I was in Austria this winter, working for QParks at Steinplatte, Waidring.
Bigger update on the way!
A few shots of basic grooming tasks, such as pushing, back blading and tiller operations.
Here are heaps of features from the last few months, we have Donkey Dick down rails, pipe stalls, gap to boxes, down pipes, table combo hits, a rough shape and final shape jump and yellow pole jam feature, flat bars and down pipes
This is a few weeks worth of rookie features, the rookies often have their own side of the hill with specific progression orientated features.. We have a variety of super wide flat boxes, rainbows and smaller versions of the pipes we use in our main park.
There is also some shots of our rookie jump, straight after I had shaped it with the PB and groomed the landing, one of it hand shaped and another with some of our branding.
Here are a few shots of the park from the Westbeach In N Out skiing and snowboarding competition from October 2011, I think.
It was two events, one at a dry slope and one indoors at MK.
We had a tabletop to downbar and a down flat down along with a low closeout double down bar feature.
This summer I had the opportunity to go to New Zealand for their winter season, I also managed to get a few days shaping work at Snow Park NZ.
I worked mainly on event days for events like the Burton High Fives, the TNF Freeski Open & The Red Bull Performance Camp.
In the morning I would either put out the SPNZ banners along the half pipe/slope-style course or help with the morning rake, the first check and shape of all the park features after the nights groom.
I learnt a fair bit from SPNZ, I gained an understanding of how other park teams work, I raked the biggest jumps of my career (Like the last jump in the triple line where Mark McMorris threw a triple cork in the High Fives!) and working in a mountain environment where weather plays a large part and knock on effects such as salting features or dyeing lips.
This is from the same night as the Cannon Pipe build I posted earlier. Here is a video of me pushing the snow into place for our hitching post.
And here is a video of some Local Boys who came and hit the park up that Thursday night!
Last year we had the Nike Stairset Battle up at SNO!zone Castleford which pulled riders from all over the country to compete to win tickets to ride in the final at the Stairset battle in Germany. There were several stair set battles all across Europe and all the winners won entry to the final in Munich.
The stair set has been mainly at Castleford but we were lucky enough to get given it for our Summer Of Love, basically having park features permanently on the hill. Here is a video I made of us putting it together, I was working Park Crew instead of Groomer Operator this time.
Before I came away I tried to film as much as I could of my Grooming & Shaping work. Its is very well to say you have the skills but nicer to be able to back it up and show people how I work and what I work with.
This is the first of a series of videos where I am operating our Pistenbully one wednesday night building a section of our weekly park – The Cannon Pipe. These are a staple at MK and seem to get good feedback.
So here like I mentioned in a previous post we had a local grom kid come and shoot on these features for Nickleodeon. Up top we have a down pipe and trickle down flat fat pipes, into a hitching post and cannon setup. Then we had a quarter pipe with black pipe on top and another down pipe, then at the bottom we had the yellow street bars.
Trailing something new here as park of my updates, putting pictures in takes up too much time and space so there will be a lot more video and photo slideshows instead which should improve things!
So here we have a shotgun down rail and pipe into the big flat down box and donkey dick street rail into a gap jump and big cannon pipe.
This is the kicker we built for the Airbag 2 weeks ago, it was our first Airbag event of the year. The event went down really well and we got some great feedback from everyone who rode the jump that night.
These shots are from our weekly park May 17th & 18th, we shaped it during the day and then I did the late night work to rebuild the landings and groom the slope.
At the top we had a down pipe and a square bar down rail, they shared one takeoff which always looks better. I also shaped a ledge under the square bar to cover the legs and feet and make it look neater and be safer if a rider comes off early.
Next we had a up flat down battleship we made out of sections of black gas pipe and next to that, a down box. The battleship was ride on and the down box had a small gap on. After this we had a medium sized box jump/hip feature, it was shaped as a jump but it had transitions down either side so it could be also be used as a hip.
After this we had the final feature down the bottom, an elbow kink made from two pieces of black gas pipe. This was the elbow after I had groomed the park with Pistenbully.
On the left is the park looking down from the top, on the right is the park looking up from the bottom after I had groomed it with our Pistenbully 100.
These pictures were taken first thing in the morning before anyone gets to ride it.
It was a busy night, as the role of a groomer is diverse and time is not always plentiful, in addition to grooming a lesson slope, 2 slopes and repairing and grooming the park I had to build a start ramp, pictured on the left, for a Ski Race event over the weekend.
On the right is a picture of the finished groom the morning after, again before it was touched by any skiers or snowboarders.
This winter I applied for a Park Shaping position in Japan, but due to the amount of snow they get they don’t build a park until the spring (champagne problems eh!) otherwise they would forever be closing it for storms and digging out rails!
I worked at Niseko Village Resort which is one of the 4 resorts that makes up Niseko, it mainly caters for families with Hanazono catering for the park riders. During the spring the patrol staff build the terrain park, which means it looks like this..
Not the standard of park you expect from a resort nowadays and the general feedback was that it was unsafe with wonky lips and bad transitions.
