Best Snowboard Parks Around the World to Do Tricks [Tested by our team]

Aug 28, 22
Best Snowboard Parks Around the World to Do Tricks  [Tested by our team]

There’s no better place to test your skills and learn new tricks than a snowboard park. It’s a safe, controlled environment made for the express purpose of providing activity for snowboarders and skiers.

Yet, while the idea sounds fantastic, the reality can be far from ideal.

You might be all pumped and eager to hit the powder only to get to the park and realize it’s not precisely what you imagined. It could lack crucial features, be too short, or simply have poor design. At that point, some determined snowboarders might try to push on through despite the conditions, only to never come back again. But many will just turn their backs right away and give up.

Of course, getting to a park only to be disappointed is the last thing you want, especially if you’ve taken a long trip to reach it. That’s why we’ll give you an overview of the best snowboard parks worldwide and help you find the nearest one.

However, before we go on that park-hunting adventure, let’s look at some essential gear you’ll be taking along.

What to Look For in a Great Snowboard Park

A good snowboarding park should have all the jibs that allow you to do tricks. In this sense, more is always better. The essential features include:

  • Pipes
  • Jumps
  • Boxes
  • Rails

However, that’s not all. For a snowboarding park to be considered truly great, it will have to be built expertly. This means having separate, clearly defined skill-level sections and plenty of length, so you don’t have to hold yourself back.

Let’s look at the jibs you would likely find in a decent park:

Pipes

Pipes are amazing because they allow you to get vertical, something snowboarders don’t get to experience very much outside of parks. The common snowboarding pipes include quarter and half pipes.

Quarter pipes are essentially ramps that you can jump off. In the unlikely case you’ve never seen a quarter pipe, imagine a full pipe, i.e., a large tube. Then cut it in half horizontally to get a U shape. Now, cut that shape vertically in the middle – that’s more or less a quarter pipe.

A quarter pipe is ideal for practicing various jumps. These can be jumps that you can’t perform on flat terrain or those you want to take to the next level. Depending on the size of the quarter pipe, they may also allow you to get in the air and try different grabs.

If you’ve watched a snowboarding competition, the half pipe will be an immediately familiar site. When talking about snowboarding, many people will be drawn to an image of massive, U-shaped walls.

Half pipes are designed primarily for aerial jumps. Most of the stuff of snowboarding legend was done on a half pipe, so if you want to try out some advanced tricks yourself, your park will need to have this feature.

Actually, a great park will have more than one half pipe. These can vary in size and will usually be between 12 and 18 feet high and 400 to 600 feet long. But if you’re really lucky, you might find yourself on a 22-foot superpipe, although those are an extremely rare occurrence.

Jumps

A snowboard park jump is a small artificial hill. Park jumps can be as small as 5 feet, as big as 100 feet, and everything in between.

When you head to a good park, you’ll find jumps of different sizes often sectioned off from one another. This is an extremely useful feature that prevents complete Jerry’s from mixing with the pros. The point of the division isn’t just so that beginners don’t get in the way of advanced snowboarders – it’s also to stop boarders of different skill levels from crashing into each other.

Boxes and Rails

Granted, most snowboard parks won’t feature dozens of half pipes. But every park worth its salt must have a variety of boxes and rails. These features aren’t only present in great parks, they should be a must for all of them.

Ideally, a park should have plenty of boxes of different sizes and lengths. If you need to practice your grinds, there should be wider and shorter boxes for just that. And if you want to perfect your rock-n-rolls or box 180s, there should be several boxes for that as well.

A similar principle applies to rails. A great park will have many rails that vary in length and, if possible, height.

Top 5 Snow Parks of All Time

If you don’t want to take your chances and instead wish to go world-class right away, here are the snow parks that will provide you with every snowboarding amenity imaginable.

1. Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

Nearest Airport: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Length: 6.8 miles

Features: 5 full terrain parks

Pipes: 3, including a superpipe

Whistler Blackcomb is a legendary resort that, along with Vancouver, housed the 2010 Winter Olympics. You can get the chance to try out the famed superpipe in this top-rated resort.

In total, the terrain covers more than 8,000 acres, which includes snowboarding tracks as well as the backcountry. If you want to test your mettle through the tree-filled steeps, Whistler Blackcomb will oblige.

Better yet, the Blackcomb glacier houses snowboard camps even in the summer. Though they might be priced as steep as the surrounding mountainscape runs, these camps can also represent an amazing time.

2. Laax, Switzerland

Nearest Airport: St. Gallen-Altenrhein, Switzerland

Length: 87 miles

Features: 2 full terrain parks

Pipes: 1 half pipe, 1 superpipe

Laax is an excellent resort that many people don’t know about. This makes the superpipe home less crowded – an ideal setting for honing your skills. Laax has been the home of the Burton European Open for four years straight, which should more than recommend it for snowboard lovers.

