Ten years ago anyone who was anyone would head to the Europe to reek havoc on the quaint glacial villages and enjoy some off season park laps. Although many of the famous European camps of the past such as SPC and The Gap camp held their last camps many moons ago, all is not lost as a few premium spots remain. Here we chat to a few European locals who keep their faith in their home continent and the resorts on offer this Summer.
by Danny Larsen
Folgefonna is a glacier on Norway’s west coast, about 1.5 hours away from Bergen. It has been the go-to for Norwegian snowboarders in the summertime for close to two decades. It might not be the biggest resort, but it’s jam-packed with park features and if you feel a bit more adventurous you can ride the backcountry until mid July easily. If you’re hungry for more hours on the snow it’s also worth mentioning that the sun sets around midnight in the summertime (the t-bar stops but you’re free to hike). If not you can always hang out on the beach (the water is about 70 degrees), skate, fish or other summer activities that sound more exciting than 12 hours of shredding a day.
Best place to Live: Rent a house in the Jondal village or close by. If you’re a bit tougher you can stay in a tent, Norway has a wilderness law that allows anyone to camp basically anywhere as long as it’s not private land (someone’s garden or a farmed field). Just remember that this on the west coast and has similar weather as the North West, i.e, it might get wet..
There is also a camp up there with small cabins, but you get a way better deal on getting together and renting a house.
Work: It’s possible to work as a digger up there, but I don’t know too much about that. Seeing how you can live for free in a tent, hike the features/ride the backcountry for no cost and hitchhike your way up the hill it’s not always necessary to have a job.
Ride: Most of those epic sunset park jump shots you have seen from the likes of Ståle, Torstein, Andreas, Ulrik and so on are from Folgefonna. There are a bunch of awesome features and is without a doubt my favorite park. Still I think all the really easily accessible backcountry is what stands out the most. Around the parking lot / resort there are tons of great backcountry spots if you’re willing to hike instead of using the t-bar.
Party: I don’t think I have ever been to Folgefonna without witnessing some sort of party every day. Norwegians love to drink beer/wine/booze/whatever in the summertime (well, in the winter as well) and we love to do it outdoors. There is a weird bar there, but it’s more of a last resort. Tent/cabin party is where it’s at.
Holland doesn’t have real mountains, but we have 7 indoor slopes around the country. First thing you notice is that there are young kids killing it on rails. The scene is really small, there are maybe around 200 people in it. It’s cool because everyone knows each other and gets to see the other locals from different slopes again at events.
Best place to Live: The Hague, I think. There are 2 indoor slopes close by, good skate scene and also a good surf scene because of the beach in Scheveningen.
Work: If you want free lift tickets, you should look for a job at the rental or as a instructor at the indoor slope. Other than that, it’s not too hard to find an easy job in The Netherlands.
Party: Probably The Hague is the place to be, with loads of bars and clubs.
Ride: Indoor slopes are really good for riding rails and stuff like that, but if you like big jump lines, it’s probably not your thing. There are small jumps but probably icy, small and really steep.
Val Senales, Italy
by Roope Tonteri
This pretty much sums things up. Giacomo Kratter, circa 1996. via Flickr
Val senates one of the best places I have been riding in summer.
Live: The mountain refuge Bella Vista which is up on the glacier. The food is really good and they have a nice wine, the view is also amazing.
Work: I am not 100% about work but the shapers are super motivated to build stuff and they are really good for what they do. Maybe it’s possible to work with them, if you are talented enough to do so.
Ride: The big line in Val Senales is my favourite you can hit the small jump and then ride in to the big beast and finish up the line with the big hip at the bottom. It’s so much fun and you can take some fast laps.
Party: For parties there aren’t any super mega disco parties but they have few good pubs and I really like the bartenders over there as they are nice, helpful and friendly.
Insider tip: If you plan to go there go and visit the lake, have few beers and enjoy the view.