Can You Snowboard In New Zealand

Can You Snowboard in New Zealand?

New Zealand is renowned for its stunning landscapes, thrilling outdoor activities, and breath-taking ski fields. So it is no surprise that many people chose to hit the slopes during their trip Down Under. But did you know, you can enjoy a whole range of winter sports such as snowboarding in New Zealand?

With the countries South Island offering a wonderful array of terrain perfect for snowboarding, tourists flock there in their thousands. From the wide open powder fields of the Remarkables, to the rolling countryside of Cardrona, and various local favourites in between, the country can be seen as a snowboarding mecca.

Though, it is worth noting that due to New Zealand’s unpredictable weather conditions, snow forecast can often change throughout the day and night. Therefore anyone considering venturing off to the countries ski fields it is highly advised to check the reliable forecast for any region in particular, before taking the plunge.

As well as checking forecasts, it is also essential to consider the level of terrain you are currently ready to tackle; and thankfully, New Zealand’s ski fields promote themselves with different skill levels making it easier for visitors to gain the necessary information before they commit to riding.

Out of the many ski fields available, Coronet Peak is seen as a great starting off point for snowboarders or skiers out in New Zealand. Asides from offering a beginner run area and terrain park, the ski resort is staffed with veteran shredders and keen guides both ready and willing to help visitors adjust to the different rises and terrains spread across the mountain.

Not to mention, visitors can also benefit from the countries renowned après ski lifestyle. Boasting great local pubs, bars, and eateries, who serve hearty burgers, and craft beers, visitors to New Zealand have a wonderful opportunity to refuel after a long day of shredding.

Advantages of Snowboarding in NZ

There are many advantages of snowboarding in New Zealand for adults, teens and kids alike. It’s best known for its abundance of ski fields that makes it easily accessible for people of all levels, and for its slopes and terrain park that can be accessed in a few hours drive from capital cities. Not to mention, its vast slopes often mean there’s plenty of room to explore, and if you’re feeling daring, there are plenty of exciting jumps you can make.

Moreover, New Zealand offers an array of international and local snowboarding events throughout the year; giving visitors the chance to take part in competitions, watch and learn from professional snowboarders, or even simply mingle with fellow shredders from across the world.

It often gets neglected to mention that New Zealand is also home to several licensed and certified snowboard schools. Not only does it offer individual tuition, but it also provides short classes for those who only plan on trying the sport for that session. As well as this, these courses also focus on safety, technique and that added fun factor when riding.

Though people of all ages may find snowboarding an enjoyable way of life, it also provides an excellent form of exercise. Not only does it help keep the heart and lungs healthy, it can also strengthen and shelter bones. It is also known to evoke mindfulness, build self-esteem and confidence, as well as reduce stress.

Gear Up for a Snowboarding Adventure

Whether you are a novice or a certified shredder, snowboarding in New Zealand offers you a wonderful opportunity to get outside and challenge yourself. So if you are feeling adventurous, the best thing to do is grab all the necessary gear – an appropriate set of snowboard boots, bindings, and board – and start exploring!

When it comes to finding the right gear for snowboarding, there are several renowned stores based in New Zealand, from Burton to Torpedo7 and ROXY, which offer quality products and prices that cater for all budgets. Most sport outlets also offer gear rental, making it more convenient for those who don’t own or wish to buy gear.

Now you know everything you need to embark on a snowboarding adventure in New Zealand – what are you waiting for?

Costs Involved

Regardless of the gear rental or purchase option, snowboarding, as with most winter sports, can be seen as an expensive endeavour. As such, it is always recommended that visitors research and budget accordingly before they take the plunge. This way, they can make sure that they have enough financial coverage in place when it comes to accommodation, lift passes, and food.

There are several ski field tours that cater to people of all budgets, as well as those who are willing to book last-minute deals. With various ski fields offering multi-day packages, snowboarders also have the opportunity to plan their stay in advance and sometimes even expect some discounts.

