Increasingly, park designers are looking for new, innovative ways to attract skiers and riders. If you’ve visited a freestyle park in the past couple of years, you’ve likely experienced one of the more recent trends in park innovation. As it turns out, providing skiable junk—and a lot of it—is a great way to encourage creativity on the slopes. Who’da thunk.
In this case, junk includes everything from cement mixers and propane tanks to broken gondola chairs and tractor tires. Assorted other throw-away items are given a second life as an interesting feature in terrain parks around the country. The national trend is adding new meaning to the term ‘recycling,’ providing a home for items that would otherwise sit in landfills.
The items themselves, however, also add some pretty cool features for riders and freestyle skiers to experiment with. This form of skiing and snowboarding is inherently creative—that’s the foundation of the sport. The recycled features simply add to that creativity. It’s new, it’s fun, and it’s making athletes rethink the ways they travel from Point A to Point B.
The junkyard approach to park development appears to be appreciated by terrain park regulars. Old snowmaking pipes, tower tubes, and wrecking balls add to parks and provide new, cool elements at little cost to the resort. Additionally, the recycled elements add a level of aesthetic to the parks, making them feel more like skate parks than ski resorts.
This trend isn’t new, but it appears to be catching the attention of big-name resorts around the country. These features are available at Heavenly Mountain Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Kirkwood, to name a few.