Put a group of skiers and snowboarders in a room and you’re bound to get a bit of banter. There’s always going to be friendly rivalry between the two groups, although beneath the chirps there’s a huge amount of mutual respect, both on and off the slopes.
When snowboarding started in the United States in the 1960s – quite by accident, apparently – it was perceived as the ugly cousin of skiing. Invented by Sherman Poppen, an engineer who loved to surf, Poppen was keen to experience the exhilaration of surfing on the snow-covered Rocky Mountains. By lashing two kids’ skis together, he created the first “snow surfboard” for his daughter, which he controlled with a rope. He developed the concept commercially, and in the first 10 years of production no less than a million “snurfers” (snow-surfers) were sold in the US.
Snowboarding’s popularity on the rise
Over the years snowboarding has grown in reputation and stature. In 1998 it made its first appearance at the Winter Olympics, held that year in Nagano, Japan, and first featured as a Paralympic sport at Sochi in Russia in 2014.
Snowboarding has become very popular among South Africans visiting Club Med, which is well known as an equal-opportunity snow sports organisation… we love skiers just as much as we love snowboarders! At all Club Med snow resorts, you’re guaranteed professional fun (instructors are competent in both sports, and happy to teach guests of all ages and ability levels) and thrills come standard. Remember, your instructor, passes and equipment form part of your Club Med snow package so there are no ugly surprises. Plus kids under 4 stay for free, including lessons on the slopes!
These are some of our many resorts that are ideal for snowboarding. (Remember, snow season starts in December, so now is the perfect time to book!)
Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon – brand new and waiting for you!
Club Med’s Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon resort, which opens in December 2017, will offer exceptional snowboarding for the whole family. The ski-in ski-out (or, in this case, board-in board-out) resort is located in the heart of the Grand Massif, which offers 265 km of runs, as well as off-piste and between-piste slopes. The Club Med contemporary resort has incredible views of the mountains and has been designed to blend in harmoniously with nature. After a day on the slopes, enjoy time at the pool with the kids, or chill out at Club Med Spa by CARITA.
Arcs Extrême – a massive jol (adults only resort)
Snowboard all day, party all night! If this idea appeals to you – and you’re over 18 – you’ll love Club Med Arcs Extrême in the Savoie region of France. The resort (which has just undergone renovations) is right in the snow, which means you can board in and board out without having to rely on transportation to get you onto the slopes. 200 km of runs await you and your board! The real party starts when you pack your gear in your locker and hit the dance floor! The resort features resident and guest DJs, alternating with live music, themed evenings and shows. Your nights will be as awesome as your days! That’s 24 hours of pure jol, every single day.
Tomamu and Sahoro – experience exotic Japan
Experience a mountain holiday in Hokkaido, Japan, at the Tomamu or Sahoro Club Med resorts.
Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido offers something for everyone, including skiing and snowboarding (lessons included), as well as snow trekking and snow rafting adventures. There’s also an indoor wave pool on the resort, and an ice village nearby which is a great place to go exploring.
Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido is a magical kingdom of winter sports, combining traditional culture with perfect powder for an unforgettable snow vacation. Bring the family along to experience skiing and snowboarding on the site of the 1972 Sapporo Olympic Games,