On the other hand, those on a tight budget, or are keen for a one-off snowboarding session can also take advantage of great local ski resorts; with Mt Hutt and Manchester offering day passes at a fraction of the cost of other ski fields.

Accessibility for Disabled Riders

Though New Zealand is blessed with an abundance of ski fields, it can be difficult for disabled riders to access certain resorts. The difficulty comes to the lack of ramps, wheelchair lifts, and other modifications, which can be an issue for those travelling with wheelchairs.

The good news is, New Zealand’s world-renowned ski fields, such as Cardrona, Treble Cone, and The Remarkables, are now using both ramps and chair lifts to make it easier for disabled riders to access certain runs and slopes. Unfortunately, it is worth noting that due to Covid-19, some of these areas may be unavailable.

However, for disabled riders, this means extra mountains to explore, slopes to ride and mountains of powder to shred!

Danger

As with any sport involving jumping, tricks, and gliding around terrain parks, there comes an element of danger. Despite the wide range of ski fields catering to all levels, safety should always be your first priority when heading out on the slopes.

In order to remain as safe as possible, it is advised that you check in with a local instructor prior to hitting the slopes – it is worth noting that the majority of ski fields provide this service to their guests. Not only will it help you become familiar with the ski field, but they could also identify any issues with certain slopes, terrain or runs.

Moreover, it is always important to listen to any mountain warnings or avalanche forecasts, as well as abide by any other ski field protocols. Additionally, wearing a helmet and protective clothing is essential when on the slopes, as well as keeping fit to make sure you are capable of skiing or snowboarder down the different slopes throughout the mountain. Lastly, be sure to take regular breaks to rest, refuel and avoid exhaustion.

Lessons

When choosing the best route to take when learning how to snowboard, it is always best to book a lesson with an experienced professional. Going with an instructor is not only reassuring but also essential, as it allows you to understand the fundamentals of the sport before venturing off.

Snowboarding lessons are often lead by experienced guides and professionals, who can provide you with the necessary tips to help you advance your skills on the slopes. Asides from providing you with safety guidance, they could also demonstrate how to turn and brake. These skills are highly essential as they will help you remain safe and in control during runs.

Another great perk of having a private lesson is the fact that you can have one customised to suit your individual style and preference. This allows riders to control their speed, as well as decide how daring they want to be on the slopes.

Off Season

Although winter sports is often associated to the months of snow and snowslides, it is always worth remembering that no matter what month you visit New Zealand, there is still a great opportunity to enjoy snowboarding.

For example, the ski field at The Remarkables is usually open by the third week of June, catering to locals, as well as international visitors. Moreover, the ski field is usually open until mid October, allowing visitors to enjoy the slops for weeks at a time.

It is worth noting, however, that different ski fields follow different timetables, with some deciding to open and close earlier or later than usual. As such, it is important to check each ski field to ensure it is open, prior to booking a place.

The off-season is also great for visitors looking for an adrenaline rush as, many skilled riders use this time to practice new tricks, as well as build new jumps. If you get lucky, you may even find yourself shredding on a mountain beside a pro!

New Zealand Snowboarding Culture

What makes snowboarding in New Zealand even more special is the countries rich culture surrounding it. From local pubs, bars and eateries, to snow fields full of different events, and friendly guides ready to help, shredding in NZ offers great atmosphere as well as an added social value.

Not only do ski fields offer a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow shredders from across the world, but it also allows riders to take part in different activities, competitions, and events. From competitions hosted by Burton to opening ceremonies held by Coronet Peak, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the wonderful culture that New Zealand has to offer.

No matter your skill level, budget or individual aspirations, New Zealand has something for everyone when it comes to snowboarding, reassuring why it is, and will remain, a snowboarding favourite for years to come.

Diana Booker

Diana D. Booker is a freelance writer and editor based in Auckland, New Zealand. She has over 20 years' experience writing and editing for various publications. Diana is passionate about telling stories that capture the spirit of the country she loves and enjoys exploring its unique culture and landscape.

Leave a Comment