A Guide to Snow Parks

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For those of us who do not consider ourselves park rats the park can be a scary and daunting place for any skier/snowboarder.

However, with a little guidance and a triple XL Hoodie anyone can enjoy the excitement and thrill offered by this man-made set up.

Here are some tips to stay safe and make the most out of your time in the park!

For skiers and snowboarders, I would always recommend wearing a helmet when heading out for a ‘shred’ in the park! And if you’re a snowboarder, impact shorts are a life saver for falling on your back side.

When arriving at the park there a few staple rules to keep yourself safe and out of other riders’ way:

  • Never cut someone up who is about to hit a feature
  • Make sure to wait your turn in the queue (often riders will tell you if you can drop before them)

  • Try not to stop or have a rest in the take off or landing of a jump/feature. This is especially an issue if you cannot see the landing of a feature from the top
  • If you fall and your stuff goes everywhere (skiers/yard sale) collect all your equipment and move yourself safely to the side
  • Try and ride with other people as this means each person can look out for one another
  • Listening to Hip Hop will improve your ability by 100%. Think Kendrick Lamar or ScHoolboy Q

The snow park will be set up much like slope markers with colours which indicate the difficulty of the feature. Start small at first and build it up:

  • Green is for beginners and offers small features like small jumps or ride on boxes with little consequence. These are perfect for practising getting your skis or snowboard off the ground for the first time or learning how to slide on something other than snow.
  • Blue features are the next progression these are often slightly bigger features but still offer a low level of consequence.
  • Red features are where things start getting a bit more technical jumps will often need to be hit at higher speeds, and you will have to commit to being in the air longer than the 2 previous difficulty levels. Red features often start having rails or boxes which will need the rider to jump or ‘Ollie’ up and onto the feature and more away from simply being to ride directly on without our skis or snowboard leaving the snow first.
  • Black and XL Black features should really be left to confident and proficient snowboarders/skiers. These features demand full commitment and can result in injury if a rider isn’t comfortable or used to hitting these lines (These are often left to the professionals).
  • And here are some helpful phrases to help you blend in with the ‘locals’:

  • Ollie/pop: Jumping your ski’s or snowboard into the air much like a skateboard ollie
  • Lip/take off: The point where your ski’s or snowboard either slide onto a feature or leave the snow
  • Rail: These are thin narrow metal features
  • Boxes: Wider metal features
  • Rainbow Rail: A rail that is shaped like a rainbow
  • C Rail: A rail that is shaped like a C
  • An A frame: A rail that goes up, then flat, then down again
  • Gucci Plateau: The ultimate distance to land after doing a jump
  • Steezy: Easy and stylish
  • After Bang – When you land heavily after a jump and your body jolts from impact
  • Butters: When you spin on your nose or tail without the board leaving the snow

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