To the innocent rider a snowboard park can be a very treacherous place and more than a little intimidating. To some I’m sure it can look similar to the scene in Top Gun when Maverick and Goose turn up to help Ice Man in the Mig dog fight at the end of the film – people flying round and bits of metal everywhere. Maybe this is getting carried away but hopefully you get what I mean. Here are some tips to help you fight like Maverick in the snowpark.
- Find the park entrance and enter here. If you duck under the ropes or try entering anywhere else you are immediately inviting an early blood wagon trip off the hill.
- Once you’ve entered find a good place to stand or sit out of the way. Always look above you in a park just in case someone is dropping into a jump or a rail – it’s like crossing a busy road… look a few times.
- Having found a safe vantage point spend a few minutes taking the park in. What are the main features? Where are people running in to the features from? Where are the run-outs? Have a look to see if the park has a grading system – often in Europe it’s like the runs: black is the hardest, green the easiest. Make sure you’re aware of this before you get stuck in.
10 Snowboard Park Commandments
- Never ever sit on the top or landing of a jump – unless you want to become a permanent feature of it.
- Always line up with the other guys who are hitting a feature. This way you know if the person in front of you is clear before you drop-in.
- Never drop-in from the side or behind the queue unless you feel like a scrap.
- Crossed arms from a photographer or any other people standing near the jump means ‘don’t drop in’. Chances are someone’s just stacked it on the far side of the landing.
- Don’t take your board off and put it in a silly place.
- If you are hiking a feature always do this well clear of the run-in and landing.
- Try not to claim a trick by thrusting your hands in the air – unless it’s a cab 900 maybe.
- Be friendly – there’s nothing worse than a bad attitude in the park. Give someone a hoot for a good trick… maybe you’ll get one back.
- If you fall try to get up quickly and get out of the way.
- Ride features to your level – build yourself up slowly.