh snow, Chamonix is hard to beat for experienced snowboarders, with excellent freeriding on tree runs and off-piste. For carving, Avoriaz is a good resort with superb skiboarding parks and a half-pipe. For the younger set wanting to balance great pistes with a lively nightlife, Les Arcs has it all!

Snowboarding in Austria

By far the best resort in Austria for freeriders is St Anton, which also has a world class village, awesome off-piste conditions and a small snowboarding park. Ischgl is popular with intermediate snowboarders and it has a great terrain park. Other pluses include the super-efficient lift system, a long season (until May!) and lively après ski.Solden is considered one of Austria’s best all-round resorts, especially for those travelling with family and friends who prefer to ski. It has some good tree runs and off-piste opportunities for intermediates as well as a small terrain park.

Snowboarding in Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe offers cheap flights and reasonably priced holiday rentals as well as plenty of guaranteed snow. Bansko in Bulgaria is a popular new snowboarding resort with good off-piste freeriding and a good terrain park and half-pipe. Jasna in Slovakia has good freeriding if you take the time to find the chutes. It has a small park and good natural terrain but would benefit from more investment and development. The best and most comfortable resort in Russia is Krasnaya Polyana near the Black Sea. It has long easy runs for beginners to find their legs and advanced riders will appreciate the excellent off-piste opportunities. Heliboarding is a great way to access the best slopes.

Snowboarding in the UK

If you want a weekend of snowboarding fun without leaving the UK, head up to Glenshee which has some reasonable terrain with a few natural hits if the weather is kind. Beginners will find The Lecht may be Scotland’s smallest resort but it is also one of the cheapest. This friendly resort is absolutely perfect for a first season as a snowboarder with a park and half-pipe, weather permitting.