Summer has just begun but are you already missing snowboarding? I know I am! So I took a look at summer snowboard options and ask the question, is wakeboarding the best summer snowboarding alternative?
Summer snowboard options
Getting through the summer without snowboarding can be tough. Beach holidays are lovely but sand gets everywhere and let’s face it we want snow. Over the summer snowboarding fitness, skills and muscle memory you’ve built up quickly deteriorates.
Fortunately, there are a few summer snowboard options that will get you through the off-season:
Real snow and real snowboarding. Kind of. While the local indoor snow centre is an option, it’s clearly not that much like the real thing. Slopes are tiny, its indoors and there is certainly no off-piste! They are also often busy with beginners
For experienced shredders it just doesn’t cut it. That said, visit when there are kickers, boxes, rails and other features and you can practice your park skills and have a really good time. But per hour it is not cheap.
Dry ski slope
If there is not a snowdome near you there is sure to be a dry ski slope. Not being on real snow makes it a very different feeling, but at least you are outdoors.
However, they are usually small and facilities are often sparse. While there are some that focus on freestyle most are just a short slope you can ride down. On the plus side they are normally cheap.
Glacier ski resort
If you want real mountains then heading to a summer glacier resort like Tignes or Hintertux is a good option. Check out the top 15 glacier ski resorts that offer summer skiing in Europe. In North America Whistler offers summer skiing.
The downside is paying almost as much for a snowboarding holiday but only having a tiny amount of the mountain to play in. That said there is a lot of other fun to be had in the mountains in the summer. From hiking to biking, climbing to kayaking and horse riding to hydrospeeding there is so much to do.
Head south, way south
If you can afford it by far the best of the summer snowboard options is to head to the Southern Hemisphere. The seasons in Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina have just begun, and there are real mountains with proper snow and plenty of off-piste to explore.
Check out this article about Southern Hemisphere skiing and snowboarding for more information. Of course heading south is a very expensive option. It will also use up a big chunk of annual leave as you’ll want to go for at least two weeks and preferably more to make it worthwhile.
Balance or trampoline board
If you want to practice your snowboarding from the comfort of your own home check out Snowboard Addiction. They have both a balance bar to use with a Jib Board and a Tramp Board you can use on a trampoline.
Both provide teach you skills that can be applied once on the mountain. You also develop muscle memory by doing the same tricks over and over again far more frequently than you can while snowboarding.
I have the trampoline board and regularly use it for fitness and fun. Having had it for a year, I have found my shifties, grabs and spins have all improved hugely. Check out my review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board for more info.
On the downside you need the space for a trampoline and in my case I need to get the kids off it first! While it is fun it doesn’t recreate the actual feel of snowboarding, but it is good training.
Is wakeboarding the best summer snowboarding alternative?
If the above options don’t appeal, are not practical or simply don’t work with your budget then there is another option. Wakeboarding.
Th parallels between snowboarding and wakeboarding are obvious. Your feet are fixed to a board on which you travel sideways. Many of the tricks you can do are very similar and you can carve great arking turns.
But is wakeboarding the best summer snowboarding alternative? Quite possibly!
Last season I was on a snowboarding trips with a wakeboarder who had only previously done a week of snowboarding. Instantly you could see he knew how to handle a board, he was doing presses, riding switch and doing 180s with ease.
Likewise, as an experienced snowboarder when I tried wakeboarding I picked it up very quickly. My first time was behind a boat and after a couple of failed attempts to get up I was soon carving nice arks and using the wake to jump.
I have also tried wakeboarding on a cable tow at Hove lagoon. Within a 30 minute session I was doing 180s both regular and switch. This is all because it uses the same skills, and feels very similar to snowboarding.
Best snowboarding alternative?
On the plus side wakeboarding is not very expensive. You can often buy a season pass at a wakepark for less than a one week ski pass. And a day visit will set you back a lot less than a visit to a snowdome.
Of course there is some kit to buy… Check out our guide to wakeboard gear for more info. Once you have the equipment wakeboarding is a great low cost alternative to snowboarding that most people can do near where they live.
As an added bonus when you are forced to go on a beach holiday by the other half you can always do some wakeboarding. Is wakeboarding the best summer snowboarding alternative? We think so!
We hope you found this article about summer snowboard options useful. Be sure to check out our wakeboarding discounts as you could save a fortune if you take it up as a new activity.