I worked for Niseko Village Snow School from December 2011 until February 2012 when I was lucky enough to be offered a contract extension until April. This was my first time teaching on a mountain and it was great fun, lots of new challenges, like the language barrier for one! To teach here you can get a Japanese certification alongside your ‘real world’ one so I am also SAJ 2 & 1 now!
I have never taught using a chair lift or had to select terrain for my lessons as we have a dedicated lesson slope perfected crafted for our needs and a drag lift back home in MK.
This spring in Japan was my first time working with bigger cats (NV run Pistenbully 300 & 400’s) and shaping on a mountain, even overcoming the language barrier between myself and the groomers & patrol staff to build a safer park than Niseko Village has ever had, unfortunately due to quaint Japanese customs I could not get clearance to work on the park until the final few days of the build but after a jump they built broke the tester’s back they let me bring my experience in and help.
Above is the quarter pipe, next to the jump, so from the top of the park you can drop in and hit either the jump or the QP.
Below is a small Step Up kicker, 3M gap, this was the jump that broke the testers back, it was too whippy with too big of a gap but I managed to translate that we needed a longer transition (which was not easy) and a slighty smaller gap with pointing and hand signals but eventually it got through!
This is a small flat box, this was the first feature in the park off the gondola shaped and ready!
This was the view from the knuckle of the jump looking down to the bottom of the park, the QP is far left of the shot with a skate bowl/hip below and a banana box next to it and then a big wall ride to finish. The Japanese love bowls and skate/surf style riding so a bowl had to be part of it!
Here is the video from the big night! Burton High 5 Milton Keynes, enjoy.. I definatly did!
So its that time of year again, the Burton High 5 tour rolls into town. After winning the Golden Shovel Award last year, we set the bar up high!
Again it started on a Monday night, right up until 7pm Friday building and pushing with the PB all night then hand shaping, digging and final touches during the day.
Starting with the top section, we had an orange donkey dick pipe, next to “the worlds first indoor quad kink” and a Burton round bar.
Next onto the 2nd section, we had the big Burton bench, down flat down black gas pipes and the red Burton downrail that we won from the tour last year.
Straight down the coping of the bench, pipe on the right down rail on the left.
Next is the lower section, the new Burton cannon box, a box jump and up-down kink pipes.
This was one of the teaser shots we released on Twitter during the week to get people stoked on the set.
This was a side feature, so you can hit this almost anyway but the idea was to pump off it from the jump towards the bottom feature (in the background). We used the same hitching post as last year but cut out a new HIGH 5 hand to hang on it.
This was another of the tease shots, we wanted to keep the top bit a bit of a mystery!
So this is the last feature in the park, Burton jib box with a black gas pipe stall on top.
So here we are at the Metro Ski & Snowboard Show at Earls Court Exhibition Center, after doing the promo for it (Read here) and setting up our stand including putting up the shell scheme and organising our area. Our job role here was to promote and give information about the company, who & where we are and what we do. As most of the Park Staff work across at least two departments so we can give expert advice and information about what goes on in lessons and and the other products we sell.
We also took 2otons of snow at the weekend so for the 2nd time in 2 weeks London got a dump of snow, this time it was shaped into a tobogganing run for the kids to slide down. Thats right, the jack of all trades Park Staff, we will shape everything and anythign!
The show started off quite slow at the beginning of the week on Wednesday and Thursday, but as the weekend got closer it got real manic!
The view of the SNO-Flex hip from our stand.. Prime time!
Some promo girls using our slide!
The aforementioned slide! Great promotional tool, can been seen for miles and kids and adults all love it.
Frollocking.. Just kind of found a good excuse to use these shots! Haha
Front on view of our slide, snowmen and all.. you can see our feet as we took a well earned break from promotion and Q & A!
This is our stand.. complete with branding, chairs, chill out zones, sweets and many, many leaflets!
This was cool, a few weeks back we took 30 tonnes of snow to London and dropped it outside of Earls Court Exhibition Center. We built a landing out of it and created an acid drop from the roof of the foyer for a media shoot to publicise the Ski & Snowboard Show at EC the week after. The pictures were run in local and national press.
Again another 4am start to push the snow into a waiting truck, on the left is the snowblower we use to ge it into the lorry. So once that was done we jumped in a car and headed of to london to shape it all!
The lorry managed to get into a real tight gap and start dumping the snow.
The shaping begins! This is the view from the jump spot on top of the foyer roof.
Nearly there.. taking shape, just spreading out the snow to have a nice long run out.
Big team pose! This was the easy work as we later found out when we had to shovel BY HAND all 30 tonnes of it into a smaller truck to be taken away!
Here is a video that one of the Skiers made:
A few months back we took some snow to Cambridge University, to help them promote their snowsports club, this is a good type of event as we offer free sledging down our run to the students and it also helps promote who we are and what we do.
I was up at 4am to push the snow out of the door with our Pistenbully and into a waiting truck which zipped it off to Cambridge, we then followed in a car and got to work shaping it into the run you see below- complete with stairs on the back.. The job of a groomer and park shaper are very diverse sometimes!
