10 of the Best Snowboard Parks in the World
If you want to go big off a kicker like the pros or get your rail game on point chances are you'll be spending a serious amount in the park. Having started off as a novelty in the most resorts, the explosion of slopestyle and halfpipe riding snowparks have started popping up everywhere.
We've scoured the world for the best set ups so you can make sure you're next trip provides the best park action possible. While America was the first to truly embrace park riding, Europe has caught up in recent yeas with mega parks in Austria and Switzerland means out list is pretty 50/50 between the Alps and North America.
If park action is what you're after than make a beeline to these guys.
[part title="Bear Mountain, California, USA"]
Bear Mountain is credited as installing the first ever terrain park for snowboarders way back in 1990, and the current version still holds its own as one of the world’s premier parks. It offers more than 200 acres of shreddable terrain and on a good day you can manage over 100 hits.
There’s jumps and jibs thrown in all over the mountain with unique and progressive setups that change every day. The myriad of rail setups and the same innovative approach to snowboarding means that Bear is still one of the best places to shred on earth.
Big Bear Mountain Resort Video:
[part title="Nordpark, Innsbruck, Austria"]
The Nitro Pro Skyline park is unique for the fact that it is the only park in the world that can be described as an in-city (though not inner-city) snowpark. While the park offers a breathtaking view down over the Innsbruck city skyline, snowboarders don’t come for the views, they come for the steep thrills and a park design strongly influenced by skate.
There’s a Superpipe, kickers and one of the only quarterpipes in the central Alps here. All accompanied by floodlights, a 2,000 watt sound system, and a cool jib setup. What more do you need?
Skyline Park Video:
[part title="Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada"]
Like the resort as a whole, the terrain park area on offer in Whistler is huge, with five action-packed terrain parks and a Superpipe. The Terrain Garden on Blackcomb is a good place for beginners, while those that seek a more adrenalin-filled ride usually head over to the Nintendo on Blackcomb, or the Habitat on Whistler Mountain. Nintendo is Whistler/Blackcomb’s signature park and you’ll find medium to large features along the 3,480-foot run.
Add the resort’s famous laid back vibe and epic snowfall, and you’ll understand why this is a place that every serious snowboarder has to hit at sometime in their life.
[part title="Breckenridge, Colorado, USA"]
Complete with four parks, Breckenridge offers jumps, jibs, pipes and bonks for snowboarders of all abilities. For beginners, the Bonanza and Trygve’s terrain parks are superb, providing the perfect entry point into park life.
However, it is the Park Lane and Freeway advanced parks, that have ensured Breck’s legendary status. Get as creative as you’d like while picking your line, as it will be days before you manage to exhaust the numerous possibilities. For the gung-ho and pros, Freeway’s 22-foot Superpipe, sculpted jumps and rails provide the ultimate test.
[part title="Mayrhofen, Austria"]
The Zillertal Valley, near Innsbruck, has always been one of Austria's hottest snowboarding spots. Its main resort Mayrhofen is the biggest draw thanks to a world-class funpark that sits next to a super-fast four-man chair, which is serviced by the biggest shaping crew in Europe.
The six areas on the Vans Penken Park extend over an entire slope on the sunny side of the Penken Mountain, with the highlights being the massive rainbow box, a huge wallride at the end of the park, and the infamous multi-jib "Beastbox".
[part title="Buttermilk, Colorado, USA"]
As host of the X-Games and three-time winner of Transworld Snowboarding Magazine’s Best Terrain Park, it’s not hard to see why it is revered as iconic in the world of snowboarding. Its number-one Superpipe, a 22-foot Zaugg-cut beast that features prominently in the ESPN Winter X Games, is obviously famous.
However, it is the main park with its dozens of jumps, logs and rails that stretch along its two-mile length, all sub-geared to all levels, that will have your head spinning with the array of options.
[part title="Laax, Switzerland"]
Laax has been consistently acknowledged as one of the best terrain parks in Europe. It has hosted the Burton European Open, the Brits and the European Freeski Open, and the four terrain parks and two halfpipes offer incredible options from beginners to experts. The Curnius park has freestyle fun for all levels with plenty of rails, obstacles and boxes.
For the more experienced, hit the notorious NoName snowpark and drop into Europe's largest halfpipe. Or maybe enjoy the chilled-out music, have a coffee (or a strong beer) and watch the show from Café NoName. Either way, you’ll be stoked.
[part title="Northstar, California, USA"]
The terrain parks located on Lumberjack and Main Street are loaded with jumps, hips, rails, boxes and ledges. Tucked in amongst the trees and protected from the wind are numerous park options, from the misty Stash runs, which incorporate the natural terrain features of the mountain, to the full-on fun of the Pinball park.
With endless trick possibilities, the brand new Go-Pro feature and more than 45 jumps, boxes and obstacles, Northstar is now rightly established as one of the best terrain parks in the States, if not the world.
[part title="Avoriaz, France"]
Avoriaz is a veteran freestyle destination and the first French ski resort to build a terrain park, way back in 1993. The Stash, at Les Lindarets, is its most famous feature. It is Avoriaz's Burton-sponsored jib-fest of tree trunks and natural obstacles, with three routes that cut through the forest.
With very few drag lifts, beginners start easily and progress rapidly to the mini jumps and ride-on boxes in Parkway, and the airbag jump in La Chapelle, before moving on to the Stash’s runs or the Superpipe.
[part title="Park City, USA"]
Park by name and park by nature, Park City in Utah is one of the biggest and oldest freestyle parks in the United States. When Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics back in 2002 Park City was home to the halfpipe event which saw Ross Powers take gold in the men's event as well as Britain's first ever snowboard representative in Lesley McKenna.
Park has three huge terrain parks that cater for riders of various levels, from the Ridge for beginners, up to the King's Crown which has some absolutely huge kickers. Not for the faint hearted. In between the two is the Three Kings Park and the Eagle Superpipe - 22ft of prime pipe action.
The world class facilities and easy location (it's only half an hour from Salt Lake City Airport) make it a popular destination for some of the biggest names in the business with Dan Brisse and Torah Bright on the local pro team. It's also featured in many a snowboarding film, the massive kicker section in Art of Flight was filmed in the Three Kings park.