A QUESTION OF STYLE
Snowparks contain two features: bumps and rails, which are used to perform all kinds of acrobatics. The most common tricks are big air jumps, XXL kickers, step-ups (a jump whose landing area is above the take-off), step-downs (where the landing area is below the take-off), hips (kickers with a landing area perpendicular to the take-off), and half-pipes (semi-circular tubes that allow skiers to do a series of aerial jumps).
Rails, a type of iron bar similar to the handrails installed along urban staircases, are used by riders for perpendicular sliding tricks. Less seasoned riders can start out using broader, more accessible ‘boxes’, for the same effect. Natural rails made from polished tree trunks have been all the rage for the last few seasons!
The Stash in Avoriaz: a pioneering, eco-friendly snowpark
FOR ALL THE FAMILY
Some snowparks also include a boardercross run with bumps and banked turns, which you can speed down alone or with friends to spice things up a little! To make it even more fun, some runs include interactive objects such as bells and giant hands which you have to touch with your poles on the way down. Kids love this!
STICK TO THE RULES
Snowparks are subject to the same rules as classic ski runs: skiers below you have right of way, if you need to stop, do so by the side of the run, and all skiers must control their speed.
To help beginners, signs are sometimes placed a few metres ahead of features to give riders warning. They indicate where freestylers should place themselves, skis straight, to make a successful attempt without having to speed up or slow down. Whatever your level or experience, we strongly recommend doing an initial recce of the features, as well as wearing a helmet and back protection.