While snowboarding is an individual sport where riders hone their own skills, many of us are looking for a friend to go ride with and share the experience and passion for our days on the mountain. It’s a lot more fun to ride with others, emulate each other, and share the good times.
It can be hard to find people to come along on those snowboarding trips. Even if you know someone who likes snowboarding and is willing to go, they may not have the same level as you, which means you’ll either have to babysit them or you won’t see them on the slopes most of the day.
That person may stick to easy runs, or perhaps hit kickers all day, or spend much time hanging out at the lodge.
Many riders are looking for a riding buddy who can challenge them and push them to progress. It’s not an easy feat, however, and riders often end up on the mountain solo – which can be fun at times but can also get lonely.
This post goes over 13 of the most effective ways to find a riding partner to make your snowboard trips even more enjoyable and exciting.
See also: A deep dive into the snowboarding community
#1: The chairlift (singles line)
The lift is without a doubt the best way to meet potential riding buddies. Striking up a conversation with friendly riders is easy while you’re being hauled up the mountain. Most of the time, if you put yourself out there, snowboarders on the lift will be stoked to chat.
Sharing the chairlift with the same person two times in a row gives you a great excuse for engaging the conversation. Some riders bring snack or candies to share with someone on the lift as an ice breaker.
To get the chat going, ask your lift-mate about their ride, their favorite trails, where they’re from. Or, ask them for tips on tricks they do well. The exchange on the lift may lead to you riding together for a run or two – and who knows, future trips.
#2: The hill
Another common way to meet snowboarders is to ride around on the slopes and spot someone with a similar skill level, or doing cool tricks you could keep up with. Then, ride up to them, introduce yourself, and ask if you can ride with them.
Going up to someone out of the blue and introducing yourself isn’t easy for everyone, but it’s a very effective way to meet people (especially if you’re personable). Sometimes, small things like riding the same board model are enough to make things click and you can end up cruising together.
A trick some snowboarders use is to spot a nice rider of the opposite sex, ride by them, then crash on purpose! Many times they will stop to check if you’re OK – your chance to start a conversation.
#3: The parking lot
There are good opportunities to make friends on the parking lot around lunch time. This is especially true if you have beer and perhaps a barbecue! And perhaps a cute dog…
#4: The terrain park
If you’re a park rider, you’ll want to hang out in your local terrain park and scout for people riding by themselves. Go up to them and ask them if they can spot you while you ride – and of course offer to spot them in return. This may eventually result in a new friendship.
If you go to the same park all the time, you’ll start to become familiar with other regulars and vice versa, and you may end up riding together going forward.
Note that it’s often easier to strike conversation with riders who are still learning, e.g. those on the short boxes and rails, than with the more advanced riders who stalk the larger features.
#5: The lodge bar
Some riders like to hang out at the lodge bar to socialize in the hope of meeting new friends to go ride with. It certainly works if you run into the right person(s).
However, meeting people while everyone is half drunk often won’t lead to durable buddy relationships. Many riders say they’ve met more riding partners riding the singles line (chairlift) than at the bar or during apres-ski social events.
#6: The local shop
You might get lucky and meet great snowboard buddy at the local shop while renting a board or getting yours tuned up. Make sure you go in with a friendly and engaging attitude and let others know of your interest in finding a riding partner.
You can also try asking the salespeople about other riders who ride the same hill/park. They often know who’s who and who’s riding where.
#7: Hook up your non-snowboarding friends
An alternative to looking for a riding friend at the mountain is to try to convince some of your non-riding friends to get into snowboarding. Most may turn down the offer because they can’t afford it or are afraid of getting hurt. If a non-snowboarding friend does decide to ride, however, that’s when you really score!
Of course this will requires patience as you’ll need to teach your friend how to ride at first, or wait for them to complete initial lessons. Even then, they’ll likely be far behind you in terms of skills, so riding together may not be really feasible or pleasant for a while.
#8: Car sharing
Car sharing is becoming increasingly popular, where snowboarders pitch in for gas. Carpooling is a great way to meet other riders with all skill levels, and you often end up meeting their friends as well. Ride sharing opportunities for snowboarders can be found on Facebook, Craigslist, Meetup.
#9: Local ski club
The ski club at your local resort may organize social events for members, e.g. parties, barbecues, bingo games, etc. Joining a ski club will increase your chances of meeting snowboarders you can go ride with.
Also, teaching new riders e.g. once a week can be a fun and great way to meet future riding buddies. Of course you must be willing to spend some of your free time coaching them first.
#10: Snowboard tours and camps
Many snowboard shops organize snowboard tours, clinics and camps. If you’re an intermediate rider looking for more advanced riders to shred with, sign up for an intermediate clinic and you’ll find yourself in the company of other riders who can shred.
You’ll make progress while having fun and making new friends.
#11: Online places
Meeting people to snowboard with can be hard, especially if you don’t know anyone in your area. However, there are some good online places to find new riding buddies.
Reddit has two popular subreddits dedicated to skiing and snowboarding, Ski Buddies and Lets Go Snowboarding. Snowboardingforum.com is another good place to find like-minded riders.
You can also check out private Facebook groups like Dig my Quiver and Snowboard Trader, also great for finding people who are interested in snowboarding with you.
If you’re looking for a female-focused group, check out the Miss Snow It All Facebook group.
Many local hills also have their own Facebook pages where you can connect with other riders. You can also check out local Meetup group.
Another option is Skibuds, a cool dedicated app for finding a riding partner.
#12: Date a snowboarder
Dating can be a great way to find a great riding buddy. Meeting someone through a dating app or website can give you the opportunity to get to know someone and build a strong connection before hitting the slopes together.
Some riders end up doing epic snowboarding trips with their mate or spouse and having an amazing time, sometimes inviting friends to join them.
#13: Get a job at a resort
Although not for everyone, getting a job at a resort will surround you with countless snowboarders and immerse you in the snowboard lifestyle. Some of the people you’ll meet may become your riding buddies or even your best friends – heck you might even meet your future spouse there.
We saw quite a few ways to find a riding partner. Sometimes however, things might not work out as you hoped and you may not get lucky and end up going snowboarding solo. It doesn’t have to be a curse though.
Some riders enjoy riding on their own as they save a lot of time in between sessions not having to talk with, or wait for, others.
By riding solo you may be able to hit the slopes for a few hours and be back at work in the afternoon, with just a quick snack for lunch. This is typically harder to achieve when going with someone.