THINGS TO DO:
Can’t decide where to go snowboarding? If you choose Alberta, you’ll find snowboard destinations that feature both mountain and city terrain parks. From beginner to “that was sick, dude,” snowboarding holidays in Alberta have something for any jibber looking to practice their tricks.
I may not be the world’s best boarder, but I love to practice. First off, I make sure the battery’s charged on the GoPro. I’ll want to capture the action as I launch my boarding to a whole new level with jumps, boxes, a wall ride, tubby rails and log features at the roughly 17 acre Lake Louise terrain park.
From the moment I board the gondola to Sunshine Village, I know it’s going to be a sweet ride. Praise the snow farmers that keep it natural. Rogers Terrain Park – the biggest of three parks on the hill – includes 4.5 to 12 m jumps, an arch bridge and dozens of other features.
Shining up my night moves, I head over to Mt. Norquay Ski Resort. Workable, trickable and lit well after other hills close up shop, this is the perfect place to continue learning new tricks and perfecting old ones.
Maybe I’ll check out Najibska, Nakiska Mountain Resort’s terrain park. Ollie up and bonk it. From flat bars to gaps and hand-plant features, there are all kinds of interesting obstacles to get your shred on.
Jib, jump and get stoked at Jasper’s Marmot Basin. I pick my line in Rogers Terrain Park, ripped with boxes and rails – from S to XL. Go big or go home in the Canadian Rockies – not quite true. Experience mixed with training grounds allows boarders to shred the slopes, no matter how high you fly. Maybe I’d better start with the mini rail park off Eagle Ridge quad – an early season warm up, learn and practice place.
Heading south, I take my pick of three terrain parks at Castle Mountain – king of the jib. The Parking Lot is in the southeast corner of the base area. Small and street style, it’s lit up late. Progression Park is the place to get comfortable with airtime and sliding on boxes and rails. Rawhide Slopestyle Park delivers serious sliding with big jumps.
These parks are close, cheaper to access, offer gathering places for like-minded jibbers – and a good start for beginners. Edmonton’s Rabbit Hill Snow Resort dishes up three parks. Warm up at River Run, move on through Route 27, and let ’er rip through Main’s 12 m Rainbow Rail and Battleship. You’ll join topnotch riders when you visit COP in Calgary. Two parks, jib and jumps, and an Olympic-sized half pipe – need anything more?