Snowboarding often seems like it's stuck aboard a spaceship bound for the moon, with progression taking riding another 180 and another flip away from the average rider year after year.
While dipping for another flip often makes for good television and a tense contest, it's not exactly the kind of riding that makes you want to strap in and call your drop. That's where Red Bull Uncorked comes in.
"We have a lot of fun riding more progressive features and dumbing it down for trick level, but pumping it up in the feature side of things," Mark McMorris said of the thinking behind the custom terrain park.
As the brainchild of McMorris and Sebastien Toutant, Red Bull Uncorked saw the guys dream up a series of features they'd like to see in the terrain parks of the future.
"The main idea was to build fun features that you can be super creative on or do tricks that are simple," Toutant added. "That’s what snowboarding’s about, it doesn’t need to be the gnarliest trick every day."
McMorris and Toutant worked with Craig McMorris and the Grouse Mountain team to bring their ideas to life on the peak of Vancouver, Canada. When the Prinoth snow groomers were put to rest after 260 build-hours, Scotty James, Yuki Kadono, Tyler Nicholson and Mike Ciccarelli joined the McMorris brothers and Toutant for a week-long session.
Here's four of the standout features from McMorris and Toutant's build.
While this feature was originally designed to help generate speed through the park, it immediately became a favourite. What's not to love? With long, steep landings, knuckles are a choose-your-adventure feature: go fast and pop early for lengthy hang time, or roll over it.
Either way, you've got a low-impact feature that's quite literally fun for the whole family. This knuckle at Red Bull Uncorked saw everything from Mark McMorris's lofty Miller Flips to extremely technical spins from Seb Toots.
Whether you're trying to figure out your first 180, or on the hunt for your umpteenth X Games medal, The Knuckle should be high up on the list of features you want at your local mountain.
The Baker’s Dozen
With three takeoffs, this feature had more to offer than a grab bag of 13 doughnuts – hence the name. As a next step in the evolution of angled takeoffs, The Baker's Dozen was prime for a whole slew of combinations. Note the lack of kick on the angled pads? That's by design. Hook in with the edge of your choice and pop as little or as much as possible.
The Bread Loaf
The gap in the take-off demands precision, while adding a new flavour to this tried-and-true style of jump. Match transition perfectly or you’re facing impact on an uphill slope before ejecting into the wasteland somewhere between where you were and where you want to be. The technicality of the gap into the lip means you'll have to rethink your bag of tricks.
The Toutant Transfer
Leave it to Toutant to scheme up the most technical of transfer rails. Why should you want this at your local mountain next season? For the hours of frustration-turned-triumph that a technical feature like this presents, of course. In a world where technical features trump technical tricks, the Toutant Transfer deserves to be the proving ground in your local terrain park next winter.