You need snow to snowboard, right?
Along with the board, it’s a pretty important feature—it’s right there in the name!
Except, that’s not exactly the case.
Sure, you still need the board, but if the sun is out, the snow has gone, and you’re desperate to hone your snowboarding skills, you still have some options at your disposal.
Can You Practice Snowboarding In Summer?
In the proceeding sections, we’ll look at some ways that you can snowboard without snow and even practice at home, but if you’re prepared to travel, you can still find some snowboarding options in the middle of summer.
The following resorts are open during the summer months and offer winter-style boarding throughout:
- Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon: The only US entry on this list, Mt. Hood is open throughout the year.
- Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia: Blue skies, warm sun, copious amounts of sunscreen, and…snowboarding? It doesn’t sound right, but that’s what’s in store when you go glacier snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb.
- Ski Portillo, Chile: Famed for its dry powder and amazing views, this resort is open from the middle of June to the beginning of October. It’s very popular with pro skiers but it also limits the number of guests, so book early if you want a spot.
- Zermatt, Switzerland: A popular destination for pro European skiers and one that promises year-round snow.
- Las Lenas, Argentina: Located around an hour and a half from Buenos Aires, this summer snowboarding is easily one of the best in South America.
- Thredbo, Australia: When you think of Australia, you picture sun and surf, not snowboarding, but it does have a resort on the country’s tallest peak at Mt. Kosciuszko. Summer in the US is winter Down Under, but they don’t get anywhere near as much snow and so Thredbo has a snowmaking facility.
Snowboarding Without Snow
The best way to practice snowboarding when there isn’t any snow is to head to the dry slopes.
A dry slope is an artificial ski slope that uses snow-like materials that don’t melt.
If you had a bad experience with these slopes many years ago, give them another chance.
The technology has improved immensely over the years and huge sums of money have been spent on developing artificial materials that provide more grip and reliability than those early ski slopes.
Many of the best slopes use something known as Neveplast, which is perfect for downhill skiing and snowboarding.
The problem with these slopes is that most of them are in Europe, and there are very few in the United States.
There are many more of them in the UK for example, than there are in the United States.
One of the best options is Buck Hill in Minnesota.
It uses Neveplast and is lubricated regularly for optimal performance.
You can also check out Powder Ride in Connecticut or Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center in Virginia.
Other Ways Practice Snowboarding Without Snow
If you’re already pretty adept at snowboarding and want to build on that muscle memory without traveling to a dry slope or summer ski resort, you can try a similar sport.
There is no shortage of these available and while they’re not quite the same as snowboarding, they will help you to build your core strength, practice your balance, and even help you to master a few tricks.
- Sandboarding: A pro snowboarder may feel a little frustrated when sandboarding, as it’s difficult to gain a lot of speed and the board doesn’t carve as easily. But the good thing is that it can be performed in the height of summer and you don’t need to be near the coast. Just look for some sandy dunes, make sure the board has plenty of wax, and start riding!
- Surfing: It’s snowboarding, but on water. Okay, so that’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s still a board, you still need to focus on your balance, and you can practice a few air tricks as well. Most importantly, surfing is the ultimate summer sport and as long as you’re near the coast, you’re good to go.
- Skateboarding: Can’t get to the coast? Try skateboarding instead. The board is a little more similar to a snowboard and if you want to ignore the technicalities, you can think of it as a snowboard with wheels and without bindings. Skating is a great way to practice your tricks for the slopes. You can opt for vert skating, street skating, or part skating, or you can pick up a longboard and try some downhill carving.
How To Learn Snowboarding in the Summer
If you’re completely new to snowboarding and also struggle to skate, surf, or even maintain your balance, the above sports are probably not the best way to practice.
In such cases, you should look for a balance board. It will help you to learn the basics, emphasizing the balance aspects.
It’s the thing that most beginners struggle with and is a fundamental skill for all board sports.
If you can spend several months mastering the balance board, you’ll have a much easier time of it when snowboard season comes around.
At the same time, you can use a trampoline and a snowboard to practice air control, body position, and tricks.
Practice jumping straight and get used to being in the air on your skateboard, and then progress to learning some tricks.
YouTube can help you with this, and you will even find a number of guides based around trampoline snowboarding practice.
Finally, build your cardio and strength.
You’re going to need a lot of core strength and leg strength, so exercises like ab crunches, planks, squats, and deadlifts will help.
Jogging, running, rowing, and other cardio exercises will build your lung capacity and general fitness, as well.
Snowboarding may look like an easy cruise downhill, but it takes a lot out of you and you need to be prepared.
After all, you don’t want to spend all summer preparing just to injure your legs on the first winter ride or spend your first week with crippling DOMS.