Laax baby! Anyone with any vague interest in freestyle has heard of the place. For years the Burton European Open, now the Laax Open, has been held here while many national events like the British Champs also call it home. It’s easy to see why they pick it: with 235km of pistes, 43km of freeride routes, four terrain parks, one mother of a superpipe and a season that starts in November up on the glacier, there is plenty to keep you coming back.
- Highest Point: 3018m
- Descent: 2000m
- No. lifts: 28
Laax and Flims are the two villages which share the same incredible slopes, located a short distance from the town of Chur in Graubünden. Both are worthy places to stay but it is Laax that tends to get all the headlines over the more chilled Flims. Fair warning: this is Switzerland, so get ready to raise an eyebrow or two over the prices.
The Parks – 5/5
Without question the best destination for freestylers to head to in Switzerland, maybe even Europe. Laax has four parks, a mini pipe and a superpipe all located around the Crap Sogn Gion which adds up to about 80 individual features. All of this is overseen by the Cafe No Name, which acts as a hub and chillout space for riders.
With beginner, medium and pro kicker lines, the upper parks offer a huge and varied playground for each level. There’s a good selection of easy hits, plenty of entry-level rails and boxes and now a permanent airbag to try your inverts on, as well as a boardercross park to satisfy you and your mates’ competitive streak.
Right below the summit restaurant on Crap Sogn Gion is the ‘No Name’ park, which is dominated by the legendary Laax Superpipe – an intimidating, 200m-long, 6.9m high behemoth that gives some of the pro’s jitters, never mind Joe Public. They tend to stuff this earth-shaped beauty full of the last remaining snow at the end of the season, so they can get it up and running almost as soon as the resort opens.
“P60 is a dedicated freestyle piste, with 30 or so obstacles and kickers dotted along it’s 1km length”
Continuing down from the No Name park, P60 (the Crap Sogn Gion-Curnius piste) is a dedicated freestyle piste, with 30 or so obstacles and kickers dotted along it’s 1km length, though this extends throughout the season and has features changes almost daily!
As if all this wasn’t enough, Laax also offers Europe’s first indoor freestyle academy down in town, which includes a snowflex jump into an airbag, a skatepark, and trampolines for practising inverts. Perfect for those bad weather days or evenings, although be aware that an initial introductory course is mandatory.