The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Euro Carving & hard boots: next big snowboard things

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017

Euro Carving

Laying one down or just laying down – who cares when you’re Euro Carving!

People often ask me, “Hey, The Snow Gauge, what’s the next big thing in snowboarding going to be?”

My standard response went: “Go away heathen snowboarder – I don’t care because I ski”.

Now I can actually reply with a face straighter than what their binding set-up is about to be: Euro Carving.

That’s right my snowboarding friends. Pack away the softails and your triple corks because things are about to get hard all over again!

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When will it open; what’s the snow like?

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016

Japan snow

Truckloads of snow for Japan in 2016/17? The suggestions are there might be. Pic:

From the USA to Japan and even Europe I’ve tabled the key resorts with expected opening dates, what if any snow has fallen and taken a broad look at what forecasters are predicting for the season in each of the regions.

Hopefully it will help you with your choice of where to head this northern hemisphere winter!

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Flight hack: how to get cheap snow airfares

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016


I spent some long hours toiling away on flight comparison site Skyscanner and came up with some very interesting information for those thinking about a northern hemisphere ski or snowboard trip this winter.

I’ll leave it for some other time to extol the virtues of various ski resorts across the globe or compare the prices of various accommodation or lift pass prices. Here, purely and simply, is the dirt on flying from Australia to the US, Canada, Japan or Europe – when to go, when to avoid and where to save a buck or two. Other points include:

– The sneaky time to get to the States (in school holidays)
– Why Europe actually represents awesome flight value
– How to save real money if you are prepared to stop off
– Some Japan hacks too.
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The best ‘tween’ resorts in the world

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016


Riding the rapids: Whitewater BC. Pic: Whitewater Facebook

The biggest and most popular ski resorts in the world didn’t get there by accident. Amazing alps and reliable snow sure help, but serious infrastructure and marketing are just as big a part of the pie.

While it’s nice to sit in the latest gondola, dine at the finest on-mountain restaurant and tuck into bed at a five-star hotel there’s often a flipside to the largess: namely crowds, costs and competition for first tracks.

Solution? The tween resort.

Not something Nick Kyrgios does between his legs (did I just say that?) – they are ski areas in between. Affordable and not too big. Yet they are not too small that you can’t spend a week there.

Following are my favourite ‘tween’ resorts in Japan, Europe, the US and Canada. What’s yours?

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New rules mean Japan snow jobs easier to get

Posted by on May 9, 2016

Skiing Annupuri in Japan

Michael Coventry getting the goods at Annupuri, Japan. You may be able to join him on your day off ski instructing. Pic: Dale Goulding

Big changes in visa requirements set to make things easier for ski and snowboard instructors wanting a job in Japan.

While Aussies still can’t get enough of skiing and snowboarding in Japan it seems the industry is still on the skids domestically in the land of the rising sun.

But that looks like being to the advantage of foreigners looking for ski instructor jobs with Kyodo News reporting the government plans on easing visa requirements for foreign ski instructors. The belief is it will help the stuttering industry in Japan.

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In praise of the little ski resort

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015

When it comes to choosing your next ski or snowboard destination big must mean better, right? For many people with limited funds and time there’s a natural inclination to seek out the larger resorts.

You know the ones. They like to flop their stats around like they’re packing a ski stock in their trousers. There’s a knee trembling 1300 metre vertical drop, 126 restaurants and bars within five minutes of your condo and enough lifts to send Schindler out of business.

And that’s all well and good – to a point. But as the years chip away and the seasons mount up I often find myself pining a little for homey ski areas – ones with a couple of lifts that work, the semi-regular opportunity to find a little pow and that Cheers attitude where everybody knows your name (or at least act like they want to know your name anyhow).

With that in mind I have put together my list of the best little ski areas in each of the four key destinations. Give ’em a try sometime, even if it’s just tapping one on as part of another trip.

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