VIDEO - Early Season Park Review (Thredbo & Perisher)

30th of June 2011

The excellent snowfalls at the start of the season, supplemented by snowmaking, have allowed the New South Wales resorts to build some fantastic early season terrain. And the recent run of sunny, warm weather has provided perfect conditions for all riders to enjoy a slide on some of the features. Earlier this week, Boen Ferguson cruised around Perisher and Thredbo to investigate the current state of their terrain parks. Luckily, Boen had the presence of mind to film his exploits with good friend Ben Hansen.

Park Review | Alex Cameron

Video by Ben Hansen and Boen Ferguson

Monday 27 June | Perisher
Monday dawned a classic blue sky day. Boen, Ben and your corespondent arrived at Perisher early, and from the carpark the Front Valley Park looked flawless. Thanks to recent snowfalls, Perisher has been able to build two jumps, to add to seven funboxes and five rails. The Front Valley Park is usually home to Perisher's more advanced terrain, with the Leichhardt, Piper and Blue Cow Terrain Parks providing smaller features. However, this early in the season, Perisher has focused its efforts on providing a fun array of features for all levels of riders in the Front Valley Park. Some of the features are 'ride-on' while others are more advanced with a 'gap-on', meaning there is a gap between the take-off wedge and the beginning of the rail.

For the beginners, there are plenty of ride on flat boxes, and a small jump. The more advanced riders will enjoy the flat-down box combo, the down rail, the S-rail and the battleship box. For the snowboarders, there is also a fun pole jam next to the bottom jump. The location of the Front Valley Eight and the Sturt T-Bar make the lap back to the top of the park very quick; at just six minutes it is among the quickest park laps in the country. This means riders can get more runs in each day, which allows for faster progression! Also, riding up the Village Eight Seater provides a great view for spectators to check out the action in the park.

All in all, the Front Valley park provided a great day of riding, with the bottom jump being a particular treat for this early in the season.

Boen Ferguson and Alex Cameron sharing one of the new lift tower jibs in the High Noon Park at Thredbo. Photo:: Ben Hansen

Tuesday 28 June | Thredbo
Tuesday dawned another classic blue sky day. However Boen, Ben and your correspondent arrived at Thredbo a little later than planned thanks to a bit of action at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel the night before. Thredbo has two terrain parks open; a beginner park at Merritts and a more advanced park at High Noon. The early season snowfalls have provided ample raw materials, resulting in some fun and innovative features in both parks. The Merritts park has a stree-style down box, and flat-down box, two dance floor boxes and an 'ironing board'. (To clarify, a dance floor box is a very wide, flat box set into the snow for beginners, and an 'ironing board' is a hybrid jib that is closer to the width of a rail, with the PVC surface of a box.) The Easy Rider T-bar provides a really quick lap back to the top of the park, making the Merritts Park a beginner's paradise and a fun place for riders to slide off a hangover!

The High Noon Park showcases the innovative design and skill of Thredbo's park team, headed up by Charles Beckinsale and Sammy Towers. It contains three lift towers, two set up as down rails and one as an up-down rail (pictured). It also has a C-rail, a street-style flat rail and a banked box, which is a flat box set up to slope from one side to the other. The High Noon terrain park contains some of the most advanced features in Australia presently. It is full of opportunities to challenge and progress your riding.

The High Noon park played host a fun and challenging session, marred only by the presence of some significant hangovers.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the season about the Terrain Parks in Australia and New Zealand

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