Ski Magazine Snow-Online.com

Sponsors

Terrain Park Dictionary: The Most Important Elements for Freestylers

Hi, I'm Isabell, one of the editors at snow-online.com. I've been skiing since I was a kid and now I can't wait to get back on the slopes every winter. That's why I'm lucky that (after my studies in media and communication) I found a job where everything revolves around my favourite hobby. If you have any questions about me or about snow-online.com, ask me! Just send an email... Read more

last update on Jan 20, 2020

Obstacle, straight jump or rainbow – The language of snowboarders and freestylers is full of words outsiders won't understand at first. If you're one of these outsiders, we're here to help you. We've put together the most common elements in a terrain park and will explain what you can do with them.

First of all, the general term for all elements found in a terrain park is obstacle. These can be divided into kickers or jumps, jibs and pipes. They come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and difficulty levels. Here's an overview of the most important terrain park elements:

Pipes

The half pipe is one of the classic elements in a terrain park.
© LAAX/Philipp Ruggli The half pipe is one of the classic elements in a terrain park.

The half pipe is an absolute classic among freestyle elements. Built into the park's slope, the gradient inside the pipe provides the speed needed to perform tricks. For professional freestyle contests, organizers often go to great lengths and build super pipes. These are often over five meters (16 feet) high and therefore unsuitable for beginners.

Pipes can be found stand-alone as well. These quarter pipes are the simplest variation of so-called verts, where jump and landing are identical. To avoid driving into a wall of snow or simply sliding back down the pipe backwards, you'll have to reach a certain level of speed.

Kickers and Jumps

Spectacular tricks like flips and rotations are possible on kickers.
© TVB Paznaun-Ischgl Spectacular tricks like flips and rotations are possible on kickers.

Spectacular jumps and tricks are performable at kickers. They are typically made entirely out of snow and vary in size and difficulty. Mini kickers require less speed to be overcome, making them ideal for beginners. Experienced freestylers will prefer the larger super kickers. They are usually the largest obstacles in the park and require an extensive run-up and high speed to be passed. The time freestylers spend in the air is accordingly long.

Often, several kickers can be found in a row, a so-called kicker line.
© Stubaier Gletscher/Tom Bause Often, several kickers can be found in a row, a so-called kicker line.

The coolest tricks and highest air time are reached at straight jumps, a type of kicker. The larger ones among them are also called big air. Often, several of them are placed in a row as a kicker line.

Tables are popular obstacles among beginners, since they are some of the easiest jumps in the terrain park and make for great practice obstacles. As the name suggests, their shape is similar to that of a table. If you're going slow, you'll land on the table's even top surface. At a faster speed, you'll be able to jump across to the other side of the obstacle. Tables are often combined with other elements.

Jibs

Jibs often show a resemblance to urban elements.
© TVB Innsbruck/Christian Vorhofer Jibs often show a resemblance to urban elements.

Jibbing means sliding across something, which is exactly what freestylers do at jibs. Turning, jumping or performing tricks are also possible while jibbing. The difference between Jibs and Kickers is that Jibs are made of synthetic materials, steel or wood instead of snow. They often show similarities with urban elements, such as railings, tables and barrels.

Freestylers can glide down boxes and rainbows.
© TVB Paznaun-Ischgl Freestylers can glide down boxes and rainbows.

A classic among Jibs are rails. Snowboarders try to slide down the round or oval metal pipes as long as possible. Especially for freeskiers, wider elements like boxes are easier to handle. Boxes have a larger plastic surface on the top with metal rails on the sides. Due to their shape, metal pipes with a larger diameter are called mail boxes.

Rainbows are a special type of jibs. Here, freestylers are first slowed down and then accelerated again in a curve, so make sure you don't lose your balance!

Related articles in our ski magazine
Travel Deals & Tips

Comments

No posts available yet:
  • Nobody posted on the wall
  • Be the first to comment!
Login with Google+