The Alps truely are a paradise for freestylers: A large network of snowparks with new obstacles every season, their own lifts, exclusive events and professional shape crews give riders everything they need and more. Take a look at some of the best and biggest parks in the Alps in our gallery:
One of the biggest and most famous snowparks is the Absolut Park in Flachauwinkl. Opened in 1999, the 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mile) long area offers over 100 different obstacles in seven sections. Whether riders are looking for jib parks, half-pipes, kickers or cross runs - Absolut Park has them all. The moste exciting part of the snowpark is The Stash, one of only six parks of its kind in the whole world. Instead of groomed slopes, you will find wooden obstacles integrated into the natural surroundings. Those who need a break can rest in the two-story Chill House, equipped with a boulder wall, a skate mini ramp and of course several chill out areas.
Laax is one of the best destinations for riders in Switzerland and beyond. The most exciting highlight of the four snowparks is definitely The Beast, the largest half-pipe in Europe. Its size is more than impressive, reaching a length of 200 meters (656 feet), a 22-meter (72-foot) width and a height of 6.9 meters (22.6 feet). The park contains 90 more obstacles, among them four olympic-sized kickers - no wonder the Snowboard World Cup stops here every year. Don't worry though, beginners and intermediate freestylers will also be delighted in Laax. Caffé NoName offers the opportunity to rest while watching the other riders from the sun terrace.
The world's longest snowpark can be found in Mühlbach near Hochkönig. With a length of almost 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles), the Blue Tomato Kings Park stretches across almost the entire route of the 8-person gondola lift Kings Cab, which takes the riders back to the starting point. The park offers over 50 obstacles with a large variety: Rails, boxes, wall rides and kickers can all be found here and can be enjoyed by beginners and pros alike. The snowpark regularly hosts events like the Girls' Session (photo). Cool features for guests are the free Wi-Fi and the snowpark app.
This park is not only the largest one in South Tyrol, but also one of the best in Central Europe. The Seiser Alm in the Dolomite mountains is equipped with 70 obstacles, among them rails, kickers, boxes and whoops. The 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mile) long park is divided into an easy, medium and pro line, with the medium line being the longest in Europe. Another special attraction is the Wood Line, with obstacles entirely made of wood. As the Snowboard World Cup stops here every year, professional athletes can also enjoy the amazing view and great conditions.
Six shaped lines await beginners and advanced pros alike at the 500-meter (1,640-foot) long Penken Park in Mayrhofen. Special highlights among the 33 obstacles are the Rainbow Box, the Multijib Beastbox and the wall ride. The chair lift above the pro area is a perfect opportunity for some great photos, while a surface lift is installed in the kids' area. The Penken Park app keeps visitors up to date about everything happening in the park, especially about the newly groomed obstacles.
Located at 2,450 meters (8,038 feet) at the Giggijoch in Sölden, AREA 47 features an imposing setting. The 6-hectare (15-acre) large and 744-meter (2,440-foot) long park offers challenges for beginners, advanced freestylers and professionals. The variety of obstacles stretches from rails to boxes and wall rides, which are continuously expanded throughout the season. The oversized obstacles seen at the end of the season (photo) attract stars, photographers and film crews from all around the world. If you get hungry, check out the restaurant located at the end of the park.
Mottolino Snowpark is one of the oldest snowparks in Europe and still among the best. The park in Livigno was a milestone in the freestyle scene and is constantly being expanded. The most recent addition is the Big Air Bag with a length of 60 meters (197 feet) and a width of 23 meters (75 feet). It is used in training even by professional freeskiers and boarders. The park offers four different lines with over 60 obstacles and a length of 800 meters (2,625 feet). Five shapers are at work here, grooming the obstacles by hand and with two snow groomers. During the past 15 years, the Mottolino Snowpark has not only hosted competitions, but also been awarded various national and international prizes itself.
Freestylers of every level will enjoy Superpark Planai, as it has different lines for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced freestyle fans. 55 obstacles await those fans here - the kickers are especially remarkable, as some of them are up to 14 meters (46 feet) high. Their tables reach into the ground, which means a little snow is already enough to shape them. When the weather is good, deck chairs are set up at the top of the park, while music is played across the park. For those looking for more than freestyle, funcross and funslope tracks are also available and offer exciting steep turns, tunnels and waves.
Snowpark Turracher Höhe is one of the longest snowparks in Austria and one of the most reliable ones when it comes to snowfall. The Kornock chair lift takes freestylers to the starting point at 2,030 meters (6660 feet), from where they can enjoy 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) of snowpark. While those new to freestyling can try the family and beginner lines, more advanced riders will have fun with the boxes and kickers on the intermediate line. Even real pros will get their money's worth at the advanced line, famous even outside of Austria. A great extra feature are eight SpotOn cameras along the park, filming every run from different angles. The recorded videos can easily be downloaded via the SpotOn app.
Corvatsch Park at St Moritz is one of the longest snowparks on the European continent. Besides the easy and medium lines, freestylers can also check out the flow line and fun line. Daring riders can even challenge themselves on the World Cup line, equipped with a six-meter (20-foot) superpipe. The air bag makes it safe to try some risky tricks without risking to hurt yourself. Professionals from around the world often come to Corvatsch Park, both for private shred sessions and for World Cup or other competitions. The park regularly organizes photo shoots at the Mittelstation Murtél, for which no prior registration is needed. The pictures can then be downloaded afterwards.
Completely remodeled, Snowpark Ischgl now offers two park areas, a fun line and a bag jump. While it is now smaller than before, an air bag has been set up - perfect for trying out new tricks. This makes Ischgl a great destination even for beginning freestylers. Afterwards, riders can relax on the deck chairs in the park base or get something to eat at the huts on the Idalp.
An obstacle freestyle board park can also be found nearby in Samnaun. Located west of the Alp Trider Eck-Lift, the obstacle park offers some exciting challenges, such as groomed barrels and differently-shaped aluminum frames.
Freestylers have 70,000 square meters (17.3 acres) of winter sports excitement to themselves in Val Thorens. One of the largest and most popular parks in the French Alps, the snowpark is located at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,202 feet) and offers a large variety of differently-sized jumps, rails and boxes. Some unusual elements can also be found here, such as a hips-quarter or a jump air with shock-absorbing mats. Advanced freestylers can try the large kicker in the black corridor.
As an editor at Snow-Online I turned my hobby into my profession. The mountains have always fascinated me. You can meet me on the downhill slopes, but also on the cross-country trails. If you have any questions, just contact me by mail . Read more