SAM's 9th Annual Terrain Park Contest

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SAM's 10th Annual Terrain Park Contest

It's that time of year again when SAM gathers together the innovative ideas, events and features from the 2013/14 season for our annual Terrain park Contest.  We invite you to share your latest and greatest jibs, or popular progression ideas, or awesome events with us. It can be your signature big air stuff, season-long events, or features that were so simple, yet, so popular. 

There will be two categories: FEATURES & EVENTS. Each category will be voted on separately. There will be one winner in each category who will receive a generous bag of swag from Burton Snowboards and lifetime bragging rights. All entries will be featured in our upcoming November issue of SAM or online. 

Send a brief description of your feature or event, a high resolution picture and a video link if available to

Entry deadline: October  1, 2014. 



1st: Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area, MN
2nd: Wachusett Mountain, MA
3rd: Beaver Valley, Ontario


1st: HD&HR - Bear Mountain, CA 
2nd: Progression Session Jam Series - Snowshoe, W.V.
3rd: Burton U.S. Open - Vail, CO

Sponsored by:


Parker Bohon and his crew at Mt. Bachelor, Ore., built this massive wall ride as part of the area’s annual Sammy Carlson Invitational. The feature was imagined by Sammy himself, and with the help of Brent Lansing of B&C Building, a 20-foot-tall mound of snow was built to serve as the platform for the wall. The wall itself was 25 feet tall and 80 feet long, bowing out of a straight line at roughly 165 degrees. And with it tipped back on a 10-degree angle, the feature was nothing short of intimidating. PVC coping lined the entire top of the wall to make riding it (if you could) just that much easier.   From Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area in Minnesota comes this lengthy entry. Troy Barten and his crew built this stretched-out feature for the area’s weekend contest, Megabox. Made by combining 16 boxes and rails and measuring in at a whopping 296 feet, making it possibly the longest box combo ever created, only 11 snowboarders and two skiers were able to conquer it.

Submitted by Nicolas Harasic and his crew from El Colorado, Chile, this multi-feature mix of hand rails, quarterpipes and bonks includes a 24-foot down-flat-down shotgun rail and an 8-inch pipe rail and barrel. Built for the area’s Monster Rail Rock contest, the plaza set-up gives skiers and riders over a dozen possibilities for tricks while attempting unique transfers from one feature to the next. Nicolas’s crew spent more than 10 hours of cat time shaping the plaza and another 10 hours of hand-shaping.   Built by a collaborative team from both Woodward at Copper and Woodward Tahoe, The Woodward plaza was originally constructed for entry into Superpark 17. Although it was a one-off build for Superpark, the plaza construction technique was modular in nature, and many of the elements will be incorporated into the parks at Copper and Boreal. The largest piece is only eight feet by eight feet; in all, the plaza measured 100 feet long and 44 feet wide. Facade walls were built on site, then back- filled with snow, then finished with rails and landscaping. Fabrication of the plaza took 120 man hours and on-mountain assembly of 100 man hours.

What started as a brief idea many years ago for the crew at Okemo Mountain Resort, Vt., resurfaced last season and was transformed into a 10-foot-tall, 24-foot-long artistic park feature. Jeremy Baronet and his crew at Okemo took an unused Pipe Dragon and drained and stripped it of any moving parts. From there, cross braces and plastic were installed up and over the Dragon’s back to give it a smooth riding surface. Before it made its way out the door, it was coated in bright green metallic paint, solar-powered red LED lights were installed as eyes, and wings were attached to not only complete the look, but to help cover some structural supports.   John Curtis and his crew at Nub’s Nob, Mich., designed the skate bank as a way to give riders a chance to incorporate some of the stuff they’ve been seeing in movies into their park riding. Bank landings have been hot for a few seasons, so John and his crew thought they would give it a try. The feature contains a six-foot by six-foot wallride (set as the bank), a 10-foot flat box, a 12-foot up box and three natural forming lips (for different entry points). Set on top of a flat deck, the feature enabled riders to use the lips and boxes to either land on the bank, be sent over the bank, or over the knuckle of the deck and onto the deck’s landing.

