The World Snowboard Guide: a trusty companion for any snowboarder, I’d recommend it.
The wsg is a really good book. It’s got excellent resort coverage and the information, written by snowboarders, is tailored for snowboarders (a bit like Snowboarding Days!). The guide caters for riders of all levels, from beginners taking their first steps, to more advanced riders, looking for a good park, or searching for serious backcountry action. Not only that, there’s consideration given to all interests: freestyle, freeriding and carving. It’s a complete guide.
So what’s in the guide?
The wsg has some general rider tips at the start, primarily aimed at beginners I’d say. Travel options, what to wear, lift passes and insurance, that kind of thing. There’s a brief look at summer glaciers and there’s also a guide to backcountry. This section doesn’t aim to be comprehensive, but the information there is useful. For example, if you’re interested in riding off-piste and in the backcountry, the guide points out a lot of the things that you need to be aware of; it’s a good starting point from which to look further.
Similarly, at the back of the book there’s a mini language guide. Again, it’s just a page or two of vocabulary for some of the main destinations, but it’s targetted at the travelling snowboarder. It might be just what you need to help you get to resort, buy you pass or ask a question on the hill… it’s handy.
Those things aside, the bulk of the guide is of course concerned with the details of a large number of world-wide resorts: Austria, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand… they’re all there (that wasn’t the complete list).
Each resort is rated out of 10 and reviewed from the beginner’s, the freestyler’s, the freerider’s and the carver’s point of view. You get some resort background, how to get there, the amount of terrain, the number of lifts, anual snowfall and which bars are good. Just enough about everything you need to know, with more space dedicated to the bigger, more popular resorts.
You might not always agree with everything they say about a resort as some of the information comes across as personal preference/opinion. But it’s hard to argue with the overall descriptions for the resorts, which are accurate.
They also briefly talk about snowboarding gear, particularly goggles – including the best low bridge fit goggles.
This makes it an excellent starting point for considering where to go next: how busy is it likely to be, are there loads of t-bars, what’s the park like, is it easy to get to and what about the night-life? If you’re in the know, the guide can provide you with options to help tailor your next trip. If you’re clueless, you could do much worse than following the advice within these pages.
So whether you’re planning your first trip or researching your next powder hunt, it’s a good, snowboard-specific guide. It’s even good for just flicking through the different resorts. You’ll want to keep it close.