As the saying goes "there's nothing like your first time"...

Like most, I was always told the first would be painful, so make sure I have protection and stay safe. I was only 12 years old, when the first opportunity to experience 'my first time' came about. However, due to various reasons I was unable to go through with it.

15 years later, and finally I was ready to experience my first time! I found out about Snowboxx narrowly missing out on the 2016 festival; so I prepared to make my first time on the slopes memorable in 2017 instead. Once I pre-registered, I began recruiting like minded people... open minded, thrill seekers and defiant!

Eventually, I managed to recruit 3 Urban Shredderz willing to make the trip to Snowboxx 2017 in the French Alps of Avoriaz, Morzine.

The Journey - we flew from Stansted airport, just about making our flight after having to run as we were having our names announced over the tanoi for final calls before the gate closed. The journey involved a 2hr flight and 2.5hr coach journey from the airport to resort. Yes, it was long but this gave you the opportunity to rest and meet fellow winter festival revelers.

The Slopes - in the group there were 3 novices and my boy who had previously been twice. I was the only member attempting to snowboard (because I'm cool like that). As someone who has never skateboarded and is only very basic at ice skating; I was prepared for a serious challenge! I signed up for beginners lessons that began at 9:30am every morning for 6 days. 

The first 3 days were a constant struggle from getting up the drag lift, to controlling the board and coping with the constant pain from every muscle in my body! However, on the 4th day I was ready to tackle some blue and green slopes with my boys. There's nothing like shredding down the slopes with your friends; weaving in and out from each other, with beautiful scenic views of the French Alps

The Apres - if you've ever seen a movie based in the slopes; you may have seen lots of drinking, partying and more. I can confirm this ALL to be true! If you don't fancy hitting the slopes then the Apres Ski activities begin from 3pm, the main stage was packed with performances and DJ's from 6/7pm, followed by Club XX; and for the hardcore revelers then finish the night in Shooters at 3am or Yak Club which goes on until 5am!

There were acts like Basement Jaxx, DJ Luck & MC Neat, Abode, Wilkinson and more. Similarly you had Igloo parties; which I didn't feel was worth the trek! However, at Rock the Piste we were treated to a performance by Rag'n'Bone Man.

The People - if you're looking for boring, mundane people you won't find them there! Snowboxx 2017 was a melting pot of cool, friendly, lively and wild people. If your the friendly and interactive you'll fit right in regardless of any apprehension you may have.

"If you embrace the environment, the environment will embrace you.. it's really that simple!"

Final Thoughts - like I said before, "there's nothing like your first time". I'd suggest attending a winter festival such as Snowboxx when embarking on your first winter trip. As its the total package, you arrange flights, transfers, accommodation, equipment hire and snowboarding/skiing lessons through the same place. Also, due to the festival environment you never feel isolated as you're surrounded by people wanting to have a good and fun experience on the mountains. Book yourself a winter trip for 17/18 winter season!

Written by Dazzle.

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