Moonlight Basin’s Bull Ride Cannon to Spine was originally built for Toy Soldier Productions film “Set Your Sights.” It was a cannon-style feature with a 20-foot channel gap to a spine landing. Riders could take the feature small and just make the spine or send it 60 feet deep to the landing at the end of the spine. The steel structure, or the Bull Ride, is a 15-foot-long, two-foot-diameter tube welded to two, ten-feet by four-inch by four-inch legs and weighs around 1,000 pounds. This feature is mobile and can be set up multiple ways, but due to its size is usually only set up in one or two ways throughout the season. The full Bull Ride Cannon to Spine setup took four hours to construct from first push to first hit using two snow cats and four ground crew.   Caleb Bosse and his crew at Beaver Valley, Ontario, got the thumbs up on this massive Progression Plaza, which cost very little to build. Most of the material was already on site so it was a matter of recycling and reusing. The plaza was built with mobility in mind. All components are modular, and the shipping containers (they have two) were built on skis and can easily be towed by a snowcat. The Plaza consists of two, 24-foot down ledges, two 10-foot close outs, two 20-foot toe jam boxes against the walls of the containers, one urban-style vertical wall surfaced with Skaters Blend, two 20-foot by two-foot tube rails, two stair sets, a ride-through container with snow surface to stair gap exit, and one ride-through container with plastic floor slider.

Holiday Valley in New York thought ahead to its anticipated Riglet Park for the 2013-14 season by building the Outpost. Pat Morgan and his crew designed the feature, which is the core of the area’s existing introductory level freestyle terrain as well as the soon-to-be Riglet Park. Native resources were used to construct the Outpost, including logs from the resort’s property and repurposed metal and barn board. Local log builder/artist Jerry Cobado combined forces with students in natural resources, welding, and woodworking from BOCES, the technical high school in the Ellicottville area, for the creation and construction of the structure. The Outpost will anchor a Burton Riglet Park and a Terrain-Based Teaching area to be constructed this year.   During talks to reconstruct a previously damaged elbow rail, Mike Thomas and his crew at Heavenly, Calif., came up with the idea to put their own twist on the typical elbow and Y-rail concepts. The Peace Pipe idea came from the thought of being able to slide or 50/50 the middle bar and then transfer to either side, or gap transfer to either side from the middle five-foot stinger. The 30-foot, single 2.5-inch-round bar peace-sign rail allows for multiple ways for the rider to use and transfer, and suits both regular and goofy riders equally. The feature can be set up in an almost infinite number of ways.

'Bubbles' Maruyama Hayato of Slope Planning Concept out of Japan, along with J.P. Martin of ParkDiggers, built The Bowl at Whitewater, B.C. Sweetgrass Films wanted to film a bowl session for its current film, Valhalla, to showcase the decade-old Japanese phenomenon that was first created as a way to demo boards in an intimate and controlled venue. The original bowl designs were made to represent features that occur naturally during the winter, and have a series of them in a concentrated area. The entire length of the feature is 800 feet with a width of 75 feet and a maximum depth of 14 feet. It took 40 cat hours and 25 excavating hours to build, along with 120 man hours to hand shape.   This buoy entry comes from Joe Pope and his crew at Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington. The area is located on the Mountains to Sound Greenway, and what better way to tie into the sea-to-snow theme than an aquatic park feature? After finding themselves in a marine storage yard looking for features, the crew stumbled upon old buoys that once floated in the Sound. The crew picked up three for the park. The buoys are super easy to move around and provide endless bonk options for skiers and riders.

This urban set up comes from Jonathan Rustin from Oak Mountain, N.Y. It was the first year the park crew set out to build such a large plaza. Features included a 23-foot flat rail, a sideways 14-foot down rail, a corrugated pole jam, a 23-foot down rail, and a 34-foot down-flat-down rail. The setup was built for people to session the last month of the season as well as hold the area’s final rail jam event. Rustin designed the setup based on different ideas he had seen over the years. He built everything in Google Sketchup before he started fabricating. His goal was to make something that the younger kids could hit, but would still be fun for the more experienced riders to film on and session.   For Timberline’s annual West Coast Sessions, Brian Standford and his crew decided to go big. This 90-foot Kruser Booter took eight park crew members with hand tools and three to four cats 45 hours to build. The entire build was done in a 60-degree, 60 mph wind storm. The ski area lost over five feet of snow in 48 hours and it was a challenge to keep the build going, but the park crew made it happen in time for the event.

