Slopestyle offers skier and snowboarders more creativity |

Slopestyle offers skier and snowboarders more creativity

Though not featured at the Winter Olympics, terrain park slopestyle is a popular discipline among snowboarders and freeskiers. Combining jumps, rails, boxes and other obstacles, slopestyle allows levels of creativity not possible in the U-shaped halfpipe.

“I always grew up riding park and was always more psyched on it,” says top snowboard competitor Jamie Anderson. “You can be more creative with it and it’s just more fun.”

Access also promotes its appeal. Nationwide, few resorts have the resources to build and maintain large halfpipes, whereas terrain parks are common at most ski areas.

“It’s definitely easier for kids to ski the slopestyle aspect rather than halfpipe,” says pro skier Tom Wallisch. “Every mountain has a terrain park that’s decent enough to work on tricks you would see in a contest.”

The allure of slopestyle likewise applies to course creators.

“When constructing a halfpipe, the outcome is always the same,” says Chris Gunnarson, president of Snow Park Technologies, the firm that builds courses for the Dew Tour and Winter X Games. “Whereas slopestyle factors in variables like snow, pitch, and trail contour; it’s a much more dynamic process.”

The Dew Tour wraps up this weekend with the Toyota Championship, running today through Sunday on USA Network and NBC.

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Posted on: February 4, 2010