Summer Snowboarding IdeasEditors Pick
The summer is upon us and it may feel like now would be a good time to cry and hide in a man-cave of pizza and xbox until the magical white stuff returns from on high.
While that would be pretty sweet, minus the crying part, a better option would be to read on.
Below you’ll find out how to keep your snow legs fit and even lay some groundwork for new tricks ready for the coming season, whilst having an epic time!
There are a few obvious things you can do like go for a surf, but there’s also a ton of other snowboarding related ‘training’ activities you can try. Some you might not have considered before.
‘Training?’….sounds a bit intense for me? Dont worry, when we say training, we actually mean having a load of fun and doing sports/activities that are complementary to snowboarding.
Grab a beer/energy drink as this is a long one!
There are a load of awesome summer sports that you can do to keep those shred legs firing on all cylinders over the warmer months. In no particular order..
A great one for overall fitness, staying cool (or frozen if you live in the north of england/scotland).
This one can be a bit of a shock to the system for snowboarders used to riding a convenient chair lift up the mountain.
Yes you do have to put in some effort to get the best waves.
You will need to fight and claw your way out to the breakers.
No real way around this unless you are some surfing ninja and love a spot of big wave surfing, only then will it be acceptable to have a jet ski tow you out.
Effort requirements aside, if you are up for the challenge, surfing is one of the staples of off season ‘training’ for some of the best snowboarders in the world. See you out there!
Another classic offseason snowboarder past time. Ok not just reserved for the summer months, but it’s a bit tricky to find decent spots in ski resorts during January, plus is fucking cold.
Grab a deck, hit the pavement and suck up the slams because you will end the summer with less skin that you started with.
Though don’t let that put you off, chicks dig scars, but seriously skateboarding will massively help your balance and creativity.
Just check out the master of creative freestyle, one foot, no feet, awesomesauce snowboarding, Scott Stevens.
Similar to skateboarding but less freestyle orientated. So if you prefer big mountain snowboarding and dream about big sweeping turns through deep pow then this is a great summer alternative.
Longboards are obviously much bigger than traditional skateboards and allow the rider to travel at more speed without the fear of the dreaded speed wobble.
You can quickly pick up some speed and experience long sweeping carving esque turns.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
This is a more chilled option for those of you who are perhaps beyond your hardcore GNAR days and would rather keep the skin on you hands intact.
Though having said this, paddleboarding can be as rad as surfing, some hard core surf traditionalists would disagree with you so careful who you a bragging to about your wave of the day!
Paddleboarding is great as it’s much more accessible than most action sports. You are not really reliant on the weather or the environments for momentum.
Which means it’s down to you to do the pushing. It’s not that bad though.
SUP can be done in a variety of locations from the sea, the surf, lakes, rivers. You can even go Paddleboarding in central London!
SUP is for all people of any ability so make sure you give it a go this summer.
Wakeboarding / Wakeskate
A bit more expensive than skating or surfing, but wakeboarding is epic if you have a wake park nearby or access to a wake boat. The feeling of gliding across a glassy lake on a summer’s evening is unreal.
Throw in some obstacles to hurl yourself at / off and you have a summer snowboarders heaven. Mechanical momentum, sliding sideways and a park to dick around in.
Now go make friends with the local wakepark owners or boat owners. If you’re in Devon, check out North Devon Wake Park (NDWP) and tell them Dan sent you.
Snowboarding Related Summer Activities
- Build your own indo board / wobble / balance board
- Build your own back garden park set up
This has to be one of the best summer backyard activities. Not only is trampolining generally awesome, it can be a great way to practice and learn new tricks.
The controlled airtime you get gives you chance after chance to try new tricks. No chairlifts or pipes to hike here, just bounce, flip, spin, cork away till your legs or lungs give up on you!
To make it even more realistic of snowboarding, you can buy a special foam board to strap to your feet. This gives you the feeling of having your legs as one unit and will help you to stick the landing when you take these tricks to the snow.
A word of caution though, just because you can rodeo on a trampoline, doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy on icy kickers! Best to try those tricks into an airbag first, which leads me onto airbags…
You can hit up your local snow dome or dry ski slope on the days they have their airbags out to practice new tricks over the summer months. More on snow domes / dry slopes further below.
If you don’t want to shell out for a special foam board you can still mess around with a skateboard deck like Scotty Stevens does here
2. Build your own Indo Board / balance board
Indo boards are sick, but if you’d rather not shed out any of the moneys you don’t have – because you already spent it all on your season – then here is a sweet way to make your own.
Check out the video here
The main points of the video for those of you who are too broke to afford decent 4G or wifi..
- Grab yourself a 2 litre (or bigger) bottle of soft drink
- Drink said soft drink
- Fill up the empty bottle with water. Make sure it’s as full as it possibly can be, we’re talking zero air bubbles, ok 1 or 2 are allowed.
- Pop the cap back and on twist it tight, as tight as a (insert inappropriate joke)
- Grab yourself an old skateboard deck – I’m assuming that you have one lying around somewhere, if not find a strong piece of wood.
- And you’re set! Place the board over the bottle and give it a go!
- ‘elf and safety warning – don’t be a dick, if you’re not sure about this, hold on to something first time, its harder than it looks!
