Snowboarding, being one of the most exciting sports there is, enjoys the ever-growing popularity all over the world. Every year, more and more people are getting to know the perks of this unique sport and once they have tasted it, they are enchanted by it for good.
Why snowboarding, of all sports?
Even though skiing is an older sport than snowboarding with a long tradition, it looks like snowboarding has gained even bigger popularity in the recent years, mostly because there are some benefits linked to snowboarding specifically.
For starters, snowboard boots are comfier than ski boots. Secondly, off-piste is much easier to achieve in snowboarding than while skiing, even for beginners. Next, there are no poles, so your hands are completely free. Another great thing about mastering snowboarding is that it makes you able to do tons of other board sports and enjoy them. And let's not forget the fact that snowboarding has been proven to actually be safer than skiing.
Even if we don't make a comparison to skiing, there are still big benefits to doing this sport. Firstly, it increases your flexibility and is an incredible aerobic exercise. You use almost all of your muscles and strengthen them, while also improving your balance and coordination. It is a great tool for fighting stress and anxiety, while it can instantly put you in a good mood.
To get a complete snowboarding experience and be safe, it's important to have full equipment. Besides the obvious, the snowboard, waterproof snow pants, jacket, gloves, a warm hat and polarized sunglasses are things that should be of high - quality material so that you don't get cold or too heavy to snowboard and move with ease. Things some people forget about are to wear long underwear, waterproof socks and a buff (a neck warmer). Snow boots are for the occasions when you're not on the hill. When you're fully equipped, it's time to decide where you will spend the next winter snowboarding.
New Zealand adventures
For those snowboarders who want to experience riding mountains in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand is the place to go.
Cardrona is probably the most popular place to go snowboarding in the country, partly because it's child - friendly and partly the slopes are wide open, meaning that it's perfect for beginners and intermediates. Even though it snows rarely, the slopes retain the snow just enough for your enjoyment.
Treble Cone, on the other hand, is reserved mostly for the advanced riders, as the amount of snow gets up to 1.5 meters. It offers the best possible terrain, together with the biggest ski - field and a high proportion of black runs. Only 10% of the terrain is suitable for beginners, but you get a free lift ticket for this part of the field.
Craigieburn can be best described as being cheap, as well as steep and deep. For any advanced snowboarder, that's a dream come true. The proportion of black runs is similar to Treble Cone, but everything else is quite different. The off-piste spreads to the whole area, allowing you to enjoy narrow chutes and powder bowls. It isn't in any way glamorous, so if you enjoy primitive and fun slopes for the experienced ones - this is a place for you.
The charm of Mt Hutt is that its terrain is appropriate for snowboarders of different levels of skill and experience. Off-piste lines are of varying difficulty, so anybody can pick what they like and feel ready for. Its genius combination of vertical and a steep pitch allows you to develop incredible speed. The only thing that could frustrate you is the unpredictable weather, but if you're in luck to visit the place after a heavy dump of snow, you'll have some amazing rides.
Japan's magical slopes
This country has some incredible places for snowboarding enthusiasts of all levels of experience, so it would be a waste not to try out what Japan has to offer.
Hakuba Valley in Nagano it's one of the most famous and biggest alpine resorts in the country. It's even been a host to the 1998 Winter Olympics, and for a good reason - there you can find amazing powder snow, excellent snowboarding and weather conditions, as well as beautiful peaks and valley covered with snow. It's easy to reach the location from Tokyo, and once you get there, you can choose among 11 ski resorts with more than 200 runs. The most popular resorts there are Shiga Kogen and Happo One, but you can't go wrong whichever you choose. The resorts are full of foreign tourists, but they still have the Japanese feel.
Hokkaido can boast of sheltering a truly unique place. This probably the most famous terrain covered with an incredible amount of snow in Japan Niseko - based area gets over 15 meters of snow on average. Niseko in Hokkaido is also the largest ski resort in the country, offering 47 km of terrain and 7 ski areas with regular soft and deep powder snow and long runs, making it perfect for beginners and intermediates, as well as for families. This resort is constantly on the "World’s Top” lists when it comes to snowboarding, and if you think about just how many competitive resorts there are in the world, it is an amazing achievement for this place.
Nozawa Onsen in Nagano is a cute hot spring village and a ski resort, here the abundance of snow will simply amaze you. Diverse terrain is what attracts different types of snowboarders, while the authentic Japanese culture is what keeps them occupied while resting. This is one of the oldest ski resorts in the country and offers more than 50km of terrain. Another big plus for this location is the opportunity to enjoy watching wild snow monkeys bathing in hot springs in the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park nearby.
All in all
Snowboarding is one of those sports that get under your skin and you get addicted really quickly. To use the maximum of this sport, it's highly important to choose the right place for you to go snowboarding, depending on your skills, knowledge and preferences. Keep in mind that safety goes before everything, so it's very important to have travel medical insurance, because, honestly – you’d rather be safe than sorry. Once you've got that covered, the only thing that remains is to spend the winter high with adrenaline, enjoying the snow, the sun and the speed.