720s Off Big Air
The world is upside down. Now it’s right side up again, but you’re floundering in a pit of blue foam. Time to grab the overhead rope and haul yourself out of the pit, so you can go back to Big Air, with its 43-degree pitch, and try another backflip. Elsewhere in the vast Barn at Woodward at Copper pro freeriders, amateurs, and novices are doing somersaults on trampolines, slingshotting up the 8-foot (2.4m) wall in the Skate Bowl, and arcing into 720s off a jump.
Jazzed by the loud rock music, the action is constant at Woodward at Copper, the year-round ski and snowboard camp at Copper resort in Colorado. The 20,000-square-foot (1,858 sq. m) barn, filled with a terrain park and pipe progression, is the heart of the camp. Inside, the Gym Cross Zone contains six Flybed trampolines (three lead into foam), a Tumble Track in foam, and a Spring Floor. The Snow Skate Zone has the 35-foot-long (11m) Big Air drop covered in Snowflex (a brush-like surface that simulates snow), with three different-sized jumps that lead to a foam pit. This zone also has an 8-foot (2.4m) Cliff Drop into foam, a 5-foot (1.5m) Skatelite drop into foam, a loose foam pit, and a SnowFlex Jib run with rails and boxes, and a quarter-pipe. The Skatelite area has a big Skate bowl, and 3- and 5-foot (1 and 1.5m) Mini Ramps.
Snowsliders who want to learn tricks and moves come here to learn gravity-defying feats in a controlled environment. The coaches are medal-winning pro snowboarders, pro freestylers, and gymnasts. They take students through a progression in this setting, where if a student blows an aerial and lands awkwardly the impact is blunted by foam instead of unforgiving snow.
Skiers and snowboarders can sample the camp in mini-sessions, pick up punch cards for drop-in sessions, or take multi-day classes. During the winter, Woodward at Copper runs day sessions; half of the day is spent in the Barn and the other half in parks and pipes on the slopes. During the summer, there are weeklong sessions for ages 8 through 18, and shorter sessions for groms (8–12).
Copper, a year-round resort 75 miles (121km) from Denver, is a small ski village at the base of the mountain offering 2,450 acres (971 hectares) of skiable terrain. The parks and pipes here have snagged awards from Transworld SNOWboarding magazine. Lots of mountain winter sports are offered here, from cross-country skiing and tubing to sleigh rides and dog sledding. Copper is a good location in the summer for people who want to hike, mountain bike, and play golf in the high country. —LF
Woodward at Copper ( 888/350-1544 or 970/968-3400; www.woodwardatcoppercolorado.com).
When to Go: Year-round.
Denver (75 miles/121km).
For a variety of local options, contact Copper Mountain Resort lodging ( 888/350-1544 or 888/219-2441; www.coppercolorado.com).