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Terrain Park Safety

Freestyle Terrain is becoming more and more popular at resorts and proper use is important . The National Ski Areas Association and Burton Snowboards have developed the “Smart Style” Freestyle Terrain Safety initiative, a cooperative effort to continue the proper use and progression of freestyle terrain at mountain resorts, while also delivering a unified message that is clear, concise, and effective.

The 4 main points of Smart Style

  • Make a Plan
    • Every time you use freestyle terrain, make a plan for each feature you want to use. Take a look at the ATML Method below.
    • Your speed, approach and takeoff will directly affect your maneuver and landing.
  • Look Before You Leap
    • Before getting into freestyle terrain observe all signage and warnings
    • Scope around the jumps first not over them
    • Use your first run as a warm up run and to familiarize yourself with the terrain
    • Be aware that the features change constantly due to weather, usage, grooming and time of day.
    • Do not jump blindly and use a spotter when necessary
  • Easy Style It
    • Know your limits and ski/ride within your ability level
    • Look for small progression parks or features to begin with and work your way up.
    • Freestyle skills require maintaining control on the ground and in the air
    • Do not attempt any features unless you have sufficient ability and experience to do so safely
    • Inverted aerials increase your risk of injury and are not recommended
  • Respect Gets Respect
    • Respect the terrain and others (Freestyle terrain is for everyone regardless of equipment or ability)
    • One person on a feature at a time
    • Wait your turn and call your start
    • Always clear the landing area quickly
    • Respect all signs and stay off closed terrain and feature

Terrain Park Safety

The ATML Method

Each terrain park feature can be broken down into four zones. Learn to identify these zones and have a plan before using any freestyle terrain.

  • Approach Zone is the space for setting your speed and stance to use the feature.
  • Takeoff Zone is for making moves that start your trick.
  • Maneuver Zone is for controlling your body in teh air and setting up for landing.
  • Landing Zone is the prepared slope between the knuckle and the runout beyond it.

Stuff to know

  • Know your limits and ability level and select the appropriate Freestyle Terrain for you.
  • Your condition, speed, balance, body movements, alignment, trajectory and maneuver difficulty will directly affect your desired outcome.
  • Know the intended use of the Freestyle terrain you have chosen. For example, some features are intended to be used in a series with no stopping and some individually with stopping areas; jump takeoffs are for jumping and rail takeoffs are for entering onto rails.
  • Your actions can take you out of balance and cause serious injury or death, no matter how the feature is designed or where you land. Land on your feet!
  • Transitions are changes in the shape and pitch of the snow or feature, or changes from one type of sliding surface to another. Transitions can be gentle or abrupt, and demand that users be alert and respond to them with accurate movements.
  • Know where to land. The sweet spot is between the knuckle and center of the landing zone. Even if you land on or near the sweet spot, you can still be seriously injured or die if your landing posture is not correct.
  • Be aware that features change constantly due to snow conditions, weather, usage, grooming and time of day.
  • Inverted maneuvers are not recommended.

Know The Code

Skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross country and other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience. 

  • Always stay in control. 
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. 
  • Stop in a safe place for you and others.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment. 
  • Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails. 

Know how to use the lifts safely. 

Helmets are recommended while skiing and riding.

Please leave snow bikes, sleds, inner tubes and snow skates at home.

This is a partial list.  Officially endorsed by: NATIONAL SKI AREAS ASSOCIATION.


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