Park and Ride: Sunday River, Maine

Park & Ride

Sunday River, Maine

Small state, big kickers.


With some of the biggest features in New England and a tight design by Cutter Camp academic Josh Lempert, Rocking Chair Park in Barker Basin puts Sunday River on the freestyle map. The resort has the largest snowmaking capacity in the East, which allows the park staff to sculpt monsters like the 30-foot-tall hip and a 22-foot-tall quarterpipe.


The park runs directly under Chair 1. About ten good-sized tabletops, in the range of fifteen- to 60-footers, litter the park. Rocking Chair is known for its intimidating double set of 55- to 65-foot-long (sometimes growing up to 80 feet) tabletops with takeoff ramps perched twelve feet up to give ya guaranteed airtime--or acid-drop potential. And just try to overshoot the 100-foot-long landings. While Sunday River is somewhat lacking a local shred scene, riders like Andrew Mutty, Luke Mathison, and Forum rider Pat Moore often make the commute. Pat thinks the park has a lot of creativity and variety--he says the park staff is willing to listen to and fix any concerns.

Along with maple syrup and fall foliage, what could be more East Coast than a quarterpipe? The RC park’s QP will be newly outfitted with a long hip down the side this season. It will remain in its location at the bottom of the park.

Rocking Chair also has a nice assortment of homemade kinked, flat, double-kinked, Y, trapezoid, and rainbow rails along with funboxes, double-barrel rails, and old-fashioned logslides. And last but not least, right in Barker Basin sits the in-ground, 400-foot-long Zaugg-cut Superpipe. A good time to check out the RC park will be during The High Rollerz air and rail series this December 13.


If the jumps on Rocking Chair look too much like a suicide mission, then slide over to Who-ville, a beginner park and mini pipe on the South Ridge. The mellower terrain features are a good place to dial in new tricks. American Express Park on Spruce Peak is open the earliest and is another training ground with slightly bigger intermediate hits and rails. There’s also the Starlight Park on Lower White Cap, and possibly a new “3-D” park on North Peak.


One warning about Maine--it tends to be an icebox in the winter, so jumps built from man-made snow can be a bit firm--no need to rush here first thing in the morning.--Annie Fast

Jib Features: 30

Jumps: 45

Superpipes: 2

Mini pipe: 1

The best thing about the park is the size of the jumps. They’re well sculpted, nice cheesewedge kickers with big-ass landings and good space between ’em for rhythm.”--Andrew Mutty

Photo: Nick Lambert