- Bonus – balance boards are great not only for general balance but also for practicing rails / boxes.
Practice doing boardslides and keeping your arms inline with the bottle, not the board,
helps you pop out in the same direction you rode in.
If you want to spin out or pop off switch, then keep your arms inline with the board.
3. Build your own back garden park / rail set up
Another one for those creative types, you can build some pretty sweet set ups for rail riding in your back garden.
A few common materials can be bought from your local DIY shops to build the main ramps and rails. Acquiring something to slide on such as dry slope materials can be a bit trickier.
Though of the many dry ski slopes dotted around the UK, they usually have some spare cut off pieces of Snowflex or Dendix lying around that you might be able to have/buy off them.
For those looking for a big project, check out this Big Air set up…
It’s fair to say that Windells take the award for the best back yard set up, though they do have access to above average facilities
4. Hit gym before you hit the kickers
The gym might not be the first place you would choose to spend your summer days especially if you’re an outdoorsy type, which most of us are.
Though before you write off the gym completely it does have some positives.
Obviously the gym helps you generally stay fit. There are also tons of snowboard specific exercises to try to make you feel like a superhuman when you next hit the slopes.
Your buddies will be aching for days after their first day on the hill next season, and you’ll be fine because you did some work over the summer.
Another incentive is that I’m a firm believer of, is that if you put in some time at the gym you can safely enjoy some of life’s calorific luxuries, aka beer 😀
Check out this guide from BodyBuilding.com for some more details on specific snowboarding gym exercises.
Summer Snowboarding (on an actual snowboard!)
I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it is possible to snowboarding over the summer. I’m sure most of you knew that already, though you might not know all the options…
This is the holy grail of summer snowboarding. Unfortunately the perfect conditions tend to only be accessible during a narrow window of time.
Glacier snowboarding usually goes something like this…
You get up at the crack of dawn and head up several bubbles/chairlifts to reach a bulletproof icey park.
You ride for about 20 minutes and manage to slam a few times, removing some skin and pride in the process because you are most likely only wearing a t shirt or thin hoodie.
The ice promptly turns to slush as the sun gets going and any slams at this stage are rewarded with soaking wet gear.
So far not so positive, yet this is actually the absolute best summer snowboarding you can do.
The park is icy for a bit, just don’t go too hard first thing unless you’re a pro.
Once the lush arrives, just enjoy it, it’s like a shit version or powder (positive thinking!), try to float your way through it.
Always remember, when your legs are feeling heavy from the slush fest or you nearly slam from an edge catch, that it’s much worse / harder work for our 2 planked friends.
There isn’t really much of a better vibe than a glacier session.
Almost guaranteed blue bird sunshine, snowboarding, a park, beers, BBQs, babes, soft landings (not first thing!) and afterwards you get to head down the hill for an outdoor swim at the end of the day!
Top tip, don’t forget your suncream!! You will burn.
This is the best that the UK has to offer in terms of snowboarding on actual snow, excluding our scottish friend’s mountains of course.
We can’t all be blessed enough to live in close proximity to the mountains so snow domes are our next best bet.
- The Snow Center at Hemel Hempstead offers a 160 meter long x 30 meters wide slope.
- Freestyle nights are also held here on a Thursday and Friday night.
Having personally ridden at this evening many times, I can say that its a great atmosphere and all abilities are welcomes and encouraged by their fellow riders.
Top tip is to get there early as the kickers can get tracked out pretty quickly. Also make sure to pre book to save yourself up to £9 on entry.
The other snow domes dotted around the country include:
Dry slopes, I have a love hate relationship with dry slopes but if you have one local to you, then it’s definitely worth checking out.
Now, riding on dry slope is not much like riding real snow. If you’ve ridden snow some snow and thought it was a bit weird, then you’re in for a shock.
That being said, if you have a weird love of the challenge of riding on ice then dry slopes might excite you! As that’s the closest description I can give for it.
Ok don’t be too put off by this as it is still the most similar you’ll get if you’re far from a snow dome and it is actually great fun once you get used to it.
Dry slope has definitely improved my balance and got me out of a few sketchy situations on the mountain when I’ve hit a patch of bulletproof black ice.
There are loads of dry slopes dotted around the UK, a lot of them have park features and even airbags. Check out this map to find your nearest one.
Pro tip, don’t ride your usual board as it will get wrecked. And make sure to resist the urge to spread your fingers and thumbs when you fall, they will get stuck!
The Great Southern Hemisphere Migration
This is for those of you who pretty much hate summer and are intent on shredding the white stuff 365.
There are a few options for travelling to follow the snowfall but the most popular are New Zealand, Australia (wtf?! – yeh they have mountains and snow!), Argentina.
Like any season you can do various things while you’re there to pay for your lift pass. Bar staff, hotel staff, Wait tables, lifties, instruct lessons etc
Many of these resorts are much smaller than their northern hemisphere cousins so don’t expect the backcountry that British Colombia can provide.
Though conditions can be epic and as they have less terrain to work with, some resorts have stunning parks to lap.
And that’s it! Get out there and get ‘training’ for next season!
Did we miss any rad summer snowboarding options that are ideal for snow deprived snowboarders? Let us know in the comments.
If you and your buddies are looking for what to do this summer, share this with them, then get out there and shred!