Every year, athletes from around the world are hand selected and invited to participate in SNOWBOARDER Magazine's Superpark. There is no prize money; no gold, silver or bronze medal and regardless, hundreds of the best riders in the sport attend every year. Park builders and riders gather to exchange ideas, attempt new tricks, work with and push each other and the limits of the sport. For each, the exposure provided by the many photographers, videographers and SNOWBOARDER magazine coverage is a potential career catalyst. Additionally, Superpark puts a great deal of unique emphasis on the actual feature build component, a crucial creative process that regularly gets overlooked. This year, build teams included Seven Springs Resort, Bear Mountain and Boreal Resort. PistenBully provided four ParkPros, a PistenBully 400 Park Winch, a PistenBully 600 Park Winch and a PistenBully Scout.
For the first time in its nineteenth year of existence, Superpark was held in the east at Seven Springs Resort, Pennsylvania. Granted the relatively better snow season that the east experienced, it seemed like a good year for creative director, Pat Bridges to switch things up. Bridges explained, "No matter where we take it, Superpark is always 'super' and having the gathering at Seven Springs was no exception." For the resort, however, playing host is a big deal. Seven Springs is a much smaller resort than the previous event destinations, but is home to the east's only Olympic-size halfpipe in addition to six progressive terrain parks boasting nearly 100 features. Hosting Superpark was a perfect way to highlight these attributes.
In addition to being an honor, hosting and preparing for Superpark is exceptionally hard work. Making sure that the PistenBullys run without critical problems and facilitating builders' meticulous planning is crucial for a successful Superpark. PistenBully Product Specialist and renowned park builder, Jay Rydd reports that at Superpark 19 "The machines were pushed way beyond what is normally asked of a machine, and true to the PistenBully reputation, they just kept going strong." Equally complimentary, Director of Mountain Operations at Seven Springs Resort, Joel Rerko commented "The success of the event was in large part to the support provided by PistenBully. The equipment operated flawlessly throughout the build process while pushing and shaping massive amounts of man-made snow."
Seven Spring's snowmaking team had to make enough snow for all three build teams, a tremendous task given the size of Superpark features. The terrain staff not only had to construct multiple features of their own, but also had to insure that each other team had everything that they needed to complete their work. Extra preparation was necessary to accommodate the unpredictable weather of the east. PistenBully New England Sales Representative, Josh Nelson reported that "Mother Nature kept everyone on their toes throughout the entire event, from hot to cold; rain, sleet, snow, sun and fog." Joel Rerko and his team did a phenomenal job preparing for weather challenges and all building teams excelled at using every possible snowflake available to them.
Building the extreme features necessary to make Superpark a success takes around-the-clock effort. Clayton Shoemaker, Director of Park Development and Youth Marketing at Bear Mountain expressed "It takes the right machine and the right crew to move the amount of snow that was made at SNOWBOARDER Magazine's SuperPark 19. The build team from Bear Mountain came out to prove that we can push with the best of them and with the Park Pro 400 one of the most creative features I've ever seen at Superpark was constructed." Despite a week of exhausting work , Shoemaker says "The only thing I can think of is what the hell is Bear going to build next year!"
Reviewing Superpark from a creative standpoint, Pat Bridges stresses that "Superpark can only be as good as the men and machines who make it. Without superior grooming vehicles, the best terrain park builders aren't able to reach the limits of their abilities and creativity." He continues, "The PistenBully ParkPros that KATV brought to Superpark are the keys that unlock the door to the next level feature creation. They were versatile, reliable and eager to tackle any task making Superpark 19 quite possibly the best one yet." Joel Rerko additionally highlighted that "Providing state-of-the-art snowcats and mechanical support truly shows the dedication PistenBully has to terrain parks and the future of the ski industry."
Working with SNOWBOARDER Magazine and creative genius, Pat Bridges is a privilege for PistenBully. It is exciting to be a part of such a truly progressive event. Superpark is a one-of-a-kind creative gathering of talented athletes and hardworking people who share a common love and passion for the sport and the culture around it. PistenBully strives to continue enabling and progressing the hard work and creativity that Superpark so perfectly represents.