Wachusett Mountain, Mass., constructed a unique, and historic, pole jam last season. Park manager Andrew Roy and snowmaker Joe Borelli modeled this feature after an 1865 Mountain Howitzer Cannon from the Civil war. The cannon is easily rolled into place as the wheels are fully functional, and it can be towed by a groomer or snowmobile. Riders can even grind the wheels.   From the crew at Sierra-at-Tahoe, Calif., and the imagination of Tanner Hall, comes this one-of-a-kind feature built for the Tanner Hall Invitational event. The feature was built with a focus on progressing the sport and providing athletes with a different feature and format than the traditional slopestyle contest and features. It took the crew roughly 80 hours total to build, including 20+ hours of hand work and shaping. The features consisted of two quarterpipes that were each 22 feet tall and 30 feet wide, with a 15-foot gap in the middle. The hip was 32 feet high and 65 feet long.

Last season the resort purchased a BigAirBag, and created a tubing run for the bag that allowed guests to hit the jump with a tube. The air bag opened a new feature at the resort for anyone willing to hit it, with one big advantage: it did not require any previous experience or ability. The resort was able to host guests from age 4 to 76 on the feature, and it created a unique draw to Shawnee Peak. Check it out.   Titus Mountain is owned by the three Monette brothers, who also own Adirondack Energy Inc. (which started as a fuel company). Going back to the roots of that company, Titus Mountain put in a fuel tank feature that serves as a rail slide—and also incorporates the Adirondack Energy company into the mountain's park.

This custom option y-rail is in The Stash, Killington’s all-natural terrain park. Jay ‘Rosey’ Rosenbaum and the Killington Parks Crew got the inspiration from crew member T-bird, and crafted the “chicken foot” from recycled trees. Then they tucked it away in The Stash, where the feature presents riders with a choice of left or right and up or down, while the location itself forces them to maneuver through the trees. The feature is 40 feet long on the left-and-down option, 30 feet long on the right-and-up option. Riders actually have three options when riding the feature: left, right, or exit early through the middle. The build took two days for the Killington crew, and was fully constructed in place on the hill.    


Last spring, Sunday River and Lib Tech teamed up to convert the resort’s 18-foot superpipe into a 13-foot jib-tastic slopestyle minipipe for the first-ever Near Canada Open free snowboard event. Open to all ages, the Near Canada Open took grassroots to the next level. It brought in professional snowboarders Jesse Burtner and Ted Borland to unveil this halfpipe-meets-slopestyle event. During the Near Canada Open, both pros gave out high-fives and $10 bills for the best 100 tricks, and awarded one lucky contestant with a trip to Snowboarder magazine's Superpark at Mt. Bachelor. Prior to the pipe’s unveiling, Sunday River’s park crew worked around the clock to add jumps across the minipipe’s deck, create a snowmaking pipe feature, and build a quarterpipe with two stalls—“The Black Momba” and “The Diamond Cutter.” The end result was a fun, free event for all ages that inspired participation and creativity at random. Another plus: the converted minipipe was so interesting and instantly popular that Sunday River left it open to the public for the remainder of the season.   Dew Downtown Flagstaff  at Arizona Snowbowl is a three-day festival and rail jam staged on the streets of historic downtown Flagstaff, Arizona. The event is designed to promote freestyle skiing and snowboarding within the community and is open to all ages and ability levels. A collaborative effort by the City of Flagstaff, Arizona Snowbowl's Sunset Terrain Parks, Mountain Dew, and many other sponsers has made the event possible for the past three years. Arizona Snowbowl's snowmaking department made all the snow for the event and the Sunset Terrain Parks designed the course. The crew utilized a snowcat for construction and implemented 11 jibs over two city blocks with the help of the city streets department.

