The world’s best urban snowboarding spots

Where to ride the rugged powder of the streets according to Ethan Stone Fortier, aka E-Stone.
By E-Stone

The world of the urban snowboarder is a far cry from the sport's ideal conditions of blue skies, crisp mountain air and champagne-powder descents back to the hot tub. Instead, the urbanist has to face long, late nights shovelling grime-laced slush, hassle from the authorities and a lot more falls. Like Graffiti artists, urban snowboarders find themselves searching the same kinds of places in pursuit of their art: the dirty, broken corners of the city where nobody cares what you do.

When it comes to documenting the hard-working elite of urban snowboarding in America, nobody is more respected than Ethan Stone Fortier, aka E-Stone. Another rider who discovered his true talent behind the lens, somehow E-Stone manages to juggle his role as staff photographer at Snowboarder Magazine with running his legendary snowboard brand,  Tech 9. Each winter is a grind, but for Stone, the satisfaction of travelling the world in search of gritty new spots never gets old. Here’s a street art-themed sampling of a career dedicated to shredding in the city, in E-Stone's own words.

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Pat Moore, Ogden Utah, USA
Pat Moore riding in Ogden, Utah, USA.
Pat Moore, Ogden Utah, USA The city of Ogden is the meth capital of Utah, and with drugs came crime and decay. Littered with abandoned buildings, it's no wonder that snowboarders flock to this city to shoot. This mural represents positive alternatives to drugs: in this picture, Pat Moore adds another one to the list. © E-Stone
Lucas Magoon, Warsaw, Poland
Snowboarder Lucas Magoon riding in Warsaw, Poland
Lucas Magoon, Warsaw, Poland Street missions to Europe rule – the laid-back attitude is polar opposite to America. Instead of super-citizens calling the police, people are interested in what you are doing. Cops rolled by this session in downtown Warsaw and gave us a thumbs-up. In the States they would have shut us down quick. © E-Stone
Jonah Owen, Tallinn, Estonia
Snowboarder Jonah Owen riding in Tallinn, Estonia
Jonah Owen, Tallinn, Estonia Tallinn is a medieval city with skyline boasting both castles and skyscrapers. Our guide took us to this spot where his friend was throwing up a giant graffiti burner and a news crew came to film us for Estonian TV. Back home it would have been a bust, but here it was art making the news that night. © E-Stone
Nick Poohachoff, Vilnius, Lithuania
Snowboarder Nick Poohachof riding in Vilnius, Lithuania
Nick Poohachoff, Vilnius, Lithuania Vilnius should be on any traveller’s hit list. Our guide took us to this perfect roof guarded by security and surveillance cameras 24-7. It turned out the guard had a soft spot for Lithuanian Vodka, and a bottle will get you an uninterrupted snowboarding rail session for the day. © E-Stone
Austin Hironaka, Ottawa, Canada
Snowboarder Austin Hironaka riding in Ottawa, Canada
Austin Hironaka, Ottawa, Canada Every city has its own unique shred spot, a no-bust zone where people seem to look the other way and just let you ride. Welcome to Tech Wall in Downtown Ottawa, Canada. The coolest thing about this spot is that every year we visit, the wall has a fresh coat of amazing new street art. © E-Stone
Nick Poohachoff, Ottawa, Canada
Snowboarder Nick Poohachoff riding in Ottawa, Canada
Nick Poohachoff, Ottawa, Canada Funny story about this spot… after a day of bumping into film crews that kept beating us to the spot, our guide Jesse told us of a ‘secret’ spot an hour north. As he was talking, JP Walker posted a new photo on Instagram, leaning against a pipe that fitted Jesse’s description… beaten again! © E-Stone
Dylan Thompson, Orem, Utah, USA
Snowboarder Dylan Thompson riding in Orem, Utah, USA
Dylan Thompson, Orem, Utah, USA I’m always amazed how Dylan can consistently hit features and come out unscathed. This huge front board was extra cool because his homie and artist Dave Doman joined us at the session to turn this old wall into a work of art. © E-Stone
Chris Grenier Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Snowboarder Chris Grenier riding in Providence, USA
Chris Grenier Providence, Rhode Island, USA The kids at a nearby school used this shred spot in Providence to send a creative message to the community about not eating the river fish! What comes to my mind is the three-eyed fish in The Simpsons intro. The only thing that came to Greniers mind was this sick Back Lip! © E-Stone
Andrew Brewer, Vilnius, Lithuania
Snowboarder Andrew Brewer riding in Vilnius, Lithuania
Andrew Brewer, Vilnius, Lithuania As we spent the week driving around Vilnius looking for spots, we started noticing one tag that seemed to be everywhere. From the top of skyscrapers to the littlest nooks and crannies, Runchy is the man in this city. I think he’d be stoked to see his moniker underlining Brewer’s proper Method. © E-Stone
Nick Poohachoff, Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA
Snowboarder Nick Poohachoff riding in Milwaukee
Nick Poohachoff, Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA On this trip we spent hours in the van finding all sorts of spots in a city that had never really been hit up by shred crews. Unfortunately, on day two we found out why – overnight, we went from thermals to T-shirts and cold beers at this spot. As soon as Pooch nailed this invert, we headed home. © E-Stone
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