snowpark laax

Ooof... look at those curves.

Park shaping has become a bit of an art-form over the years - and as a recent debate suggested, original features and courses for comps could be vitally important in the future of snowboarding. BUT, we don't always give the guys that make these creations possible all the credit they deserve.[splitpost intro="true"]

Far too often, we complain if the angle of a jump doesn't suit our preferences, or whine if a gap's too big, without giving a proper shout out to the shapers when they get it spot on. They're like the drummers in the park snowboarding band - doing the vital legwork in the background that allows everyone to have fun. So, by means of an apology for the times we are ungrateful, here's a small offering of snow-smut: hardcore, shovel-carved filth, including just a few of the best park features and set-ups we've seen captured on film.

[part title="Snowpark Laax"]

We'll open up with one of the most consistent spots in the world - there's good reason behind Laax' claim to be Europe's leading freestyle resort. Their yearly set up is huge! And 2013/14 looks no different - check this vid for full details of their plan for the season - what a beaut!

[part title="Northstar, CA Danny Davis Peace Pipe/Park"]

danny davis peace pipe

We're guessing anyone with an interest in progressive parks has already seen the Danny Davis Peace Pipe and Park edits from the last two seasons.

But if you're not up to speed, here's what they've been up to:

Pipe

Park

[part title="Breckenridge/Keystone"]

Two resorts with huge terrain parks in Colorado just down the road from each other - Breckenridge and Keystone. Burly kickers and big machinery are the backbone of the operation over here.

Instagram: uncletran26

[part title="Shoreditch Showdown - London"]

A little shout out to all our Dome shaping friends in the UK. They do some pretty amazing things in places where there isn't any natural snow - including this in the middle of London - complete with postbox and phone box jibs, a custom made bus shelter and a full on London bus.

[part title="Moreboards Stubai Zoo, Austria"]

p. Moreboards Stubai Zoo

Moreboards' Stubai Zoo is one of the earliest opening glacier parks in Europe - kicking off yearly with their Premiere weekend in October. Full props to these guys for pulling out the stops in time.

p. Moreboards Stubai Zoo

[part title="Area 43 - Meribel Mottaret"]

meribel-mottaret

DC Area 43 is another renowned freestyle area that draws a crowd - if you haven't been before, you can definitely see why from these shots.

p. David Manaud
p. Frederic Egli
NikeChosenSessions_BestLine_JonasSteen_01

Back in 2012 Nike built the largest snowpark in Europe at Montafon for their Chosen Sessions comp - and as you can see, the results are pretty groundbreaking. Incase you're wondering, Nike have continued to sponsor the park dropping down from the Fredakopf - so although the features might have changed, it still looks pretty epic over there. Here's the original:

[part title="Seven Springs"]

Incorporating 7 terrain parks total - Seven springs has an understandably huge rep for freestyle. From The Streets - a full blown urban re-creation on the mountain, to The Spot. Massive expertise and variety to boot.

alek ostreng seven sprins Ian Ruther

[part title="I Ride Park City"]

The feature above is called Miley for obvious reasons - and similarly you couldn't have a place called Park City without having a decent park set up, it's only fair. With three banging parks and a superpipe - they definitely fit the bill...

[part title="Kitzsteinhorn - Onboard Send Off Sessions"]

Jamie Nicholls sending it at the Onboard Send Off Session. Photo: Lorenz Richard.

We couldn't possibly get through this list without taking a quick look at some of the features built for our Send Off Sessions last year. You can see more in the full vid here - but man they were huge!

The hip feature at our Send Off Session was one of the biggest of its kind ever constructed in Europe. Peter König did it justice that's for sure. 580 people liked this shot.

[part title="Bear Mountain"]

bear mountain red bull plaza

[part title="Nike Snakes and Hammers"]

p. Martin Corell

Banked slaloms are massive at the moment - and while there are longer running comps that show the other strong points of the format, very few have had the same scale and visual appeal as Nike's Snakes and Hammers did last year. The series went through Mount High, Mount Hood, Mammoth and Montafon late last season and there were banging features 'a plenty - check the vids for more:

[part title="Whistler"]

With 6 parks covering 99 acres, Whistler Blackcomb's park space is massive. Their Camp of Champions park (above) is hailed as one of the best in the world both in the summer and winter months and their highest level park has some truly monstrous features. Check their gallery below for more shots:

[part title="Many, many more..."]

Phwoar... look at that - we're sure there are plenty of shots like this around - and we couldn't possibly shout out to them all, so we'll leave that down to you.

What's you're favourite place to shred and who are the best shapers out there? Let us know in the comments...