You’ll get to wherever you want with ease while at Laax since the resort has some of the fastest gondolas in Europe, as well as what’s arguably the continent’s best lift system. Together with the hidden nature of this Swiss gem, you’ll spend less time queuing and more time snowboarding.

It’s worth noting that Laax is well-suited for beginners as well as pros.

3. Mammoth Mountain, California

Nearest Airport: Mammoth Lakes, CA

Length: 3 miles

Features: 12 full terrain parks

Pipes: 2, including a superpipe

Mammoth Mountain park is a delight for snowboarders. With 12 parks, more than 150 trails, and a superpipe, it’s not only one of the best but also one of the largest American resorts. In total, Mammoth Mountain covers about 3,500 acres.

This resort is without doubt one of the greatest Californian attractions. The terrain parks here are legendary, welcoming professionals as well as novice snowboarders. There’s plenty of variety – you can board on an open bowl one moment and shift to a gorgeous, wooded landscape the next.

A slight downside might be that the pistes aren’t all marked properly. However, Mammoth Mountain isn’t particularly hard to navigate, especially after your first few days.

4. Vans Penken Park, Austria

Nearest Airport: Innsbruck, Austria

Length: 0.3 miles

Features: 28

Pipes: 1

The Vans Penken park is one of the greatest European centers for freestyle snowboarding. Despite its smaller length, this park will provide heaps of opportunities to practice your skills.

Located in Mayrhofen, this park is situated in a valley without extremely high peaks around. While this means less natural snow on occasion, the snowmakers are always hard at work covering the trails with more than enough powder.

There are plenty of freeriding options here if the short track length is an issue. However, despite its 0.3 miles, the track will offer enough challenge for most boarders.

5. Mount Hood Meadows, Oregon

Nearest Airport: Portland, OR,

Length: 3 miles

Features: 3 full terrain parks

Pipes: 1

Mount Hood Meadows isn’t a massive park, but it’s exceptionally well-equipped. The limited park space is used creatively to provide numerous exciting rides and satisfy everyone from beginners to hardcore pros.

One of the greatest advantages of Mount Hood Meadows is its balanced mix of difficulty. There are trails for complete beginners to test their developing skills and those for advanced boarders. However, if you’re a hardcore pro, Mount Hood Meadows might let you down a bit. You can find very few truly challenging slopes.

If you find yourself here, make sure to grab a ticket for a night ride – it’s an experience of a lifetime.

Other Really Good Parks by Country

  • US: Mount Bachelor

Nearest Airport: Redmond, OR

Length: 4 miles (longest)

Features: 4 full terrain parks

Pipes: 1

  • France: Chamonix

Nearest Airport: Geneva, Switzerland

Length: 58 miles (total)

Features: 2 full terrain parks

Pipes: 1

  • Australia: Mount Buller

Nearest Airport: Melbourne, Australia

Length: 50 miles (total)

Features: 2 full terrain parks

Pipes: 1

  • Canada: Big White

Nearest Airport: Kelowna, BC, Canada

Length: 7.2 miles (longest)

Features: 2 full terrain parks

Pipes: 3

  • Italy: Livigno

Nearest Airport: Bolzano/Bozen, Italy

Length: 71 miles (total)

Features: 2 full terrain parks

Pipes: 1

  • Switzerland: Verbier

Nearest Airport: Sion, Switzerland

Length: 256 miles (total)

Features: 1 full terrain park

Pipes: 0

  • New Zealand: Cardrona

Nearest Airport: Wanaka, New Zealand

Length: 18 miles (longest)

Features: 2 full terrain parks

Pipes: 4

  • Japan: Niseko United

Nearest Airport: New Chitose, Japan

Length: 0.5 miles (longest)

Features: 3 full terrain parks

Pipes: 1

  • Austria: St. Anton

Nearest Airport: Altenrhein, Austria

Length: 161 miles (total)

Features: 1 full terrain park

Pipes: 0

  • Finland: Ruka

Nearest Airport: Kuusamo, Finland

Length: 14.9 miles (total)

Features: 2 full terrain parks

Pipes: 2

  • Sweden: Riksgransen

Nearest Airport: Kiruna, Sweden

Length: 123 miles (total)

Features: 1 full terrain park

Pipes: 0

  • Norway: Hemsedal

Nearest Airport: Fagernes, Norway

Length: 29 miles (total)

Features: 2 full terrain parks

Pipes: 2

  • Bulgaria: Bansko

Nearest Airport: Sofia, Bulgaria

Length: 9.9 miles (longest)

Features: 1 full terrain park

Pipes: 1

  • Spain: Sierra Nevada

Nearest Airport: Granada, Spain

Length: 4 miles (longest)

Features: 1 full terrain park

Pipes: 1

  • Andorra: Pas de la Casa

Nearest Airport: Seo de Urgel, Spain

Length: 62 miles (total)

Features: 1 full terrain park

Pipes: 1