How to Make Friends to Snowboard With

Snowboard Expert Gaelen Mast shares his tried-and-true methods to making snowboarder friends so you can keep the stoke levels high all day on the mountain!

Two people walk uphill holding their snowboards behind them.

Photo courtesy of Lib Tech

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It’s a crisp cold morning in the middle of winter. You just arrived at a ski resort you’ve never been to before and you’re pumped! But as you look around you notice something, everyone seems to have a friend or two that they’re riding with, everyone except you.

While hitting the slopes on a bluebird day is a wonderful feeling, it can get a little lonely after a while if you’re taking your laps alone. Most people would agree that having some shred buddies to ride with is a much better time. This is exactly why I’m going to give you some tried-and-true methods to making snowboarder friends so you can keep the stoke levels high all day on the mountain!

On the Mountain

The base of a mountain resort.

Photo by Harrison Macourt

The easiest and quickest way to find some friends to ride with is by going to the place where snowboarders spend most of their time in the winter: ski resorts! As soon as you arrive, the opportunity is there. Talk to someone about their setup while waiting in line. Be nice of course, no one has ever made new friends by telling strangers that their snowboard is trash. Depending on what ski resort you’re riding at, lines can easily be 10 or more minutes which is more than enough time to have a genuine conversation with someone. Even if they don’t invite you to go do some groomer laps then and there, you become a familiar face which may well lead to a friendship down the road!

If you’re feeling extra bold, hop in the singles line and see who you end up with on the chairlift! Now, this may sound like a nightmare to some people (stuck next to a stranger on the lift? No thanks!) but it’s one of the best ways to meet other people who are also riding/skiing alone that day. It isn’t overly difficult to find things to make conversation, just talk about what you’re both there to do the same thing. There are plenty of people out on the mountain who could spend hours talking about the various aspects of it, so filling the timespan of a lift ride shouldn’t be too hard. Who knows, you may even have a newfound homie by the time you unload at the top.

I’ve included some of my favorite conversation starters below—feel to use, modify, and draw inspiration from them!

“What kind of board is that?”

“How do you like that board/bindings/boots?”

“Do you know any good boards/bindings/boots for (insert preferred terrain here)?”

“Is this your local mountain?”

“What’s your favorite trail on this mountain?”

“Are there any other good places to ride around here?”

“Do you have any advice for (insert snowboard trick question)?”

Another tactic to meet new people is to attend snowboard classes or clinics. If you’re newer to snowboarding and still dialing in the basics, hop in a snowboard lesson if you can! A common struggle is one of the most surefire ways that people connect and bond—especially if that struggle is something like trying to master your toe turns without face planting! Many mountains will offer group lessons and it’s an easy way to find other snowboarders with similar skill sets.

Even if you’re on the more advanced side, there are plenty of classes and clinics out there you could attend and still get something out of. This could be a more advanced, specialized lesson for something like terrain park riding, or it could be a brand clinic where you get to demo different snowboard models. Either way, the concept is the same: you get the opportunity to connect with people who are there for the same reasons you are and likely have similar interests. Strike up a conversation about these interests and before you know it, you might have a new snowboarding buddy!

At the Local Watering Hole

People cheers with pints of beer and smile.

Photo by Drew Farwell

For those of you who are of legal drinking age, local bars are a prime location to meet new friends after a long day at the mountain. Typically this works best in “ski towns” where most, if not all, of the locals are certified “ski bums.” This is not to encourage drinking, but oftentimes people do feel more confident talking with strangers after a beer or two. If you’re comfortable with it, swing by a bar and see if you can’t score some plans to go ride the mountain the next day with some newfound friends!

If you’re really invested in the idea of making lots of snowboarder friends, you could always get a job at a ski resort for the winter. This is what I did several years ago and because of this, I've met some of my best friends who I ride with each and every winter! Oftentimes, many of the employees of a ski resort are avid riders or skiers themselves who are drawn there because of the appeal of a free season pass, lunch break laps, and full immersion into the lifestyle. While it’s not likely that every single one of your co-workers is a die-hard enthusiast, chances are you’ll meet quite a few people who are down to take a quick lap on a lunch break or even meet up on their days off to come ride the mountain with you!

The Digital Era

Two snowboarders sit on a log and talk.

Photo courtesy of Academy Snowboards

Sometimes the idea of going out and trying to meet people in real life can be a little intimidating, if that sounds about right for you, there is one last option: the internet. While the ideas discussed earlier in this article might be more direct and earn you a new friend right then and there, the internet should not be ignored as a viable resource.

There are a plethora of forums dedicated to finding skiers/snowboarders to ride with and while you might not have a ton of luck finding people on that one Reddit forum from 6 years ago, there are plenty of active Facebook groups out there. For example, Killington Ski Resort (a mid-sized ski resort in Vermont) has a Facebook group with nearly 10,000 members—that’s 10,000 potential friends. Make a post asking if anyone wants to ride next Saturday and you’ll more than likely have a few takers.

If Facebook groups aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to find people to ride with through the internet. One of the easiest ways is to just post that you’re looking for people to snowboard with on your favorite social media app, be it Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. Chances are, someone will see that post and be down to ride. Alternatively, if you’re following lots of local riders, there will probably be a time where they make a post asking if anyone wants to ride—seize this opportunity!

Side note: when meeting up with someone from the internet, please use common sense. Meet the person/people in a public place first and trust your gut!

Go Solo

A snowboarder sits by themselves on a flat area with a view of the clouds stretching before them.

Photo by Ostap Senyuk

Finally, if you’ve tried your best to go make new friends and it's just not working, don’t sweat it—embrace the solo day of snowboarding! Although I love riding with friends, I also cherish the days where I get to take solo laps. There’s no waiting around for anyone else, you get to ride exactly what you want to ride without debate, and you can get to the mountain when you want and leave the mountain when you’re ready. It’s just you, your snowboard, and the open mountain waiting to be explored. Don’t worry, there’s always the next day to find some new friends!

For free, personalized advice and recommendations, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated. Have fun with your new friends!

Snowboard Expert Gaelen Mast
Gaelen Mast
Snowboard Expert
Gaelen here! How can I help?
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Heya! my name is Gaelen and I've been snowboarding for longer than I haven't! I was practically raised by the mountain resort industry, my mother and father were both full-time "snowboard bums" when I was young and so I've been around ski resorts since I was a kid! As soon as I was legally able to w...

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