Whitefish, MT. 2014 marks the 14th year of the long-standing snowboard event held in memory of Nate Chute. This four-day long event has turned into one of the most prolific snowboard events in the Northwest. It's a "contest for a cause;" the resort helps raise money for the NC Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting troubled teens. Nate was a well known snowboarder from Whitefish who tragically took his own life at a young age. Now, many of his friends come back to Whitefish to participate in this event. The participant base has grown to attract pros, the young, the old, and the rad alike. The cause is only part of draw; there is a contest, too. But the event is more than just a contest—it's a weekend full of activities and fun built for anyone who wants to support the foundation, the cause, the snowboard community or just themselves (by earning a chunk of the $3,850 cash purse). The contest has nine categories between the mens and women's divisions, and is limited to the first 150 athletes who sign up.   Big Sky, MT. This is a burly and unique rail jam that all goes down under the stars. The Chamberlin Rail jam is a two-day open event for both snowboarders and skiers. This past winter the first day's semifinals were set up in a jam format. The event drew a total of 47 snowboarders and 50 skiers. First, second, and third places were awarded after the finals on the second night of the event. A live concert follows each night of the rail jam, featuring several DJ’s on a massive outdoor stage, with more than 1,500 people in attendance.

Last February, young snowboarders from across New England descended on Loon Mountain for Lil’ Tweakers, a laid-back mini jump event for riders 14 and under. Using the Wheel-of-Fortune-style Crab Grab Wheel of Grabs, riders demonstrated their skills across a multitude of grabs, from indy to truck driver. Loon Mountain Team riders were on hand to demonstrate new grabs and give tips on tweakage, and the overall contest winner walked away with a free session to High Cascade Snowboard Camp.   Vail, CO. After 30 years in Vermont, the 2013 Burton US Open relocated to Vail Mountain. The massive slopestyle course was built on what is normally the resort's race venue, and where the park crew had never created anything of this magnitude before. The length of the slopestyle course was approximately 1,600-1,700 feet—shorter than previous years—so SPT designed a course that used three wall rides, to redirect the athletes and better utilize the space. The wall rides were built with perforated metal, to allow the riders to see through them. Competitors had a total of 13 jib options to choose from, including a staircase. There were 75 competitors in the 2013 US Open.

Heavenly, CA. This poker-style event mixes 10 of the world’s top snowboard athletes, gambling and one massive jump. Each rider was dealt two cards; each card featured a different trick. The riders then chose one of the two tricks, placed a bet on it, and tried to execute the trick and win that round. The rider who landed the trick with the highest level of difficulty won that round and qualified for the winner-take-all super final, which awarded the overall winner with $25,000. The 2013 contest, broadcast on ESPN3, was hosted by Shawn White, built by Heavenly and SPT, and sponsored by red bull, Go pro, and Harrah’s/Harvey’s casino.   Sixty of the best female snowboarders in the world descended on Keystone’s A51 Terrain Park to ride a private, custom-built park for the Ms. Superpark event. The park featured a 60-foot channel jump, closeout island with a step-over cannon, wallride redirects, corrugated tunnel to down stairset and step-down closeout gap, bowl to quarterpipe and a 60-foot massive jump. Ms. Superpark helped showcase the best women riders in one location and set the stage for more progression in women’s snowboarding. What sets Ms. Superpark apart from the rest is that the athletes have the opportunity to progress their talent without the pressure of a bid or judges. The four-day event is all about pushing one other and their limits.

Bear Mountain's HD&HR has been running for 10 years now and is a staple event held each September, at a time when there are few other events on snow. To kick off the upcoming season, Bear hosts a huge party, with a 140 tons of ice chipped onto a park set-up. The features showcased at the event preview what customers can expect for the upcoming winter. The signature feature: a 30-foot, hollowed-out ride-through shipping container that connects to another feature. The container was raised seven feet off the ground by 22-inch-diameter pillars. Both sides of the container were turned into wall rides with coping on the top, and the feature is mirrored, so skiers and snowboarders have the same options for tricks on both sides. With 40 top professionals competing for cash, the crowd is treated to some next-level riding. To add to the festival atmosphere, more than 30 top companies show off their latest products, host fun games, and stage giveaways to 7,000 SoCal skiers and snowboarders. The resort also rolls back its season pass prices, attracting more people to the event and closing the deal for the upcoming season. Last year the resort brought in close to $700,000, between season pass sales and F&B, in less than 8 hours.   Mt. Bachelor, OR. With its completely different format, the idea of this contest is to make skiing fun for every competitor. Two one-hour jam sessions are staged, on a 25-foot giant wall and 60-foot jump—the latter of which also served as part of the in-run for the wall ride. Awards titled “The Wise Guy,” “Kamikazie Pilot,” “Best Style,” and “Best Trick” help establish a relaxed vibe. Winners were selected by their fellow competitors. This refreshingly carefree freeski “anti-contest” in 2013 attracted some of the biggest names in skiing, including Sammy Carlson, Tanner Hall, Pat Goodnough, Phil Casabon, Candide Thovex, Henrik Harlaut, Maks Gorham, Alex Schlopy, Willie Borm, Torin Yater-Wallace, and Mcrae Willams. The winner of each category took home a $2,500 share of the $10,000 cash purse. The event was sponsored by Bike, APO and Rockstar.

