When I first started snowboarding over a decade ago, my instructor kept using the term jib. I smiled and laughed every time her said it, but I had not idea what he was referring too. Now I understand that a jib is an integral part of terrain park features.
There is a huge difference between simple rails let along rails and jumps. Don’t even get me started on fun boxes. However below is a breakdown list of the most available terrain park features. Also it should go without saying that these are for skiers and snowboarders.
Terrain Park Features List
Some resorts break down terrain parks into two different areas. One area will contain jumps and another will feature rails fun boxes etc. There is an additional breakdown that happens sometimes with smaller rails/jumps. In the Minneapolis we call them baby parks.
On these parks you’ll find smaller features where you can get the right skills and then move onto the bigger parks knowing better what you’re doing.
Jibs encompass any movie where you’re riding over a feature and your skis or snowboard are still parallel to the ground. The features you’ll be hitting are the following (there might be others as well).
Rails: Hand rails, Or metal Bars that you ride on. It resembles skateboard grinding or board sliding.
Fun Boxes: Usually these are literal large boxes that you hop onto and ride across. they’re wider than rails, and are good practice for beginners prior to hitting a rail.
Benches: Every resort has a bench somewhere. You just gotta find it.
Tables: Like benches, there’s always a picnic table most of the time a group of snowboarders have moved it into the treeline.
Any other item and urban Snowboarder might find.
All of these features are manufactured from different items than you’d normally find on a hill. They’re made of wood, metal, or plastic usually.
Jumps are amazing, back in the day my buddies and I would do what we called ‘flying practice.’ Doing this we’d launch ourselves into the air at high speeds. It’s how I got 3 out of my 4 concussions too.
Jumps can range from 5 ft (sometimes smaller) to over 100ft. Much like I wrote in the jibs content. Many resorts will create smaller ‘baby parks’ where a budding snowboarder or skier can perfect their skills prior to heading over to ‘big park.’ Although that still doesn’t stop a lot of people from trying and hurting themselves.
Jumps are usually constructed from snow and dirt. On the off season a lot of resorts will pile up dirt where they want a jump. This way it takes a lot less snow to make an epic jump.
Unfortunately in Minneapolis we don’t have a lot of half pipes to choose from. Verticals are anything from a quarter pipe up to a full pipe, although the later there is used more for skateboarding than snowboarding.
Quarter Pipes: All over the place at resorts. usually you’ll seem around the sides of runs where a ravine wall is. You can ride up them, do a 180 or other type of trick, and ride down. Some people might say these aren’t true quarter pipes, and they might be right. It really depends on the angle and if the wall and ground form a U in the snow. Obviously some of these won’t classify. However, there’s gotta be a least one out there that does.
Half Pipes: In Minneapolis we don’t get a lot of opportunity to ride half pipes. We have buck hill, which is a ski resort about 20 minutes south of the cities. They have a half pipe but I think it’s hit and miss on how good it is. That might just bee the Minnesota weather though. To be a true half pipe you need two quarter pipes. One on each side forming a U shape.
On these half pipes you should be able to ride down one side, to a turn, jump, or grap, and ride back down towards the other side.
Full Pipes: Should be an O shape, and I’ve never seen these on a snowboard hill, but I’ve seen California skateboarders on these. Mostly in skate movies like lords of dog town.
Keep in mind I’m speaking in generalities here. There might be a type of terrain I’ve left out, and if I have please comment below.
Terrain Park Features Safety:
Dropping in and hitting the tallest jump is one of the first things my students always wanna do. However in many cases thats not a smart decision. there’s safety equipment and skills you’ll need if you want to shred safely.
- ALWAYS wear a helmet. I won’t teach my students if they aren’t wearing helmets. They sit in the chalet if they forget them.
- NEVER ride above your skill level. Keep in mind I recommend challenging yourself, but if you ride green runs, don’t go hopping onto a jump in the big park. You’re gonna kill yourself (More Safety Tips)
- Easy Style it. Watch the people around you, and make sure you know where they are when hitting features in the park.
- Always do an initial ride through the park. Look at the features you want to hit, and observe their landing zones. Are they icy? Washed out? These are things you want to know before you’re in the air heading towards them.
Terrain Park Skills You’ll Be Needing:
In addition to safety, there’s a few terrain park skills you’ll be needing prior to getting into the parks. I’m not saying you should perfect these skills, but I do think you should at least be able to do them, as it’ll make your day in the park that much better.
Learn To Carve: If you’re carving you can make adjustment to your trajectory that skidded turns can’t do. Carving will make your day better in the park.
Learn How To Ride Switch: Especially If You Wanna Do A 180, it’ll make your life so much simpler, and you’ll look that much cooler if you can drop into a run pop onto a fun box, do a 180 off it, and ride away. It’s sometimes the simple things that’ll make you look awesome.
You’ll want to Ollie: When you can ollie, it’ll open up a lot more options for you in your riding. Jump on rails and boxes are open to you, and you can get higher off jumps and do More tricks.
Learning these simple tricks can help your time in the park become more epic, and can help your image go from good. To awesome.