This fall, Burton Snowboards met with key members of the National Ski Area Association (NSAA) regarding safe riding at mountain resorts and their terrain parks. The objective for the meetings was twofold: to arrive at a consensus on a terrain park safety program and to help reduce accidents and injuries on the mountain. Representatives from Burton also toured the US talking with resorts, top terrain park builders, lawyers and riders to gather feedback on terrain park safety. Out of these discussions, Smart Style was born ¿ a breakthrough program to encourage terrain park safety at resorts nationwide.

The main goal of Smart Style is to deliver a unified safety message in a clear and catchy manner. At the center of the program is the recommended use of signage and visuals at resorts to help educate riders on the importance of park safety. To accomplish this nationwide, Burton teamed up with their design agency to construct print-ready signage templates to help resorts create banners, tower signage, stickers, and in-park signage. These three safety guidelines are the crux of the new program. In order to achieve a unified message, the Smart Style program also encourages all resorts to signify freestyle terrain areas with the same symbol: the Orange Oval.

The Three Safety Messages of Smart Style

01 Look Before You Leap

Scope around the jumps first, not over them. Know your landings are clear and clear yourself out of the landing area.

02 Easy Style It

Start small and work your way up. (Inverted aerials not recommended.)

03 Respect Gets Respect

From the lift line through the park

Freestyle Terrain Symbol

The Freestyle Terrain Symbol will include halfpipes, terrain parks and terrain features. If used as planned, the Orange Oval freestyle symbol will become as widely recognized as the Green Circle, Blue Square and Black Diamond terrain symbols.

Resorts can access all Smart Style signage assets through Burton’s Dealer website. Contact Rob Pagila at Burton to receive user names, passwords, and instructions for downloading the materials.

As discussions with resorts progress, most see a real need for a safety program like Smart Style and are eager to work with Burton to deliver the message. “We’ve had an overwhelming response from resorts who rely on Burton for our snowboarding expertise, whether it be lessons, events, or safety,” comments Jake Burton, founder and owner of Burton Snowboards.

In this Olympic season, there is a heightened mainstream awareness of the sport of snowboarding and the pros who make a successful career out of riding day in and day out. Sometimes, less experienced snowboarders try to imitate the difficult tricks their favorite athletes perform, like Jussi Oksanen pulling “Nollie Switch Backside 720′s” or “Fakie 1080′s”. If not careful, amateur riders attempting tricks beyond their skill level could get banged up. The Smart Safety program strives to educate riders about how to avoid excess injury and ride within their personal capabilities.

Burton has communicated the core concepts of Smart Safety to their Global Team of pro riders. Together, NSAA, Burton and their team are succeeding in setting a professional example of safety. As much as Burton encourages riders to push themselves and progress in their riding, we also recognize a need to keep them aware, safe and in one piece.