We’re live from the Snowpark base area. It’s been a tough season in New Zealand, and freeriding is almost nonexistent (it’s better in Chile and Argentina), but Snowpark is going off. The Frank Wells-shaped halfpipe opened yesterday (Thursday in NZ) and riders from around the world are all over it.

Days are warm and afternoon sessions at the Wanaka skatepark are in full effect. Get a flight to Queenstown on the South Island and make your way over-it’ll be the best North American summer of your life. Don’t forget your skateboard or any of your snow gear because nothing is cheap. I made my contribution to the local shred economy by spending $320 (about $250 US) on a new skate. Learn from my mistake. Once you’re in Wanaka, you don’t need a car, you can just hitch rides around-everyone is going to the same place. A backpackers lodge is about $30 US per night, and lift tickets at Snowpark are around $45 US (60 NZ dollars).

Come now and you’ll catch the Burton Open at neighboring Cardrona next weekend. Check back for daily coverage of the Open and the scene at Snowpark from August 11-20. You can also check out the Snowpark site at snowparknz.com. www.Snowpark.com

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