Freestyle Challenges in the Snowparks of Europe.

 

The adventurous sports of skiing and snowboarding attract thrill-seekers keen to experience the best of the Alps' great outdoors. Across the soaring peaks and valleys, carefully groomed snow parks offer the perfect opportunities for freestyle skiers and boarders to test their nerve and enjoy the unique thrill that only ‘big air’ brings.

With the winter 2018/19 ski season in full flow and conditions looking great, here’s a little rundown of three of Europe’s top ski resorts for snowpark-loving freestylers.

Avoriaz, France

Avoriaz was among the first resorts to welcome and encourage freestyle skiing and boarding, and boasts some absolutely amazing snow parks. First built in 1993, the Arare park is geared towards experienced riders and skiers, with challenging kickers and a wide range of rails and boxes to really test you. Alongside this, the super-pipe sits near the top of the Prodains cable car and draws experienced and pro riders each winter to its nearly 6-meter-high walls.

Burton’s all-natural park — Le Stash — was built in 2008 and nestles in the forests above Lindarets. This 1.3km-long park was developed by none other than Mr. Jake Burton himself, and offers a total vertical drop of nearly 500 metres. Timber hits and obstacles including walls, tables, ramps and trees bent into rails all hide among the snow-capped pines — you have to ski the same run a few times to find all the hits on offer.

If you’re looking to ride France and you fancy yourself as a budding slopestyle hero (think Jamie Nicholls, Jenny Jones or James Woods) then you need to hit Avoriaz!

Laax, Switzerland

Widely considered to offer the world's finest freestyle skiing and boarding opportunities, Laax sits at the top of the tree for its exciting terrain parks. The resort regularly opens its doors to competitions of national and international significance; the week-long Laax Open being a prime example. One of the world’s biggest and best freestyle snowboard competitions, the Laax Open has drawn some of snowsport’s most accomplished names — with entrants vying for the $500,000 top prize across a number of challenging slopestyle and halfpipe events.

 

LAAX, home to the largest halfpipe in the world

Mayrhofen, Austria

The lively Tyrolean town of Mayrhofen is a place where keen boarders and skiers in search of airborne thrills can really go for it. Events such as the Snowbombing Festival have cemented the resort’s standing on an international level, and today keen boarders flock here all winter long to experience the place for themselves.

The Vans Penken Park dominates the mountainside and represents the pinnacle of Austria’s freestyle offerings. The park is home to over 10 mighty kickers, 2 hips and a stellar selection of boxes, rails and other hits besides — deserving of a place on any advanced skier or boarder’s ‘must-visit’ list. 

As each winter ticks by, a devoted team of shapers and groomers keep the kickers in tip-top condition — often reshaping and re-designing the hits to keep things varied. If you’re lining up a visit to Mayrhofen and up to the test, try the huge rainbow box, the wallride or the aptly-named ‘beastbox’ for the biggest challenges.

If you'd like to know more about the resorts fetaured in today's blog, you can call our helpful team on 0203 0800 200 or reach out via our online chat service. 

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