In 1998 snowboarding became an official Winter Olympic Sport. Since then it has taken off and today it is among the fastest-growing outdoor sports in the world. Many mountain resorts now cater to the boarders and surfers who live to ride the dreamy white powder slopes, terrain parks, and halfpipes the world over. If you are a hard core boarder in search of a fresh, new experience and some snow you can practice your back flip on, you can satisfy your craving for downhill action at any one of these top 5 snowboarding destinations of the world.
Whistler Blackcomb (Canada)
No top 5 list would be credible without a mention of Whistler Blackcomb – believed by many to be among the best ski resorts on earth. Making this a premium destination is the sheer amount of real estate dedicated to downhill sports, nearly 8000 acres in total. So choice is this destination that it was used in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Unbelievably gorgeous terrain combined top-flight amenities puts Whistler in the league of world class super-resorts.
Niseko is a little town located in the Abuta District of Shiribeshi, Hokkaido, Japan. To the locals, Niseko refers to a mountain range and a nearby mountain resort that is by all accounts “par excellence”. It is perhaps one of the top ski resorts in all of Japan for being accessible even in near blizzard weather conditions. You can ride to the top in comfort in one of the many luxury gondolas or sheltered chairlifts. In Niseko bad weather by no means assures you of bad visibility. Due to the relatively low altitude there is rarely a true whiteout, a condition not uncommon for the higher up European and North American resorts. Also, the sushi and the sake are not too hard to take, so anyway you look at it, snowboarding in Japan is a lot of fun.
Chamonix, France has an appeal that is difficult to match. It is the number one destination for European snowboarders and if you have ever been there, you will immediately know why. Chamonix is a true party town. Known as the “Alpine playground”, Chamonix might just be the home of the most picturesque mountains in the world. No other resort can compare with the stunning Aiguille du Midi or the imperturbable VallÃ©e Blanche.
Mammoth Mountain (USA)
There are three world-class terrain parks and two continuously operating superpipes at this honey of a winter sports resort. At an altitude of 2,300 feet, Mammoth Mountain, in California enchants snowboarders from the tail end of October all the way to early June. Reasonably priced accommodations abound, and it is easy to get to via the Reno airport. If you need an endorsement, take note that Shaun White the Olympic gold medal winner and X Games champion has a full season pass at Mammoth Mountain. That should say it all.
Jackson Hole (USA)
The Jackson Hole mountain resort is an all American winter sports playground where cowboys, saloon drinkers, hot tubbers, skiers and snowboarders all come together on the same mountain. Jackson Hole is situated within a vast valley in the midst of the Grand Teton range. It may not be the cheapest resort in the world, but it just might be the most vertical sporting a 4,000 plus foot drop. Rated the number one ski resort by Forbes magazine, Jackson Hole is also a magnet for freestylers who want to up their game shredding the big Stash. If you are amenable to a top-shelf snowboarding experience, then Jackson Hole with its fancy drinks, millionaire cowboys, celebrity sightings, and enhanced freeriding environments might just be the ticket.