After you’ve developed a solid set of skills on your skis or snowboard, a great way to start pushing yourself is in the Terrain Park. Opposed to popular belief - riding and skiing in the Terrain Park doesn’t always lead to getting hurt, it can be rewarding, fun, and a great way to meet new people on the hill.
Before you enter the Terrain Park for your first time, here are a few tips to help make your first experience a positive one.
1. Always scope out the park.
This means taking a lap through the park, slowing down to take a look at features, landings, take-offs, and more. When you are cruising through checking out the “features” (jumps, rails, boxes, berms), make sure you are out of the way of anyone hitting features. That means not hanging out near or around landings, take-offs, and or even standing too close to jumps and rails. This rule applies to anyone hitting the park for the first time that day. Sometimes the park crew changes things up overnight and you always want to be fully aware of what the park is looking like that day.
2. Start small.
This one is self explanatory, never drop in on the largest, scariest feature you see. Find features that are “ride ons” meaning you don’t need to jump or “ollie” to get onto the feature, and look for jumps without a “knuckle.” See images below for examples of great beginner features:
Images courtesy of SnowboardAddiction.com
3. Don’t get intimidated by other skiers and boarders.
Going into a Terrain Park for the first time can be nerve wracking for many reasons, but one of the most common themes for being nervous is looking silly or inexperienced in front of others. Bottom line is, everyone starts somewhere, and how you feel on that first day is how anyone feels entering the park for the first time. Just be polite, wait your turn, and don’t get discouraged by other people.
4. Understand park etiquette.
Ever wonder why everyone seems to stand at the top of the park together before dropping in? This is proper Terrain Park etiquette: waiting for your turn to drop in so that way you don’t collide with someone.
Riding or skiing in the Terrain Park is very different from cruising down a regular trail. There are unspoken rules of the park such as waiting your turn to hit a feature, telling others when you are dropping into a feature, and not hanging out in unsafe areas such as next to a feature, or in a landing. Following proper park etiquette prevents collisions, and creates a safer place for everyone to be in.
5. Have fun with it.
Seriously, if you are not having fun, then what’s the point, right? Don’t scare yourself by trying to learn too fast, and don’t be ashamed of hitting the same dance floor 100 times before you try boardsliding a rail. Everyone learns at a different pace, and try not to get discouraged and just enjoy the ride.
Want to know what to wear your first time in the Terrain Park? Check out our Softflex. The Softflex keeps you warm, dry, and comfortable during those chilly Terrain Park progression sessions.