Growing in popularity are terrain parks, they add another dimension to freestyling and are a great place to work on your tricks.
Don’t try and rush a jump or a trick though, they all require a lot of practice, determination and patience before you can perfect them. It is also advisable to wear a helmet wherever you are in a terrain park with some parks making helmets mandatory.
Some resorts cater better for freestylers and listed below are our top three terrain parks in the world.
Nintendo Terrain Parks, Whistler, Canada
Whistler boasts 99 acres of park terrain which is divided into eight parks, Terrain Garden, Cougar Park, Habitat Park, Nintendo Terrain Park and Highest Level, Snowcross track, Global Pipe and Mini Pipe. Overall there are over 100 jump and 200 features in the world’s premier ski resort.
Terrain Garden and Cougar Park are especially designed for beginners and they feature smaller versions of rails, boxes, rollers and jumps. Both parks are a great place to learn how to use park features and build confidence.
Habitat Park has small, medium and large features and is a great place for boarders to improve their skills before progressing to the Nintendo Terrain Park which has medium and large features including table tops, hip jumps, rails and fun boxes. Intermediate riders can also learn the basic skills for riding transitions in the Mini Pipe park.
For the more experienced rider there is the Highest Level Park, it is strictly for experts only and features the biggest and most technical jumps and rails including a 485ft vertical drop. Advanced riders and experts can also use the Olympic standard Global Pipe which is the best pipe in North America.
Vans Penken Park, Mayrhofen, Austria
The Mecca of snowboard parks has established itself as a meeting point of the European freestyle scene. The park covers a whole slope in the resort and is one of the biggest snow parks in Europe and is served by a four-seater chairlift which means you won’t have to use up energy getting to the top of the park and can take in all the action below as you head to the top.
The Vans Penken Park caters for a range of abilities and is divided into six areas, medium area, fun area, advanced area, challenging pro area, half pipe and a kid’s park. While its features include two hips, 11 kickers, and 34 boxes and rails. The kid’s park is specifically designed for beginners and located a safe distance from the hardcore freestylers to allow first-timer to get to grips with the basics.
Stash Park, Killington, USA
The Stash offers the ultimate terrain park environment with all features being naturally inspired. The park was developed with the future of the mountain environment in mind and reuses trees and other objects that are found and brings in the creative elements that the mountain has to offer. Its aim is for more impact on your riding and less impact on the environment. The park features log rides, rainbow trees, rock jibs, rails, jibbable buildings and well as there being ten new features in the woods for the 2011 season.
There are five other Stash Parks in Jackson Hole, Northstar in Tahoe, The Remarkables in New Zealand, Flachauwinkl in Austria and Avoriaz in France.