In late December or 2014, Utah’s Brighton Resort unveiled the first official girls-only terrain park. Complete with a flat box, down rail, and a small jump geared toward beginner and intermediate skill levels, the park allows female skiers and snowboarders to hone their terrain abilities without getting hassled by men. The area was named ‘Krista’s Park’ in honor of Krista Moroge, a long-time Burton Snowboards employee who passed away in 2010.
Brighton’s retail manager said girls and women remain underrepresented in rail jams and other events involving terrain skills. While there are a lot of talented guys out there strutting their stuff, not as many women appear to participate. “From what I have gathered,” she said, “girls are intimidated to ride the terrain parks with guys.” Krista’s Park provides an area where female skiers and snowboarders can perfect their trick techniques without “guys making fun of them or speeding by.”
Professional skier Grete Eliassen consulted on the project in the spring of 2014. She believes the area is a great place for women to practice their freestyle skills without feeling intimidated. “Brighton has a pretty tough scene in the terrain park with guys judging and yelling out comments. I think this will make it a lot easier for girls/women to enter the park and have a good time,” she said.
So, what do we think about this? To be honest, it feels like a good start to a broader conversation. Terrain parks and freestyle competitions are dominated by men, and park harassment may contribute to the lack of female participants. While it does feel a bit weird that this park is designed for beginners, it’s important to provide a safe space for women who want to experiment with this type of skiing and riding. Plus, we really have to admit—terrain parks are not the friendliest of places for any type of newbie. In all, this is a good start.