A Quick and Dirty Review of Terrain Park Features

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably skied or boarded through a terrain park. If you’re a casual freestyle skier, you probably don’t have the terminology to describe specific park features or distinguish between amenities. Below, we have detailed the Big Three—the three types of features you are most likely to see.


Jibs—This is any type of fixture which can be ridden with a board or skis either parallel or perpendicular to the snow surface. You can spin on them, jump, and perform any number of tricks. A jib can be a:

Rail, which is a metal feature (round or flat) where the skier or boarder can slide across.

Box, which is similar to a rail, but wider and with a polyethylene surface.

Table Top, which is similar to a box but it much wider and often used by beginners.

Wall Ride, which is a vertical, wall-like surface.

Barrel, which is often shaped like a garbage can and allows riders to spin to and from the structure.

Rainbox, which is a box or rail that has a hump like a rainbow.

Jibs are not often used for catching air. Instead, they allow skiers and boarders to ride and perform tricks while skating on the item itself.


Jumps—Jumps are some of the most popular attractions in a terrain park. They can range from five feet to over one hundred feet high, but this varies by resort and park. These are often constructed entirely from snow and allow riders to do tricks like grabs, twists, spins, and flips. The most popular types of jumps are listed below.

Tabletop, which is a jump that looks like a trapezoid. The rider takes off from an incline, clears the flat part at the top, and lands on the downslope.

Step-down, which is a jump in which the landing is lower than the takeoff.

Step-up, which is when the landing is higher than the takeoff.

Gap, which is when the jump has a gap between the takeoff and landing (rather than a table).

Hip, which is when the jump has one landing perpendicular to the take-off.

The type of take-off, landing, and the size of the jump will determine how much space air you get off the top. Smaller jumps are often the easiest features of a terrain park.


Vertical—Vertical terrain park structures allow the skier or boarder to both jib and jump. They can either jib the rim of the vertical or use their momentum to clear the top. Popular vertical attractions include:

Half-pipe, which is a downhill trough with vertical lips on each side.

Quarter-pipe, which is a feature that has a vertical lip allowing the user to launch into the air and land on the same lip.