Snowboarders are a common sight on slopes around the world today, but compared to skiing this is a relatively new sport.
In fact, the first commercial snowboards didn’t appear until 1965, when inventive father Sherman Poppen invented the ‘snurfer’, a surfboard designed for use on snow, constructed from two skis bolted together with a rope attached for balance. It has since developed from a rebellious upstart sport to a firm fixture at the Winter Olympics and it’s popularity continues to grow each year.
If you’re a rider planning your next winter adventure, the Alps are arguably the best place in the world to carve up the slopes and with that in mind, here are a few gnarly French snowboarding resorts for your delectation.
A gorgeous resort in the Tarentaise Valley, Tignes has always welcomed snowboarders, it hosts several high-profile snowboarding events and many professional teams train here.
The Grande Motte Glacier provides the perfect powdery conditions for you to ride here for up to 11 months a year and the main snowpark has a big airbag where you can practice wild jumps safely before heading out to the open slopes, as well as several jibs and kickers to iron out your technique. There’s also a brilliant ‘Shoot My Ride’ system that records your run so that you can download it later and share on social media.
Tip: watch this Tignes snowboarding video to get your pulse racing!
One of the most accessible areas in the French Alps for snowboarders, Arc 2000 is definitely worth your consideration.
The Les Arcs Snowpark has three pistes, a pipe, whoops and jumps for beginners, a box and four lines of kickers for intermediates polishing their jumps and a shred line for advanced riders. You’ll also find a boardercross park in the nearby village of Arc 1600 and there’s another dedicated area for riders at the top of the Col de Chal called The Rodeo Park, which you can reach via the Transarc Gondola Lift.
Tip: book an Arc 2000 holiday online with Erna Low and customise every component of your trip.
Part of Les Portes du Soleil ski area, the snow-reliable north facing slopes of Avoriaz are ideal for riders of all abilities, it was the first resort in Europe to open a snowboarding area to visitors and has expanded its outstanding snowboarding offering ever since.
The Stash is a cool eco-snowpark area designed by the legendary Jake Burton, it’s nestled in the middle of a forest and features lots of wonderful wooden obstacles and three slopes for beginner, intermediate and advanced boarders that contain lots of hidden passageways. Alternatively, for off-the-beaten-track fun, hire a guide and head to Fornet ̶ a fab freeride area just a couple of chairlift rides away, where there’s lots of fresh powder, cliff drops and more!
Tip: younger boarders should head to Lil Stash, the junior version of Burton’s pleasure park.
Whatever your snowboarding ability, you’ll have an absolute blast in any of these brilliant locations! Have you been snowboarding before?