A terrain park is a dedicated area where skiers and snowboarders alike go to perform tricks. Enthusiasts of terrain parks range from beginner to expert riders and there are always new tricks to learn or invent, making the possibilities endless! Most resorts around the U.S. today have multiple terrain parks varying in difficulty, so whether you are just starting out on the slopes or a seasoned veteran, there will always be something out there for you.
Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular terrain park features that you can expect to find no matter what resort you choose to visit.
Jumps – Probably the most popular and universally-used terrain park feature is the jump. Constructed out of just snow, you can expect to find jumps ranging from five to one hundred feet. The adrenaline junkies here can be seen performing all sorts of grabs, twists, spins and flips.
Rails – Inspired by the handrails we use in everyday life, rails have become another very popular feature of the terrain park. Rails can be either round or square and are typically always constructed of metal. The act of sliding across a rail is referred to as “grinding” or “jibbing” and there are TONS of trick variations for both skiers and snowboarders to perform on rails.
Boxes – Similar to the rail, but boxes are wider and have an ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) sheet as the surface. They are constructed using a metal frame with the ends and sides covered by plywood with the resort’s name and logo painted on it. Boxes are a more popular feature in the beginner’s terrain park because they allow riders to get used to what the feeling of sliding on top of something other than snow. They are still very prevalent features in moderate difficulty terrain parks, but as you begin to transition into expert parks, you will generally begin to see them less and less.
The quality of the terrain park depends on the resort, however. Some resorts (such as Breckenridge) put pride into their world-class terrain parks more than others, but just remember, where there is terrain there is FUN! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the snow!