Partnering with and harnessing the soul of American ski-related cinema–1993's number one Oscar Snub, "Aspen Extreme"—Timberline hosted the first Powder 8. The plan was simple: close a run, build a jump, pray for snow… in the middle of April. This is generally a poor time for powder, but the resort got snow. The competition was limited to just 15 teams, to ensure the best "8ablity." The teams jammed 8's to 80's and 90's montage music blasting from jumpside speakers. Nike Snowboarding's Johnnie Paxson and Snowboard legend Shane Flood Judged the event. When the cold smoke cleared, two riders were crowned the Greatest Snowboarders in the Universe.   Partnering with Nitro, Dakine and Smith, Snowshoe's three event series was all about fun and freestyle progression. Competitors of all ages worked on the fundamentals and improved their park skills with the assistance of on-snow coaches and the Mountaineer Park crew. The competitors rode between 12 and 20 features during their two-hour sessions. Winners in three divisions were crowned at the end. Judging was based off how much heart, attitude and dedication the rider showed, and how much he or she progressed throughout the event.

Incorporated into Nub’s Nobs annual Mardi Gras weekend, Super Fun Park marked the beginning of the end to the 2012-13 season in Northern Michigan with a complete park redesign for the event. This one-of-a-kind park acts as a great facilitator to bring the ski and snowboard community together and stoke the fire that has become the Michigan park scene. Super Fun Park 2 saw more than 180 entrants come out and have fun shredding a "funner" than normal setup. The event build showcased a slew of features including massive step-ups, channel gaps, flat bars, double kinks, wall rides, mini tables, corrugated pipes, a 20-foot battle ship box, banked box gap and more, and took six nights to complete. Within all this, there were six individual jam format "mini contests," sponsored by individual companies. Participants could "compete as they want;" after buying a park pass, they could choose to compete in as many of the six jam format contests as they liked. Prizes worked accordingly, with each rep or brand providing 1-2-3 placings for their individual jams as well as best trick, gnarliest crash, etc... whatever they saw fit. More than $7,000 worth of prizes were given out throughout the day. Music and food in the sponsor tent village throughout the day also helped to attract spectators.   This past season was the inaugural year for this up-and-coming backbowls event. Summit at Snowqualmie built a sizable cheese wedge in the backbowls of Alpental for closing weekend. The excited crowd could feast their eyes on huge backcountry airs while filling their bellies on grilled dogs provided by local board shops, 5420, and Chair 2. Building in the backcountry had some interesting challenges, i.e. no snowcat, and potential avalanche risks. However, with a whole lot of teamwork, an irresistible backcountry booter was built for both skiers and boarders to share, with a landing that went on for days. The booter was twelve feet tall and sixteen wide, with about 60 feet of airtime if any of the buddies wanted it.  The Booter Buddies event grew out of a two conflicting ideas: how to build a jump in the backcountry and host a public event. The challenge was that help and resources were far away. But Alpental Patrol was up to the task and the session went down on May 4. The resort made 50 slots available, split between skiers and snowboarders. Prizes were awarded after each contestant hit the jump three times. The event was more about skiers and riders being buddies all day, hitting a beautiful jump in the backcountry, than actually throwing down.

Titus Mountain New Years Eve Rail Jam: This new tradition started 2 years ago. The event is held in the evening, in collaboration with Titus Mountain’s New Years Eve Party. It is staged right in front of the Main Lodge, where partygoers can root on the local competitors as they tackle a variety of rail and jib features.