I’ve never skied or snow­boarded be­fore. Which do I choose?

Sunday Star-Times - - TRAVEL -

re­sort next to the piste, so it’s ‘‘ski-in ski-out’’ Euro style. They have great Euro-styled snack food, gluh­wein (mulled wine), and beer plus amaz­ing views of Lake Wakatipu.

Then it’s only 20 min­utes down the hill to Queen­stown and 20 dif­fer­ent op­tions, from watch­ing Su­per rugby at the Lonestar to apres ski and rooftop drinks at the At­tiqa, Sun­deck or Sur­real.

You al­most can in Queen­stown. It’s party cen­tral. But you don’t do it in your ski boots like in Europe. O¯ hakune has a great apres-ski cul­ture, as does Methven.

Sne­don: Do I stay at a ho­tel, club lodge or apart­ment? Coberger:

All three are good op­tions, de­pend­ing on fam­ily size and bud­get.

Queen­stown is where the ac­tion is with world-class ac­com­mo­da­tion and ea­ter­ies, as well as ex­cel­lent back­pack­ers and bud­get places to stay.

Ar­row­town is 20 min­utes from Queen­stown, and Coronet Peak lo­cated at the other end on the Wakatipu Basin.

It’s a qui­eter scene but has amaz­ing restau­rants and bars, like Chop Shop, La Rum­bla, and our lo­cal pub The Tap.

It re­ally de­pends on your bud­get and life­style. Ho­tels are great if you dine out ev­ery night.

If you want to save some money and cook your­self, an apart­ment is great, or if you want to be with loads of other fun peo­ple, a lodge would work.

Sne­don: What is the qual­ity of snow like? Where do you find the best pow­der? Coberger:

Nearly all ski re­sorts in New Zealand have world-class Euro­pean snow-mak­ing sys­tems, which pretty much guar­an­tee a fresh, vel­vety snow sur­face to ski and ride on ev­ery morn­ing.

Se­ri­ous pow­der hounds can book heli-ski­ing up and down the South­ern Alps from Methven to the South­ern Lakes.

Re­mem­ber we are a sub­trop­i­cal is­land with a lot of coast­line and we’re sur­rounded by a warm ocean. But we do ac­tu­ally get some great snow.

Again, I am prob­a­bly a lit­tle bi­ased, but heli-ski­ing re­ally is the best fix for pow­der snow in New Zealand.

Sne­don: Coberger:

Ski­ing has been my life and pas­sion for more than 80 win­ter ski sea­sons so...

Snow­board­ing is good if you have some new snow or soft snow and you are used to rid­ing a skate­board or surf­board.

The first day on a snow­board is a faster learn­ing curve, but then ski­ing takes over. Ski­ing is eas­ier to learn these days due to snow­board­ing’s in­flu­ence.

When snow­board­ing came out, ski man­u­fac­tures re­alised they need to make ski­ing easy and more fun. So mod­ern ski gear is easy to learn on. What­ever you do, don’t learn on old gear. Get some proper in­struc­tion and, to be hon­est, a ski hol­i­day to Europe or North Amer­ica will fast­track your learn­ing curve for ei­ther sport.

Sne­don: Darby:

Why is this even a ques­tion? Why be a slave to grav­ity? You can ac­cess all ar­eas on your skis and you won’t spend half your snow life hophop-hop­ping about on a board to get over a ridge for the down­hill ride.

You can ski straight off the lifts, un­less you’re wait­ing for your board­ing bud­dies to sort out their bind­ings and freeze their bums off...

An Aus­trian snow sports school di­rec­tor once said to me, ‘‘It takes 10 sea­sons to be­come an ex­pert skier; it takes one sea­son to be­come an ex­pert snow­boarder.’’

So, if you’re in a hurry, then go buy a board, but if you want some flex­i­bil­ity in your snow sports, then go ski­ing – you can tra­verse the moun­tain with ease, skate from one place to an­other, even tour into the back-coun­try one step af­ter the other. Fat­ter skis mean it’s much eas­ier to en­joy ski­ing in vir­tu­ally any kind of snow type and they’re also pretty handy in the half-pipe.

But then, the same Aus­trian – a for­mer ski racer – told me his son was rid­ing a snow­board.

‘‘How are you with that?’’ I asked. ‘‘I’m fine with that,’’ he said. ‘‘He’s en­joy­ing the moun­tain and he isn’t in­side play­ing com­puter games.

‘‘Be­sides, I think rid­ing a snow­board in pow­der snow must be as close to fly­ing as you get with­out leav­ing the Earth.’’

He might have some­thing there.

– Stuff and Trav­eller

SI­MON O’CON­NOR/STUFF

Snow­board­ing is con­sid­ered eas­ier to get to grips with than ski­ing.

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