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Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Barn skiing at Woodward at Copper

Over the years, I have been lucky to ski in the summer at many places around the world. Including summer camps, which started for me in Whistler, BC, at the now defunct High North camp put on by Shane Szocs, where I was a coach for five summers. High North provided weeklong sessions, where campers would train jumps and rails on snow and spend a few afternoons doing water ramp and trampoline sessions.

K2 campers getting ready to hit the Snowflex.

Today Whistler and Mt. Hood are still the big summer camp areas due to their long-standing lift-serviced glacial terrain. But last year, Colorado got into the game with Woodward at Copper, an indoor park training facility at Copper Mountain. This is a new hot spot for those who want to learn freestyle tricks. Woodward's 19,400-square-foot indoor Barn consists of four fly bed trampolines, a gymnastics floor, a skate bowl, a mini halfpipe and assorted rails and boxes. The best part of the Barn is the three Snowflex jumps that all send you into a large foam pit. Next to that is a Snowflex run with a box that flows into a quarter pipe, where you can get the feel of the Snowflex prior to hitting the jumps into the foam pit. There's a camera on a video delay that lets you see your jump right after you've done it. That's key for progression.

This is real snow. Not plastic.

Last week, I was a guest coach at the K2 week session. It was a pretty cool set up and it had a much more laid back scene compared to other more crowded camps. And it's fun to see all the kids going for it. They get to work on the tramps and Snowflex every day after skiing, which offers a much more balanced training experience in my eyes.

Even if you missed the summer camps at Hood or Whistler, you'll still be able to hit up the tramps and Snowflex since Woodward is a year-round operation. I train in the Barn during the fall. In addition to the guest pros who show up for company-sponsored weeks, you'll see many other freestyle pros in there throughout the year. Plus, the in-house coaches are top-notch athletes and super helpful.

Welcome to the Barn.