The Coolest French Resorts for Snowboarders
Snowboarding is now an Olympic sport with its own culture, stars, terminology, professional teams, and global events calendar and there are a host of forms, including backcountry, freestyle, freeriding and Alpine racing.
However, it was only in 1994 that the IOF forbade Norway from including a snowboard demonstration in the opening ceremony of the Lillehammer Winter Olympics and 1965 when US inventor Sherman Poppen nailed two of his daughter’s skis together to form a basic board which he christened the ‘snurfer’.
When you consider that there’s evidence people have been skiing in some form for thousands of years, the evolution of snowboarding has been incredibly rapid.
For many riders, the French Alps will always be the sport’s spiritual home and as well as the pristine pow, there’s awesome apres-ski. With that in mind, here are some rad French Resorts for snowboarders which should whet your adventurous appetite.
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With stunning mountain landscapes, endless blue skies, perfect pistes terrific terrain parks, fab freeride areas and brilliant bars, cafes and clubs, Avoriaz is seventh heaven for most snowboarders.
The Stash is an innovative free-ride park nestled in the middle of the forest with wall rides, tables, huts and other wild and wonderful wooden obstacles for you to navigate, while the Lil Stash is the junior version for younger riders and has excellent powder runs as well as similar obstacles.
The Chapelle Snowpark is another highlight and there are jumps, kickers, rails and boxes aplenty, plus it’s a very welcoming and inclusive vibe where more experienced riders are delighted to share tips and advice to novices. In terms of apres-ski, Le Tavaillon is best for beers and TV sports and Danish bar Le Place hosts live music, dancing and a wide choice of refreshments.
A snow sure resort with high-altitude slopes up to a heady 3568m, plenty of off-piste opportunities, and a buzzing party scene, Tignes is another favorite French Alps resort for snowboarders.
Furthermore, the villages of Tignes-Le-Lac, Le Lavachet, and Val Claret are compact and manageable, the season stretches from mid-November to May and it’s a more affordable option than neighboring Val d’Isére.
The main snowpark here is accessed via the Grattalu chairlift and has several small kickers and jibs, with a larger line available from the Palet drag lift.
On your way back to your village you can have fun in the full-sized halfpipe or practice your jumps on the big airbag without fear of wiping out with a hard landing.
In the evenings you can party with pals old and new at the Marmot Arms and bust a move to hip hop and drum ‘n bass at late-night spot Melting Pot. Book a package deal with NUCOTravel and bag accommodation close to the apres-ski action.
These couple of cool French Alps snowboarding resorts are just the tip of the iceberg, but they provide evidence enough that every rider should complete a pilgrimage here!
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