Growing up riding parks on the East ain’t easy, but you learn some very important lessons in both life and snowboarding. Two inches of fresh equals hero conditions. Creativity is created, not built. Disrespecting a local is bad for your health, and don’t fall. Ever.
Hardpack and harsh weather keep the EC dirts hungry for each lap, developing strong landing gear and a work ethic unlike any other. The community is tight-knit, the events attain cult status, and the vibe will forever be stoked. Back East, these five parks are dedicated to leading the hardcore way.
1. Seven Springs, Pennsylvania
Seven Springs is home to five unique parks, all fully lit for night riding. The Spot is the signature area, spectator-friendly and featuring their large jump line, famously sessioned by the Forum team this past winter. North Park serves as the next-level training ground, while The Alley, Santa’s Beard, and Arctic Blast offer leveled progression. The parks are maintained nightly by the fifteen-man park staff, with the overall vibe being friendly, dedicated, and relaxed.
After last season’s number three ranking, Seven Springs’ Director Of Action Sports,Joel Rerko had but one goal in mind: claim the top spot in 2010, or die trying. Well, Joel is more than just alive and kicking-he and his park crew are already looking ahead to setting the bar even higher. Having succeeded in staking their place atop the East, JR and co are ready to make their mark against the big guns on the national stage. As they say: “If you ain’t living, you’re dying.” PA, stand UP!
For the rest of the 2011 Top Five East Coast Parks, click the page numbers below.
2. Mount Snow, Vermont
Mount Snow’s Carinthia is the premier all-park mountain on the East Coast. With over 150 features laid throughout the 100 acres of freestyle-only terrain, there’s something for everyone at Southern VT’s shred Mecca. The dedicated park staff is constantly updating the nine parks, with features ranging from gut-kicking mega-hits and wooden organics to beginner slides and lap-friendly jib sets, with both national and regional events going down on the regs.
3. Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Ontario, Canada
Ever ridden a 140-foot rail? No? Well … you want to? Along with the 50-plus other slides, jibs, and boxes scattered throughout the Junkyard and Outback parks, these crafty Canadians unveiled the true mega-rail last season. Check the Web site--shit is batty. With the first parks to open in Ontario each winter, MSLM is looking ahead in a big way.
4. Big Boulder Park, Pennsylvania
Big Boulder Park offers fifteen trails, most covered entirely in park features. Seven parks blanket the resort, ranging from full-length jib runs and triple jump lines to wide beginner zones and progression areas. Opening at 3:00 p.m. during the week (9:00 a.m. on weekends), the after-school sessions are always going off, especially at The Plaza-the metal-loving, spectator-friendly community hike park.
5. Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
Loon Mountain features six parks, 50-plus jibs, a core riding scene, and maybe the best event series in New England. A private lift accesses the Little Sister and Burton Progression parks for beginners, while the monster jump lines and stout urban setups give the country’s best a run for their money. Look for an all-natural park to premiere this season, and, above all, circle March 23, 2011 on your calendar-the annual, infamous, Last Call.