Will ASTM F27 Expand Its Scope to Terrain Parks?

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SAM Magazine-Burlington, Vt., Aug. 5, 2011-Members of the ASTM F27 Committee on Snow Skiing met in mid-July to consider expanding the committee's scope to include terrain park jumping features (ASTM stands for the American Society for Testing and Materials). The move, which is expected to be approved, would put ASTM in the business of considering standards for the design and construction of terrain park table top features.

Currently, the scope of the F27 Committee is focused on specifications, test methods, practices, and terminology for equipment, such as skis, boots, and bindings. The new proposal would expand the jurisdiction of the F27 Committee to include design and engineering standards for the construction of jumping features (i.e., table tops) in terrain parks at ski resorts.

The ASTM F27 committee includes resort insurance providers, ski and snowboard manufacturers, engineers and academics such as Dr. Jake Shealy and Dr. Mont Hubbard, as well as representatives from resorts, NSAA and other ski industry organizations.

The effort to expand the scope of the ASTM F27 Committee to include analyzing the design and construction of terrain park jumping features is supported by NSAA, manufacturers, insurers, and resort operators, according to Dave Byrd of NSAA. The vote to expand the committee's jurisdiction will take place in August and September 2011 by the full committee.

Even if the F27 Committee votes to consider potential standards for table tops, the adoption of any potential design standards, if any, is several years off. It will likely take years of analysis, study, research, and debate by the committee before it's clear whether any industry-consensus standards are possible, or what those standards might look like. Any final standards are determined by a vote of the entire F27 Committee.

In addition, the proposal being considered would limit the committee's expansion to consideration of design and construction of terrain park jumping features. It would not include signage, roping, or other issues that are not directly related to the design of table top jumping features.

In anticipation of the expansion of F27, the Committee has set up an informal task force to review the existing body of information on the issue of designing table top jumping features. This task force is chaired by Dr. Jake Shealy, other members include NSAA's Dave Byrd and Sid Roslund, USTPC's Jim McNeil, Steve Hanft from Snow Summit, Irv Scher, Larry Young, Stan Gale and Mont Hubbard.

The next meeting of the ASTM F27 committee will be held at the SIA show in Denver, Jan. 24-25, 2012. Ski area managers, terrain park designers, and suppliers should consider joining the ASTM F27 Committee so that those with on-mountain expertise on table top construction and working knowledge of park operations can share their insights on the important issue of park design and engineering standards. If you are interested in joining other ski area managers and suppliers who are already on the ASTM F27 Committee, it only costs $75 to join, and membership is quick and easy. Go to www.www.astm.org/MEMBERSHIP/MemTypes.htm for step by step instructions for joining the F27 Committee. Questions? Contact Sid Roslund, ASTM F27 Recording Secretary, at NSAA (720) 963-4210, sidr@nsaa.org, or Christie Sierk, F27 Committee Manager for ASTM, csierk@astm.org, or 610-832-9728. \


more gov. waste!!??

this is a very bad idea in my opinion! i am a 25 year ski/ snowboard industry employee and a 17 year groomer operator. the reason terian parks are cool and different everywhere you go is individualality. true all parks are similar in some ways but each one has its own special features and strong points. do we really need the goverment to tell us how to build a jump?? it sound like a way to waste a hole lot of money and try to control everyone!! are goverment does enough of that already that we have no control over. i have been snowboarding since 1982 and raced on the pro snowboard circiut for 5 years back in the late 80s early 90s. i have seen alot of changes and have seen the freestyle industry tottally take a hole new life. dont wreck all are progress by imposing you rules on us, that go out all night in are snowcats and make it happen every night, for all are paying customers that pay our checks and keep me working!!! it just more big brother trying to run everyones life because they think we are not smart enough to make descissions for ourselves!!! what ever happened to self accountability in our country? we dont need to be babysat! very unhappy groomer operator at the canyons ski resort, park city utah!!!

Silly Math

Do we need another government entity adding to an already full plate? Nuclear power, concrete, asphalt, even steel toed shoes keep them busy enough.
Snow is a fickle substance, engineers can study it, and model it all they want in the labs. We look to the ones who have developed a sixth sense when it comes to avalanche forecasting, grooming, and snow making for direction.
Can we trust an engineer to come up with what kind of feature works on a slope because they can factor a trajectory? If their 'Cannon Ball' physics are so accurate at predicting trajectories, why do we now use laser guided weapons and smart missiles?
Let the engineers figure out how to keep people from falling off their bikes. statistically, Terrain parks have far fewer injuries per million users.
The freestyle terrain industry as a whole has benefited from best accepted practices put forth in the freestyle terrain handbook; a true compilation of those that have a sixth sense for construction of snow features and freestyle terrain management.
We have learned to include others in the design and build philosophy at each mountain.... This issue seems to be a little one sided already.

Get active on this!

Ski Area Snowrider

I agree with everything said here. I would also like to point out that this hasn't even been voted on, and if it does, it is just the beginning of what is sure to be a lengthy discussion--years, really. It took over 15 years for releasable bindings in ASTM. They don't do anything hastily and they do their research and listen.

So, get involved if you want to have a say. Don't let people who don't build these things (or ride them!) dictate this.

good luck

In the next couple of years we have an opportunity and a responsibility as ski area operators, terrain park builders, and general enthusiasts of sliding on snow to knock this down. I do not understand how an equipment standards entity comes to believe that it should be able to "govern" a product as malleable as snow. Sure, there is probably some solid best practices, a "Golden Ratio" that has not yet been discovered, and even... dare I say... rules to building freestyle terrain. But this information needs to be distributed via a network of willing participants in an educational format. Regulations will only serve to dumb down the creativity that our customers demand. These are the customers we will lose when we bore them with "standardized" features! In the last 10 years we have come so far! This is not a crisis any more!

This is blasphemy

Wow. It's snow, every jump is different. What's next, mountain bike jump inspection? There is no jump that is "regulation". There is already enough text on the terrain park signs, sorry.


is anyone else a little nervous about this???! i build parks and can't imagine having ASTM overseeing it. what will they be looking at? are they comng up with standards? i will be joining this committee for sure.