Surfing, snowboarding, and skiing are all closely tied. They’re highly immersive activities that bring you close to nature and depend entirely on the elements. Surfers and snowboarders have always drawn inspiration from each other and their respective communities, whether it’s modeling airs after snowboard and skateboard maneuvers or powder boards after the classic Bob Simmons Fish. For many travelers, the ultimate adventure blends their passions into one grand trip where they can do it all. While it may seem impossible to surf and snowboard on the same day, there are a handful of destinations around the world where a willing traveler can have the best of both worlds. Continue reading below for 5 Destinations Where You Can Surf and Snowboard on the Same Day.
Japan, the Ultimate Surf and Snowboard Combo Destination
Japan is known as the holy grail of powder skiing. Skiers and snowboarders from all over the planet make the journey to Japan to get a small taste of the epic snow conditions that persist for much of the year in Northern Japan. There are over 500 ski resorts in Japan, making it the skiers’ choice for what he or she wants out of a mountain. Japan also has an extensive guiding system for backcountry and side-country skiing where guides take you vis Cat, Helicopter, snowmobile, or snowshoe hike to untouched terrain and fresh powder. In terms of surf, Japan receives quality open ocean swells throughout its coastline. To surf and snowboard on the same day in Japan, you’ll need a 5-millimeter wetsuit with a hood, gloves, and booties, as Japan’s northern coastlines are as cold as they come. The northern island of Hokkaido is your best bet for combining surfing and skiing in one epic trip.
Southern California is synonymous with surf and surf culture, but SoCal has it all when it comes to action sports, including skiing and snowboarding. If you’re basing your surf trip in LA to surf the iconic waves in Malibu, you’re only a two-hour drive from Big Bear Ski Resort. A dawn patrol surf can easily be followed by a drive to the mountains for a mid-morning or early afternoon start to a day on the slopes. Big Bear isn’t a giant mountain, but it still offers skiers over 400 acres of skiable terrain.
The Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is an often overlooked adventure destination in the United States. With over 26 ski mountains between Washington and Oregon and a combined Pacific Coastline of over 500 miles, there’s plenty of adventure to be had. A dawn patrol day surfing in Northern Oregon or Southern Washington can easily transition to afternoon skiing at Mt. Hood or Crystal Mountain, two of the region’s best ski mountains. If you’re a capable backcountry skier, you can skip the drive and knock both out in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.
Alaska is one of the last surf frontiers. With 66,000 miles of coastlines and over 1,800 named islands, there’s plenty of room to explore by boat or seaplane, and new waves are discovered every year. Alaska, like Japan, is one of the world’s premier backcountry destinations, with a heliskiing trip to Alaska being the top item on most skiers’ bucket lists. Alaska has 650 inches of average annual snowfall and is one of the world’s premier mountain destinations.
Iceland may not be many people’s radars as a surfing or skiing destination. The small island nation possesses a volcanic, otherworldly landscape that attracts millions of tourists from all over the world each year. Most travelers to Iceland tour the country’s Ring Road, where they find miles of hiking across lava fields, breathtaking waterfalls, and natural hot springs. The country’s interior mountains have snow year-round and several ski mountains. Iceland also receives large winter swells and has world-class days when conditions line up. Because the country is so small, all you need for an epic ski and surf day is a capable 4×4 and some local knowledge.
While you can’t ski in Hawaii, our Oahu Surf School is located on the North Shore, home to the best waves on the planet. Our surf instructors are the best on the island and will have you up and riding in no time. Book your stay at Turtle Bay Resort to stay close to the action on the North Shore.