Snowbasin snowboard learning park strikes a chord

Feb 16 2014 - 5:30pm

Images

Jeremy Shupe uses a riglet to pull Zell Washburn Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 in Snowbasin's Riglet Park. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
Zell Washburn, from Winterpark, Florida, straps on a snowboard Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 in Snowbasin's Riglet Park. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
Zell Washburn, from Winterpark, Florida, goes down a slide Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 in Snowbasin's Riglet Park. Saturday was her second day on a  snowboard. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
Jeremy Shupe uses a riglet to pull Zell Washburn Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 in Snowbasin's Riglet Park. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
Zell Washburn, from Winterpark, Florida, straps on a snowboard Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 in Snowbasin's Riglet Park. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)
Zell Washburn, from Winterpark, Florida, goes down a slide Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 in Snowbasin's Riglet Park. Saturday was her second day on a  snowboard. (DYLAN BROWN/Standard-Examiner)

By all accounts so far, a new terrain park for young kids that opened this season at Snowbasin has been a dinosaur-sized success.

Back in December, Snowbasin, in partnership with Burton Snowboards, celebrated the grand opening of the Burton Dinosaur Riglet Park, a new youth-focused snowboard learning park. The park, located next to Snowbasin's Snowsports Learning Center, is designed specifically for children as young as three years old to learn how to snowboard.

Presenting features themed around Utah's rich dinosaur history, the park gives kids the chance to learn balance, weight transfer, edging and freestyle basics by maneuvering over, under, and around sculpted terrain of lava and mountains with "Dino" the Dinosaur and "Terry" the Triceratops -- the park's two resident dinosaur figures.

"We were very excited when Burton approached us to build a themed Riglet park," said Jason Dyer, public relations and marketing manager for Snowbasin. "We looked at several other Burton Riglet Parks in and outside of the U.S. and really wanted to create a unique atmosphere that reflects Utah's roots. With children's love for dinosaurs and Utah's extensive history, we thought the theme was a natural fit,"

Snowbasin offers an array of Riglet snowboarding packages for ages three to six. Whether a child wants to come for one hour or a full day, Dyer said the resort has a Riglet package suited for them. Some packages include rentals and snacks, but all packages include a great snowboarding learning adventure back though time, he said.

"The dinosaur-themed Burton Riglet Park completely embodies the idea of creating an environment focused on fun and play to teach the youngest of kids to snowboard," said Jeff Boliba, Burton's vice president of global resorts.

Dyer said the privately owned resort doesn't share exact numbers as to how many kids have participated in the new Riglet program, but he said participation in snowboarding among the target age group has increased about 250 percent at Snowbasin compared with last season.

"We have kids at the park every day," he said. "We knew it would do well, but it really has exceeded all of our goals and expectations."

He said there are roughly 40 Riglet parks around the world, but only 10 with a specific theme, including the one at Snowbasin. The term "Riglet" was coined by Burton as a way to refer to young snowboarders.

With Utah being home to places like Dinosaur National Monument and Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park near the mouth of Ogden Canyon, Dyer said it made perfect sense to go with that theme. At its grand opening in December, the park hosted representatives from the Utah Natural History Museum, who brought real dinosaur bones for kids to look at and touch.

The park itself features two quarter-pipes, three rollers, two boxes, features for kids to duck underneath, and a course where kids can navigate around flags. New snowboarders are tethered to instructors via a recoiling pulley attached to the nose of the board and are pulled along through the various features.

"We're getting the kids used to different kinds of terrain, so they're not just going down a flat surface," Dyer said. "The mountain isn't just a flat plane, so we want them to get used to that."

In conjunction with the park, Snowbasin has set up various games and activities inside the Snowsports Learning Center for when kids want to take a break from learning and come in out of the cold.

"It's all about the kids," Dyer said. "We want them to have a good time while learning a new sport."

Contact reporter Jeff DeMoss at 801-625-4263 or jdemoss@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @jkdemoss.

From Around the Web

  +