One of the main things that we look at when planning our snowboarding trips is time of year. We'll pick a ski resort to go to, look at historic snowfall reports from previous years and make a guess on the best week (or weeks) to go based on that. And then we cross our fingers, do a snow dance and hope that there are no brown patches or rocks poking out on the runs.
Does it work? Well, I guess the likelihood for good snow is better but nothing is guaranteed. Meteorology is a complex thing, there are so many factors involved and even then the experts sometimes get it wrong.
But imagine if you didn't have to worry about that. Imagine if you could snowboard and ski at any time. Ski resort Buck Hill in Minnesota, USA has just made that a reality.
In October 2015, Buck Hill sent a crew of ski racers, coaches and snowboarders to Italy to test out a product called Neveplast®. Neveplast is a synthetic surface which has the same gliding surface as snow without using any water. After loads of research and testing Buck Hill decided to install the surface and have recently opened the ski hill to year round skiing and snowboarding on their artificial ski slope.
Check out how it looks in the video below:
They say that the synthetic mat perfectly simulates real snow conditions. I'd love to test it out one day! Of course it will never be as good as the real thing and most definitely won't give me the powder/off piste fix but I think it would be great to keep up snowboarding fitness and practice new things. Plus there has been talk for some time about climate change and the immense threat to the snow industry, so could this be the future?
What do you think? Have you skied or snowboarded at Buck Hill? Let me know in the comments below?
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Jen spends most of her time following Mick around the mountain, often unintentionally off jumps and cliff drops. Currently on a mission to prove that you’re never too old to try freestyle. Aside from snowboarding, a little obsessed about tattoos, CrossFit, saving animals, learning to play the guitar and clean eating. Web designer and digital marketing nerd.