If you’ve learning a new snowboard trick, chances are you’re learning it in a beginner park. The jumps and boxes are smaller and the whole point of smaller features is to make it easier and less intimidating to learn freestyle right?
I love the beginner park and I like teaching people in the beginner park, but there are 2 things that aren’t great about the beginner park:
- They’re usually the busiest out of all the parks due to ski schools, families and random groups riding through
- They’re typically the least maintained out of all the parks
This leads to what I find to be the biggest problem with the beginner park…
Beginner park features get ruined FAST
When you combine crowds with an under maintained park, you get tracks, gutters and weird ditches forming all over the park features. I’m not blaming the park crew (they’re usually underpaid and understaffed), it’s just the reality of crowds hitting park features that aren’t being re-shaped during the day.
Holes start to form where people land often and entry lines onto boxes/rails get that annoying ditch that forces you to hit the boxes from a certain angle.
This can really screw up your landings, take-offs and it makes it hard to get a good entry line into the park features. You’ll often come off a small box and find a massive, gaping hole at the end. Not fun.
So how do you avoid this? It’s pretty simple really…
Park in the morning
You’d think this is pretty obvious, but next to no one is in the park in the mornings. It’s always afternoon by the time most people head to the beginner park.
Hit the beginner park in the morning before it gets ridden out by a billion people. There’s a HUGE difference between the beginner park at 9 am and the beginner park at 2 pm.
At 9 am, the jumps are well shaped, there aren’t any tracks or ditches, the snow in the landings hasn’t been pushed away and best of all there aren’t any crowds.
Why make it harder on yourself trying to learn spins with 50 carve tracks in the take-off and holes in the landing when you can ride a freshly shaped park for 2-3 hours before the crowd starts to gather.
Two people can ride park for 3 hours each (1 in the afternoon, 1 in the morning), but the guy in the morning will have a waaay easier time learning tricks on freshly shaped park features.
The quality of your riding is just as important as the amount of time you ride, so why not take advantage of the empty mornings in the beginner park.