ASTM, NSAA TERRAIN PARK GROUPS FORGE AHEAD

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Publish Date

08/02/2012

SAM Magazine—Burlington, Vt., Aug. 2, 2012—Both the new terrain park Task Group of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Snowsports Committee F27 and a group that is reviewing the NSAA Terrain Park Notebook met here July 17-18. And both are moving forward at an intentionally measured pace.

The ASTM members adopted a working title for the Task Group, “Freestyle Terrain Park Jump Features,” reviewed the status of its document-collecting efforts, and received presentations from a variety of members on their research.

The group has collected and/or translated more than 60 different studies, guidelines, and other material from North America and Europe. The next task is to figure out how to disseminate this material among Task Group members without violating any copyright protections.

Research presentations included two computer-driven programs that aim to analyze and inform park building, as well as biomechanical studies and other reports. One of the biomechanical studies, it is hoped, may lead to an improved training system for beginning pipe riders.

While any potential standards are still several years off, members of the Task Group urged that any eventual practices meet three goals: include a significant range of specifications, to account for varying snow conditions; be simple and practical, so that all resorts can implement them; and be flexible, so that resorts can continue to innovate and meet customer demands.

The group working on an update to the NSAA Terrain Park Notebook were focusing on operations and construction on the one hand, and signage and education on the other. While noting that the current Notebook, published in 2008, remains a useful document, members also point out that park knowledge and understanding have grown in the past four years, and they aim to share that with the broader terrain park community.

One possible addition to the document are specific design considerations relating to feature design. Previous versions of the notebook have included general design considerations for several aspects of parks, from traffic patterns and progression to flow and sightlines.

It’s also possible that these feature design considerations, which have been widely and successfully practiced by some resorts, will be subject to further research and study this winter before they are communicated to the wider park management audience.

It’s also possible that the Notebook, which was termed a “resource guide” in its earlier iterations, may now become a web-based “program.” That change is aimed at keeping up with evolving technology, and making it easy for resort staff to access the information.

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