You can’t beat a great ski holiday with your mates, but it is important that you find somewhere that has a cool atmosphere, excellent skiing and plenty of variety to keep you entertained. I think that La Plagne is the perfect place for a group of mates looking for a good time: thanks to its welcoming villages, fantastic accommodation in the form of your own catered ski chalet and excellent skiing, you’ll never experience a dull moment. I also love La Plagne because it offers so many thrilling alternative activities, which are great for when you want to take a break from skiing, but don’t want to hang out in your catered ski chalet. What’s my favourite activity, you ask? Airboarding.
What is It?
Essentially, an airboard is an inflatable sledge: you lay down on your stomach first, and then steer by leaning from side to side. Being this close to the ground provides an exhilarating experience: snow flies all around you as you hurtle down the mountain at rapid speeds. Sounds fun, right? Well, here is all that you need to know so that you and your mates can try it for yourself when you get to La Plagne, which is one of the best places to try this scintillating activity.
The inflatable board will cover your torso, while your legs trail off the back. There are handles on the sides for you to hold onto (you will be gripping these quite tightly, no doubt!).
Much like any winter sport, it is important that you master a few techniques to get the most out of this experience. Your instructor will cover these in detail, but here are the main ones that you need to know.
As mentioned, you can steer the sledge by leaning from side to side, but for tight turns, you will want to squeeze your chest down on the board to create more friction. To stop, push the weight of the board into the ground and make a 90-degree turn (this is comparable to a hockey stop).
The average speed attained when airboarding is 50 km/h (31mph) – but this can feel a lot faster, since your face is so close to the ground. Much greater speeds are possible, with the fastest recorded time being a blistering 141.79km/h (88 mph). Needless to say, racing your mates down the slopes will be a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
What to Wear
A helmet is essential, but it is also strongly recommended that you wear goggles, as snow will be flying everywhere. In addition to this equipment, you should also wear warm clothes, gloves and winter boots.
Airboarding is available at many resorts, but La Plagne is the best place for it, thanks to the epic 5km ride from Aime 2000 down to La Roche. Your instructor will show you the ropes, and then you are free to tear down the mountain and enjoy this thrilling ride. So, get your mates together, book your catered ski chalet and prepare yourself for the ride of your life.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best catered ski chalet accommodation in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.