Everyone has things they want to do before they die – a list of goals they desire, nay, are meant to achieve. Snowboarders are no different. In fact, this may apply even more to boarders where goal-orientated activities are just par for the course, getting more pop off the next jump, landing a difficult trick you’ve been practicing or being the first one down the slope on fresh powder…..the list goes on.
Top of that list, or damn near close for most boarders, is to snowboarding and surfing all in the same day. Due to the proximity of the ocean to the mountains along the west coast of America, and the ability for anyone willing and able to take in both sea and snow activities in a single day, the pairing was termed the “California Double” and now full words aren’t cool (is cool even cool anymore?) it would be known as the Cali Double.
There are many places in SoCal where single day Snowboarding and Surfing can be accomplished; surfing the beach break at Huntington Beach then four wheel driving up Big Bear Mountain Resort, braving the sizeable swells of San Clemente and then driving to Mount Baldy, or hanging with the tourists at Santa Monica then tackling the twin peaks of Mountain High – the avid California Double seeker has an abundance of options.
Other special mentions in the USA for land-locked river-surfing: MISSOULA – MONTANA, DURANGO – COLORADO, BEND – OREGON, JACKSON – WYOMING, BOISE – IDAHO and PORT ANGELES – WASHINGTON.
Travel a few thousand kilometres west of Cali to Hawaii, a place you probably wouldn’t imagine you could actually snowboard. It has two boardable mountains: Mauna Loa and Kea, both located on the Big Island. The ease of access to these slopes means you could probably do ‘the double’ in reverse, that is, starting with snow in the morning and ending at the beach in the afternoon.
A little further west and you’ll hit Japan. It’s northernmost island Hokkaido has some of the freshest powder in the world. Niseko is a dream resort that will blow your mind with pow pow in the morning or the afternoon and then only about an hour and a half drive away you’ll get some great waves at Otaru, but pack the steamer, it’s going to be cold. This is definitely one of the closer doubles for snowboarding and surfing.
Never to be outdone on thrill-seeking, New Zealand has the perfect infrastructure set up for the down under double. The most obvious place to start would be Queenstown, an adrenaline junkies Mecca, although there are a few other choice spots in the countries’ two islands.
Manganui on the North Island is well known for its prime surf spots, but few are aware that close by Mt Egmont awaits, it isn’t the largest resort with just three ski tows, but for all intents and purposes it fits the bill.
If you want to stay in the South Island though Big Bay is a UNESCO world heritage site that houses an epic surf break, the nearby slopes of Mount Aspiring National Park will allow you to complete your goal. And the most popular place for you to get your snowboarding and surfing fix would be a nice left at Magnet Bay, Christchurch, followed by a less than two hour drive to Mount Hutt.
Chile is known worldwide for both amazing snowboarding and surfing.
Surfers will find 4300km of coast, perfect waves and small crowds. For goofyfooters, Chile is your paradise on earth (nearly all lefts apparently). They have a national average of three hundres days a year of surf, it’s rare not to find a wave. All over Chile you can find waves which are around 5ft, but can regularly reach 12ft.
As Chile is squeezed between the Chilean Andes and the Pacific Ocean, it’s fairly easy to go from one to another. From Reñaca, a seaside resort near Valparaíso, to Valle Nevado it’s only 120miles (200kms). The Andes are the second highest mountain range in the world, so you’re in for a treat.
In Chile you can be surfing 12ft in the morning, and then be boarding deep powder at Valle Nevado before sunset.
Easily doable. We have done the drive but didn’t check off the double. We did it by pure chance. A half day at Perisher, a two and a half hour drive from Jindabyne to Merimbula and the fishing lines were in the surf.
Snowboarding and Surfing would be easy from Thredbo, Perisher, Guthega, Blue Cow, Selwyn and Smiggins. I am sure you could even pull it off from Charlotte’s Pass with an extra 45mins in a snowcat in peak season but I would only do that for the challenge. Physical challenge for the rest of the Snowboard office – seven resorts and a surf in one day – we can call it the Aussie Octuplet.
Morocco is admittedly a little left-field and yet still boasts not only a beautiful surfer’s paradise in the resort of Taghazoute, but also the highest ski resort in Africa: Oukaimden. Yes – you heard that right – a ski resort in Africa.
The slopes of Oukaimden Valley are a five-hour drive away from the beach. The trip departs at 10am, leaving plenty of afternoon to hit the slopes. After an overnight stay, you’ll have the morning for boarding before heading back to the beach for an early evening surf.
Wait, what the? Never thought this would come up in a search for Cali Doubles around the world. There are about half a dozen good beaches around Beirut. Then the best news – just over an hour away is snow. The closest resort I could find is Zarrour – 1hr 7min from Beirut. Check out their website HERE. It’s got seven lifts and looks impressive.
There is also the larger Mzaar Ski Resort that is a little further away but this offers 18 lifts, 42 slopes and 80kms of tracks. That’s impressive!
We really need to get some more travelling in, France offers both epic snow activities and surfing.
Biarritz is France’s famous surf capital and hosts International Competitions each year. It is one of the busiest beaches in the world and you may find some more agreeably less crowded breaks along the Basque Coast.
As for winter, wave sizes can be huge. The Landes is considered as the best beach break of Europe, but to enjoy those kinds of conditions you also need to face a powerful current which will force you to paddle for hours to only take three waves. The mythical Belharra wave (one of Europe’s largest waves) can reach 50ft. #fuckthattakemetothesnow
From Biarritz you can reach Saint-Lary-Soulan in 3hrs. The resort offers 55 runs, 3 snowparks and 100kms (60miles) of slopes.
Last by listing but not by awesomeness. There are quite a few places to board and surf in Spain but to get to both is a little trickier, damn mountains and all. Spain-Holiday.com reports the best experience for both will be boarding in Sierra Nevada followed by surfing in Salobreña.
The journey between the two is about 90mins – pretty impressive. Nearly as impressive as the Sierra Nevada ski resort itself. There are 30 lifts (2 Gondolas, 15 Chairlifts, 5 Surface lifts and 8 Magic Carpets) and 103 pistes (16 green, 35 blue, 43 red, 9 black). The combined ski/board area is 94.8 km. The place looks amazing and just made the high priority visit list.
Salobreña is a less-crowded coastal village that has been lived in for over 6000yrs. If you are desperately searching for a location for your next Spanish vacation that is not full of tourists, skyscrapers or beggars, then this is where you really do need to check out. These places deserve a week’s stay each so wedge that Cali Double in the middle.
Have we missed any? Have you completed any? Are you planning on doing any? Hit us up!
For more great snowboard bucket list ideas click here