Shop And Shred
By Matt And Philip Peterson
Hyland Hills is like the local skatepark for snowboarders. It may be small, but it's sick, and it's right down the street. The resort is literally located just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, five minutes from the Mall of America. Ever since snowboarding first became legal in the Midwest, Hyland has been there to pump it up. It was one of the first resorts in the area to install a halfpipe, and this was back in the day when you had to put the love in and dig it by hand. When technology got better, Hyland spent the cash and bought one of the first Pipe Dragons. In the early 90s, the resort stepped up and started holding competitions, and it's now known throughout the Midwest for having world-class snowboard coaching for pipe, slopestyle, and racing. If it's fly, progressive, and the riders want it, Hyland Hills works to make it happen.
Park And Pipe
For a little place, Hyland packs it in-nearly a third of the entire resort is dedicated exclusively to freestyle terrain. The park boasts twelve jumps, eight rails, and a mishmash of obstacles to mix it up. Hyland has installed two high-speed rope tows that burn right through the terrain park so that you're not stuck on the lift watching it happen. This means that you can spend the entire day perfecting your style and you never have to hike a single step-be prepared for your legs to ache with pleasure.
Continuing its dedication to technological innovation, Hyland has ponied up the cash and bought a Piston Bully Shredder. This is the badass machine that keeps the halfpipe smooth and huge, enabling local shred heads to rip it up and stay competitive.
At first glance, freeriding outside the park seems limited, but it's all about chasing the locals. Get yourself in with a ripper like Jonas Michilot and he'll lead you on an area-wide quest for cutout jumps and fence ollies that will test your skills and keep a smile on your face.
Hyland has a giant chalet with all the amenities: a sweet food court, a huge bank of video games, and all the lounging area you require. It also keeps a well-stocked pro shop for all your softgood needs. For those of you who like to rip it inside as well as out, there's a bar upstairs that's not a bad spot to spend an afternoon or evening (or both).
Lodging And Local Fare
Since Hyland Hills is just down the street from Minneapolis, your food and lodging options are virtually limitless. Hell, since it's located just five minutes from the Mall of America (the largest mall in the U.S. and possibly the world) you can get a room, dine at the largest food court ever, get a new pair of socks at The Gap, and still make first chair!
This season Hyland Hills will host twelve freestyle events, ranging from USASA sanctioned competitions to local grassroots events. Hyland is also the home of Team Gilboa, a nationally recognized racing program.
Average annual snowfall: 60 inches natural (plus endless manmade)
Vertical drop: 175 feet!
Number of lifts: 3 chairlifts, 3 rope tows, and 1 magic carpet
Shreddable acres: 35
Lights: Until 10:00 p.m.
Local shops: Cal Surf, (612) 822-6840
Adult ticket price: Full day $26, half day $24