In a month dedicated to the knowledge and education of on-hill safety, we can’t forget about the rules of riding the park. The National Ski Area Association’s Safety Month is in full effect at Mammoth Mountain and on Saturday the movement took over Unbound Terrain Parks to focus on park safety with the Mammoth Junior Snowboard Team.
Who better to teach the rules and regulations to the next generation of greats than our very own Gabe Taylor? With a 15-year career as a professional snowboarder at his back and a bag full to the brim with stories, stoke, tips and know-how, Gabe met the group at the top of Forest Trail and went over how to be park S.M.A.R.T.
Here’s the code:
Start Small - Work your way up. Build your skills.
Take a lap through Forest Trail or spend a couple hours in South Park before moving over to Main Park. Whether it’s jibs or jumps, work up to your full potential and build your confidence by nailing the easy stuff first.
Make a Plan - Every feature. Every Time.
Have you ever tried to throw together a Christmas dinner in an hour? Of course not. Inventory your ingredients and make a plan. Take into consideration the snow, wind, light and anything else that could affect the way you throw down.
Always Look - Before you drop.
Dropping in is a commitment, make sure you and the feature are clear of all obstacles (human or not) before you drop and when you do, make it known. A hearty “DROPPING!” usually does the trick.
Respect - The features and other riders.
Keep a positive attitude and stay respectful of the people sharing the park. Stoke is contagious and the easiest way to get respect is by giving it.
Take it Easy - Know your limits. Land on your feet.
Gut feelings are usually a good indication of whether or not to “go for it.” If there’s something in your stomach telling you not to, work on poking out that method instead.
Gabe Taylor. p. Kevin Westenbarger
Stay safe and park S.M.A.R.T. to hone your park skills this winter. See you on the hill!