When to Park. Are you Ready to Play?
When can I go in the terrain park? Kids frequently ask me this as soon as they start riding, sometimes before their first lesson! Adults may take a little longer, but often come around to the same question. And why not? The terrain park looks both beckoning and menacing just beyond that orange fencing. One moment you see a rider effortlessly sail through the air or slide across a rail and you think “I want to do that.” The next rider crashes and burns in spectacular fashion and you think…”NO WAY.”
The simple answer to this question is of course “When you’re ready.” You need to have the riding skills necessary to safely navigate a much more challenging environment. Be comfortable turning both toeside and heelside and have the ability to ride safely around others. Can you control your speed and stop on command? As a general rule you should be confident on intermediate terrain. From here you can go to a smaller park, often called a progression park. Don’t even consider going to the big park. You will be intimidated, unwelcome and possibly hurt.
Progression Parks are smaller, friendlier terrain parks with features that are designed for beginners to develop freestyle skills on. Most resort trail maps will rate their terrain park sizes with “small, medium, and large features.” Signage outside the park will also clue you into what’s inside.
Take a Lesson!
I don’t want to sound like a sales pitch, but an “intro to park” lesson will take a lot of unnecessary bumps and bruises out of the learning curve. At a minimum have an experienced park rider show you the ropes. Check out the snowboard addiction
video program for some helpful tips.
read the sign at the entrance to the park. Smart style is a list of rules designed to keep you in one piece and other riders safe. Read it. Follow it! A MUST WATCH is the official Smart Style Video.
put your ego in check and start with the smallest features and gradually work your way up. You’ll progress faster and be much less likely to get hurt!The terrain park provides a mix of challenging features that can be a ton of fun if approached correctly. Make sure you have the skills you need, educate yourself, and follow smart style. Welcome to a whole new world. We’ll see you in the Park.