Freestyle

CHRIS CHATT EXPLAINS WHY HE RATES THE HOF

The famous Penken Park. Photo: Vanessa Andrieux
The famous Penken Park. Photo: Vanessa Andrieux

Ah, the almighty Vans Penken Park… Where to begin? I have watched it progress since my first winter in Mayrhofen over 6 years ago, and it’s certainly among the best parks in Europe, if not the best! With a dedicated shaping team that work into the night to maintain it, this place rarely has a bad day. The pro kicker line is one of its most famous features; the three perfectly-shaped big jumps that have their landings in the sun and their take-offs in the shade. This is like a magnet for the pros that pass through, and on a good day you’ll see the likes of Peetu Piiroinen, Ethan Morgan and Tom West distributing the thunder right here. There’s also a medium and a beginner line of kickers running the whole length of the park, in case you aren’t feeling it on the big kickers. The halfpipe (or ‘stunt ditch’ as it has been named) is now pretty small but good fun when it’s been shaped, and is the perfect size for learning pipe manoeuvres. There are plans to make it more of a jib pipe with rails and things place on the coping, which will be perfect. The rail lines range from beginner to advanced, featuring every kind of setup you could think of. They also have a stair set feature without stairs, just a smooth plastic surface. It’s something a little gnarlier without the fear of a stair massage. Another great feature over all of this is the Sun Jet chairlift, which is a short ride taking you directly over the park – perfect for watching the carnage unfold underneath you.

John Weatherly takes a brak from playing with his toys to disaster the shit out of a Penken box. Photo: Sam Mellish
John Weatherly takes a brak from playing with his toys to disaster the shit out of a Penken box. Photo: Sam Mellish
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