Snowboarding is often thought of as being easier to learn than skiing, and this can be true to a certain degree. Many people find they can progress from novice to intermediate in snowboarding much faster than the same progression in skiing.
However, from the point of intermediate onwards, snowboarding can actually be much harder to get better at without proper tuition and lots of experience. Taking lessons at every stage is essential both to progress and to avoid injury. Some facts about common snowboarding injuries can be found in the infographic attachment to this post.
To avoid injury and get to a higher skill level takes practice, proper teaching and experience of lots of different types of terrain. Razi Salih enjoys snowboarding along with many other types of extreme sport, so he knows the importance of staying safe when training. Some snowboarding safety tips can be viewed in the embedded PDF.
Once enough experience has been gained, there are some exciting snowboarding terrains to experiment with for the more experienced.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte in Colorado attracts many experienced extreme snowboarders each year, drawn by the challenging terrain. Features include ultra-steep runs with trees, bumps, chutes and rocky terrain. This location is so renowned for its exciting landscape that the annual Extreme Snowboard and Ski Championships in the United States are held here each year.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole in Wyoming has many great slopes to experience but is most famous for its Corbet’s Couloir run. This particular run begins with a straight drop of 30 feet and continues with many more challenges ideally suited for thrill-seeking extreme snowboarders. Other chutes and runs include bowl-filled backcountry gates and double black diamonds.
Avoriaz in France is known as one of the best resorts for extreme snowboarding in Europe, featuring a half-pipe as well as four terrain parks including an ecological snow park (The Stash). Arare appeals to more advanced boarders, with a super-pipe, kickers, rails and corner jumps to navigate. A long-jib monster can be found at the Biotop, while those newer to freestyling may prefer the runs at La Chappelle which are designed to help them hone and practice their skills. The resort also has links to nearby off-piste areas ideal for shredding.
Squaw Valley, California
The key aspect that makes Squaw Valley in California stand out is the amount of expert terrain that is unmarked. The definitions between advanced and expert terrain are therefore blurred, offering exciting adventures for extreme snowboarders and skiers.
Livigno in Italy features several wide open slopes but also some tough terrain, including a bordercross course, half-pipe, rails and jumps just off the Mottolino gondola. Located near the Swiss border, this resort is at a high altitude and is famous for a high party quotient at low prices.
Niseko in Japan is best known for being one of the snowiest snowboarding resorts in the world, with an average of 595 inches of snowfall annually. Illumination means snowboarders can even pursue their pastime at night in winter, with large areas lit up until around 9pm. Wonderland Park has features suitable for all levels of skill, including rails, hits, waves and spines, while the main Niseko area features a half-pipe and groomed terrain.
The short video attachment details some of the recommended equipment for snowboarding, much of which can be hired at resorts.