It's been said so many times and yet it hasn't lost any of its truth - snowboarding is more than a sport, it's a way of life. What could be better than powdering through freshly fallen snow? Whether on wide, freshly groomed slopes, off-piste in deep snow or with stylish lines through the fun park - gliding down into the valley on your board is simply pure freedom.
If you've got the urge now and are already planning a snowboarding holiday in your mind, we offer you the perfect overview with this guide. Here you can find out everything you need to know - from the right snowboard set-up to the perfect ski resort. We answer important questions, for example, how quickly can I learn to snowboard? Or how much will the equipment cost? We prepare you for your first adventure on the slopes.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SWITCH FROM SKIING TO SNOWBOARDING?
WHEN AM I AN ADVANCED SNOWBOARDER?
Once you have successfully completed the first few days on the practice hill and have mastered the basics, you are ready for your first trip on a real slope. On a wide beginner's slope, it's enough if you can safely edge up or carve turns and brake well. However, if you want to get through a fun park safely, you should also be able to ride backwards safely. When carving wide turns, try riding a few metres to fakie, i.e. backwards. If you can safely switch from regular to fakie position and back again, you are ready for your first laps in the fun park. You also need special skills for free-riding off-piste. In deep snow, the weight should always be on the back foot, otherwise you can quickly dig your nose into the snow. You should also be aware of the avalanche danger in open terrain and inform yourself about the avalanche warning levels!
Gröden und Seiser Alm
SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental
Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn
Silvretta Arena Ischgl-Samnaun
3. TIPS FOR ACCOMMODATION AND COSTS
Once you have found your ski resort, you will of course need suitable accommodation. Since travel and ski passes are often quite expensive, there are suitable accommodations for every budget. Cheap doesn't have to mean bad - on the contrary, winter camping or stylish hostels are very popular, especially with young people. The prices for accommodation and ski passes vary greatly here, too, of course, and depend on the ski area. While smaller day passes, for example, are available for as little as 20 euros, ski passes for a week often cost several hundred euros. However, this also includes the use of all lifts and cable cars. Complete ski trips including transport, ski pass and accommodation are often offered for 300 to 400 euros. Of course, you can also plan everything yourself. Here are the most common accommodations for skiing holidays.
FLATS AND HOLIDAY HOMES
4. HIT THE SLOPES!
Every larger ski resort also offers modern fun parks where you can really let off steam in terms of freestyle. In addition to kickers and jump ramps, there is often also a half pipe and various rail constructions. Whether it's 360 Bs Grab or Lipslide to Fakie - you can have a really good time in a fun park. Locals often shape small kickers off-piste to ride a gap in a natural ambience. Just keep your eyes open for spots on your next freeride. The temptation is great, but if it's your first time on a snowboard, you should stick to flatter practice slopes at first. You can recognise these by the green markings, blue slopes are for beginners with a little experience or those returning to the sport, red slopes are for advanced skiers and black slopes are for real experts. Some ski areas also have slopes exclusively for snowboarders. These pistes are characterised by few draw sections and a varied route profile. Unprepared ski routes are for deep snow lovers. These are often located away from the prepared pistes.
4.1. OVERVIEW OF THE DIFFERENT SLOPES
|Type of piste||Descriptio||Gradient||Ski area|
|Green or practice slopes||suitable for beginners to practice correct falling first turns||from 6 to 25 percent||Winterberg
|Blue||Blue for beginners and returning skiers, families with children Try out techniques||up to 25 percent||Winterberg
|Red||medium difficulty for advanced skiers moderate challenge||up to 40 percent||Saalbach
|Schwarz||Black for professionals and experts requires experience and safety on the board World Cup format||over 40 per cent||Sölden, the "black cannon barrel" is one of the most notorious black slopes
Davos-Kloster in der Schweiz
|Exclusively for snowboarders||few flat "draw sections" natural obstacles kickers and jump ramps||average gradient||Oberstdorf-Kleinwalsertal
|Unprepared ski routes||untouched deep snow less "traffic"||different variations||Various backcountry tours|
|Funparks||Fun parks for tricks and jumps moderate gradient of various difficulty levels||up to 40 percent||Zillertal
4.2. EVENTS AND APRÉS-SKI
Skiing holidays and après-ski simply belong together. A day on the slopes makes you thirsty, so after the last descent you meet in the valley for a few drinks. People celebrate and dance to exuberant party music until it's time to hit the slopes again the next day. Here are the five most popular après-ski parties in the Alps.
1. ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL IN SÖLDEN
At the Electric Mountain Festival, the biggest DJs of the electro scene come to Sölden every year to celebrate a gigantic après-ski party at 2300 m above sea level.
2. Top of the Mountain concerts in Ischgl
Top international stars do the honours at the Top of the Mountain concerts in Ischgl every year, such as rock legend Lenny Kravitz in 2019.
3. après-ski hits at the Mooserwirt in St. Anton.
