Orla Doolin talks about her favourite snowboarding destinations

Orla’s top snowboarding destinations 

Words: Graeme Lennox
Photos: Ollie Howe

Ireland’s slope queen talks about her favourite snowboarding destinations and why you need to check them out this winter 

Whether you are looking to hit the slopes in Europe, the US or even New Zealand, Orla Doolin has some wide words of advice for you. Here are her top six locations from around the world. 
 

1. Big Bear, California

Big Bear is a little town about an hour and a half from Los Angeles but it has the best freestyle jib park in the world where you’ll also find yourself taking laps with some of the best jibbers on the planet [A snowboarding style referring to the use of rails, tables, trees, etc. as obstacles]. It’s sunny all day and snows all night, meaning you get the best powder possible. It’s a small intimate hill with a super-friendly vibe and you can always go surfing at the weekend if there is no snow. It’s the best place in the world in my opinion. 

 

Big Bear, California

© Dasha Nosova / Red Bull Content Pool

2. Whistler, Canada

Top class backcountry boarding. It has a freestyle park and pipe and set in beautiful British Columbia. It has it all. 

Orla Doolin talks about her favourite snowboarding destinations

Craig McMorris performs a frontside 720 in the Blackcomb Terrain Park in Whistler, Canada

© Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool

3. Laax, Switzerland

In my opinion this is the best freestyle park in Europe. It’s a great place to party and snowboard. You will probably have to dig a little deeper into your pocket for this one, as it can be a little expensive, but it’s absolutely worth it. Laax hosts an amazing Spring Jib Sessions park in early April.

Orla Doolin talks about her favourite snowboarding destinations

Torstein Horgmo during the Burton European Open Slopestyle competition

© Marcel Laemmerhirt / Burton / Red Bull Content Pool

4. Breckinridge / Keystone, Colorado

A gorgeous town with amazing terrain to go with it. It has an amazing freeriding park and pipe. The only downside is it’s absolutely freezing, hence its nickname “Breckinfridge”. 

Billy Morgan

Ty Walker performs a backside 360 tail at Keystone.

© Jeff Brockmeyer/Red Bull Content Pool

5. Queenstown, New Zealand

This one is very close to my heart as it is where I first learned to snowboard. It’s ideal for first-timers and seasoned snowboarders, and it’s a crazy party town too, so you never get bored! It has huge terrain, some steep fun terrain in some of the most remarkable ski resorts and a freestyle park that caters for all levels. The Kiwis are always great craic too! 

Orla Doolin talks about her favourite snowboarding destinations

Arielle Gold performs in New Zealand 

© Miles Holden / Red Bull Content Pool

6. Morzine/Avoriaz, France

Really cheap and handy to get to from Geneva Airport with lots of excellent advanced and intermediate riding. When the snow is good there is amazing terrain to hike and get in some fresh turns. The après ski is in a league of its own in Morzine but watch out for the local Mutzig lager.​ 

Billy Morgan

“It’s the perfect place to start out with enough to test you when you improve.”

© Getty Images

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