Most of the Simply Piste team have always dreamed about building our own snow park in our backyard (or the delivery yard: D) But how would we go about it? What equipment would we need to get? What rights or permissions would we need? Well we have been looking into this for some time now and have come up with some cool and helpful facts so we thought we would share it with you guys!
First things first, before you start building or even planning to build your snow park you must make sure that you have the land owner’s permission. Whether it’s your parent’s garden, land owned by someone you know, or even a plot of “waste land”, you still need to get their permission and get it in writing (especially if it’s council owned land), this will safe guard your snow park. But that’s not the only thing you need to consider, you will need to talk to your local council (yep even if it’s your parents garden) about height restrictions, you don’t want to build a massive kicker which your neighbour complains about. They then call the council, who come over to inspect, you find out it’s too high and you have to pull it down! So make sure to contact your local council to check for planning permission and height restrictions before you start construction, just to be on the safe side.
This is what takes the time, and to be honest, is always going to change with your level of skiing and snowboarding. You can spend days, months or even years planning your snow park blue prints but you really don’t know what it looks like or more importantly how it feels until it’s up and you are riding it! We know a lot of skiers and snowboarders here at Simply Piste that have lost the will to live at times because they have tried to fit the land they are building to the blue prints, rather than simply changing the blue prints of their snow park to fit the land. So be warned you might go a little crazy! Start the layout nice and simple, get a feel for it, and then you can build it up from there, and most importantly have fun doing it!
What To Build It Out Of
Now this is pretty vital, a lot of people reading this will think well snow (durr..) If you are one of the lucky people to get quality snow for up to six months a year then this would be easy, but for the people (like us here at Simply Piste – Kent-based) who don’t see much snow or get the rather disappointing slush rather than proper snow, then what do you do? Well firstly if you are in a cold climate but get rather rubbish snow then look into getting a snow machine. This way you can control the snow and shape of it, but it is still cold enough to keep the snow from melting. If snow for you is a slight flurry in February or you are looking at something more permanent that you can board or ski in the summer, then look into building your snow park from Dry Ski material like “Perma Snow”. Depending on how big your snow park is Dry Slope Material can be costly but you can fully customise your park to shape how you truly want it. Another advantage is that you have something you can use all year round, which in our books is always a bonus.
So you've got permission, you've built it safely, got all the rails, kickers and half pipes in place, now there is only one thing to do and that’s test it! Before you get all your mates round to have a go, you need to make sure that your snow park is safe to use on all level skills, so get a couple of mates that have different skill sets and get them to test your snow park with you, if you have built it in mind of what you want, but plan to share it with your buddies this will be a great test to see how they ride. Take what they have to say as well, people ride differently so take that into consideration and use what they say to build a better park for everyone to enjoy!
And lastly play it safe. Skiing and snowboarding is a dangerous sport, if you have built something that is way too big or way too dangerous don’t be a fool take it down and start again. Safety is hugely important and we wouldn't want anyone to get hurt building a snowpark or riding one, so always remember to ride responsibly and make sure your snowpark is safe for all abilities that will be using it.
Happy snowpark building!