Here the name says it all. At the Après-Ski-Hits at the Mooserwirt, the big names of the party scene come together. If you like Ballermann flair in the mountains, you'll love it here.
4th Rave on Snow in Saalbach-Hinterglemm
The beginnings of Rave on Snow go back more than 25 years, when a few snowboarders had a party in the mountains. In the meantime, the electro festival is known beyond the region and features the hottest DJs in the line-up.
5. Tomorrowland Winter
Tomorrowland Winter is the snow version of the Belgian electro festival. In the unique atmosphere of the infamous ski resort Alpe d'Huez in France, you can experience a unique trip.
5. WHICH RIDING STYLE SUITS ME?
Not all snowboarding is the same. There are many different ways of doing this sport. The riding styles differ both in the type of terrain profile and in the demands on the board. From freeride style, which can be ridden on any terrain, to back-country riders, who prefer to ride off-piste in deep snow, to freestyle, where tricks and slides play a major role, there is also a suitable set-up for each style. Freestyle snowboarding usually takes place in parks or halfpipes. Since there is a lot of "to fakie" riding, it is important that the board can be ridden both forwards and backwards. Race boards, for example, which are all about getting down the slope as fast as possible, are less suitable for riding backwards because of their straight tails.
- Freeride board
- Race board
- Carving board
- Freestyle board
These are the most common snowboard variants. Here you will also find a detailed guide to the boards.
6. NOW AT PLANET SPORTS: VIDEO BUYING ADVICE
But there's a lot more to it than just finding the right deck. If all the new terms are too much for you, we'll be happy to advise you online with our video buying guide. Via YouTube video we help you with the right snowboard length, binding assembly and the right snowboard boots.
Of course, a complete set of snowboarding equipment is expensive and you can easily spend a few hundred euros on board, boots and equipment. If you are on a snowboarding holiday for the first time, you can easily rent your set-up. This way you can test out which style suits you best. If you get board fever after your first trip and want to hit the slopes regularly from now on, it is of course a good idea to get your own equipment. Generally speaking, renting equipment for a week costs about 150 euros. Accordingly, the purchase costs of your own equipment will already have paid for themselves after two or three holidays.
7.1. WHAT YOU NEED BESIDES YOUR BOARD
8. HOLIDAY CHECKLIST
Have I thought of everything? Before your trip starts, you should carefully check what you actually need to take with you. Here is the ultimate checklist for your snowboarding holiday to make it as easy as possible:
- Snowboard boots
- Snowboard bindings
- Snowboard jacket
- Snowboard gloves
- (Back) protectors
- Snowboard hat
- Snowboard helmet
- Snowboard goggles(For bad weather. With vision enhancement, UV protection, etc.)
- Snowboard socks
- Snowboard functional underwear
- Fleece underjackets (To lock up your gear at the station)
- Avalanche rescue kit
- Car roof rack
- Spare parts kit
- First aid kit
9. FAQ: SNOWBOARDING
If you already have experience on the slopes through skiing, you can rent a board for a day during your ski holiday. Or simply ask a friend with a similar boot size if you can ride their set-up once. Particularly at the beginning and end of the season, people who have changed skis can rent at particularly favourable conditions.
Yes, these slopes are usually a bit wider so that you can carve really nicely. In addition, snowboard slopes have few or no flat sections. In addition, there are always small obstacles on snowboard slopes, such as benches or ramps, where you can throw in a few tricks.
Riding the chairlift is a challenge for many newcomers. But it's actually not that difficult: simply take your back foot out of the binding and, similar to skateboarding, give it a boost with your foot. After you have taken your seat, you can simply place the board on the footrests provided.
If you can't or don't want to leave your board by your feet, the gondolas have devices on the outside of their cabins where you can put your winter sports equipment.
Of course, snowboard boots are not primarily designed for walking around a lot, but they don't break right away. So-called soft boots are a bit more comfortable than hard boots made of plastic and can also be worn during the après-ski party without any problems.
It depends on how and where you ride. Freestyle boarders who fly around a lot or slide over rails should definitely use a back protector. If you only want to carve a little on the slopes, you don't necessarily have to wear a protector. However, it is never wrong.
That depends on your personal feeling. In general, however, you should bear in mind that you will start to sweat quite a bit during the descent. Warm ski socks also make a good contribution to heat regulation.
This is probably the question most beginners ask themselves. In any case, you should start slowly, but not too slowly either, otherwise you'll soon be sitting on the seat of your trousers again. Try to stretch out your arms a little and keep your balance. When carving deep, you can of course also try to support yourself with your hands on the slope. The shoulder movement usually determines the direction of the carve.
10. SUMMARY: OFF TO YOUR SNOWBOARDING HOLIDAY!
If you know which ski resort you want to go to, what you need to consider on site and what equipment you need, then you are well on the way to your perfect snowboarding holiday. Are you still missing something? Then take a look around our snowboard shop. Stock up on your essentials at Planet Sports - and then off you go for winter fun!