This was the park for FBBB Trickbusters, a new style of comp where tricks are called from playing cards pick out of a hat. At the top there was a Monster can tap to a snow ledge leading to The triple line, monster branded shotgun down rail, down pipe and donkey kick. Then a gap over a pair of Monster truck tyres next to a down box leading the the Monster bonk at the bottom & barrel tap.
The triple Down Rail line
Other side view on triple down rail.
Burton downrail & Snowledge with monster can tap.
Downbox with new graphics
Monster bonk & barrel tap at the bottom.
This is the park we built last week, I pushed it with the Pistenbully on Wednesday night then it was shaped by the boys on Thursday.
Here is a few pictures..
Here we have the Barrel tap down the bottom of the slope.
This is a flat down we made from a small box and small pipe with 2 sidehits for the down pipe or a ride on takeoff for the box.
Last weekend, Sat 4th June, was the MK stop of the “Who’s Afraid Of The Park Tour” This was the biggest rookie event of the year; we had sponsored riders and instructors and DJ’s, chill out zones, freebies and more!
I got asked to coach and it was super fun, one kid I coached went on to win most improved and won a new set up! There is a video from the event from my boy Thom @ Parkshaperblog. There is also a review on GONEboarding UK snowboard forum.
This is the Park Plan from May’s Parkstrife event, these get made every week and posted to Facebook, twitter and various blogs so that customers know what features will be out.
The bottom Relentless can stall, rough shaped with the Kat
This is the butter pad with pole jam & gas pipe creeper, super fun.
This is the middle feature, down box, hitching post & cannon pipe.
These are just a few random shots that dont really have a folder of thier own..
Fresh shaped, arty shot of the Donkey Dick down rail.
This was the last park I pushed before I went to California, the rails are brand new never been hit in this shot, we set them up for a photoshoot to raise the hype and get people even more stoked to hit them at Parkstrife!
Down flat down black pipes.
SNO!storm is an event we put on that happens 2 or 3 times a year, its basically park taking over the whole hill and DJ’s playing with spot prizes from local shops and occasionaly a brand demo.
This was the park we built a few days before I went back to America so I only helped start it and didnt get to see and ride the finished results. Above is the UK’s first real snow quater pipe I think, either way I’ve never seen or built a QP before.. but it turned out fine! (apparently)
This is the triple down, the new yellow donkey dick, ribbed gas pipe and a Burton downrail we won from Hi5.
Another angle on the QP.
Rough shape on the triple down stairset feature
This post has pictures from the Maverix Jam, the first company I shaped for, this event was an end of season way of saying thank you to the customers, sponsors and everyone who got involved. It was the first park I designed and the first time we had a team of people working under us.
This is me digging on one of the first bigger features I designed & built..
Finished shaped & sprayed.. Up pipe to return wall pipe stall with skate transition on one side & creeper on the other!
Skate wall tranny:
Flat up kick pipe
Bottom half of the park groomed & ready
Here is a video I found of the event on Youtube..
These are a few shots from the Indoor Big Air, we started building about a week before the comp only working with the cat at night and hand shaping during the day.. lots of late nights and early mornings, digging moving and shaping!
Landing & Take offs Nearly there!
Side view of the triple takeoff’s, big gap for a little slope!
Putting the final shape on the day before the comp, being observed by the boss. Haha!
The team checking out the tabletop, this was made into a flat by us digging all the sides flush and moving the snow into the gap.. by hand!
“I really enjoyed the new comp format and the jump was amazing, the perfect size. ”
Sparrow Knox, Mens winner.. pictured below enjoying our hard work!
Some reviews on other sites:
“The park shapers pulled out all the stops to create an epic ‘urban-inspired’ setup – even installing lamp-posts on the side of the obstacles!”
“Milton Keynes aced it. The park was smooth with sweet trannies, spray paint stencils and plenty of detailed touches that made it stand out from the crowd. They had even installed lamp posts complete with signs into the course with working downlights highlighting the features as riders amped it up over the course. Extravagant and impressive..”
This is the park I am definatly most proud of, the week was crazy, I have never worked so hard and had so little sleep! This was our entry into the Burton High 5 tour, It was a series of events all across the UK which was not only a snowboarding competition but a competition for the shapers to show off their creativity. Burton sent everyone a selection of rails and whichever venue had the best park (based on music, atmosphere park, flow etc) was voted for and could win the Golden Shovel. The prize was that the winning venue got to keep 3 rails, some Burton product and a free trip to Avoriaz, France for the shapers!
We won the Golden Shovel Award from Burton for the best shaped park in the country and best event, this was from people who attended voting on all the 6 stops of the tour. Stoked!
Putting the rails in place… then taking them all out and redesigning the plan!
Shaping the takeoff for the Burton table and triple pipe stack.
Sketchy phone cam shot of the top feature.. Down flat down box, Burton stall & Donkey dick pipe
Finished takeoff, cut, shaped and sprayed.
Bench/ Wall ride/ Creeper
A few links to reviews on other sites:
Welcome to my page, this is where I will be exhibiting my shaping and grooming work. Im currently gathering content from reviews and videos for things Ive worked on over the last few years and will have some up very soon!
Thanks for your patience.