Some questions in life are hard to answer: like, “How long is a piece of string?” Others are far simpler – and when we hear the answer, it makes sense. When does snowboarding season start? is one of these questions and we hear it cyclically when cold season is back.
Now, this might be the first thing you should ask about before you book your scenic snowy trip. Because, unless you fancy boarding down icy mountains, or bare rocks, you might be in for a nasty surprise when you arrive at your destination!
Fortunately, we’ve got tonnes of experience in the Great Outdoors and in reading the seasons of hotspots around the globe. We know the best time for excited snowboarders to – ahem – get on board. And we’re about to share our insights with you now! So sit back, relax and let us tell you all you need to know for timing your next trip.
Different Locations = Different Seasons
Obviously, when working out when is snowboarding season, it will depend on where you want to go. Snowboarding season in Australia, for instance, might be at a very different time of year than say, in France. Winter season will vary with location.
So you have two options:
● Base your trip on location: If you have your heart set on a particular destination, figure out when snowboarding season is at its peak there. (Don’t worry, this post should help you out with that!)
● Time it first, decide where later: Many of us don’t have the luxury of choosing when we can set off to our dream snowboarding destination. We may be limited to going to these places during the Christmas or summer holidays, or whenever we can get time off work. So narrow down your search by seeing where’s good for snowboarding during your window of free time.
Best Time of Year for Snowboarding in…
North America & Canada / South America
Whizz around Whistler or cruise along the shores of Lake Tahoe for a hefty portion of the year. In general, you can book your trip anytime between late November and late April and expect plenty of snow.
If South America’s calling you, check out the slopes of the Andes – which divide Argentina and Chile – from mid-July to September. Yes, it’s a narrow window, but those views will be worth it!
Similar enough to the US – but of course, seasons may vary depending on the country and even the popularity of that particular resort. But as a rule of thumb, you should be able to enjoy open slopes and plenty of snow from November to May. In terms of our top picks, we just love Kitzbühel in Austria. It’s a charming place, and the first town in the Alpine region to be certified for the European hiking seal of quality. So one of your group doesn’t feel like snowboarding…they can take a hike!
Australia & New Zealand
It may surprise you to learn that Australia is actually home to several snowboarding and ski resorts, especially around New South Wales and Victoria. New Zealand, however, holds better slopes – such as the steep descents of Mount Ruapehu. Snowboarding season for both countries typically runs between June and late September. So if you want a winter sport during your summer holidays, that’s where you should be headed!
You could try out somewhere extra exotic and venture to Japan for your snowboarding needs! Plus, although daily living isn’t exactly cheap in Japan, ski passes are actually pretty good value compared to North American or European resorts. The best time to visit Japan for snowboarding is between December and May. You might even catch the cherry blossom season while you’re there, too!
When Does Snowboarding Season Start?
Even though we’ve shared a few different locations, you might see a pattern emerging. In the northern hemisphere, snowboarding season typically starts in late November. Sometimes it can be earlier, sometimes it can be later. It all depends on the level of snowfall that year, plus on other factors like elevation – areas with higher elevations tend to have longer snowboarding seasons.
In the southern hemisphere, snowboarding season usually starts at the onset of winter there – so, around June. If you live in the northern hemisphere and can only take a break during the school summer holidays…well then, you may be headed for South America or Australia for your big adventure.
When Does Snowboarding Season End?
This also depends on the year: the amount of snow that’s fallen, the elevation and the destination itself (whether there’s enough tourism going on to justify keeping ski schools open, and so on).
In general though, snowboarding season in the northern hemisphere often ends mid-April or early May. Unless that location is perched on top of a glacier, or it’s had a really high level of snow that year. Note: lots of people like to visit these areas during the Easter holidays, so prices of flights and accommodation might be higher. Something to bear in mind!
In the southern hemisphere, you’re looking at September for end-of-season snowboarding. So you could always keep the kiddies out of school for a week to avail of the best rates!
Final Thoughts: Flow with the Seasons!
Hopefully, this post has given you some food for thought when planning your next trip. And that now you’ll be confident in knowing when snowboarding season does start.
There’s nothing worse than arriving at a ski resort when there’s no snow. Nor is it enjoyable to arrive during the height of the season: when prices are high, queues are long and slopes are packed.
So we’d recommend planning your trip a fortnight after the season starts OR before it ends. That way, you should get a decent level of snow…but you’ll also get to enjoy a calmer, less crowded, environment.
So get your globe, or Google Maps out and pick where you want to go next. Does its snowboarding season fit in with the time you can take off work? If so, go for it – and have a great trip!