Freestyle snowboarding and skiing is all about progression.
It’s all about starting small and building up to bigger features. That’s what the signs say, and that’s what I love about the sport.
So why do mountains make so many huge features that are unhittable for 99% of the people on the slopes?
This practice would be fine if there were a counterbalancing force of smaller features, but I’ve found in many places this isn’t true.
The breakdown looks like:
20% small / novice features
20% medium / intermediate features
60% large / advanced features
I think more people would be interested in hitting small boxes, rails and jumps than mountains are currently accounting for. New skiers and riders love experimenting in the park, but unfortunately most ski areas aren’t actually optimized for the progression that we should promote.
Even more challenging, the difference between small features and medium is often a massive leap. There are few “bridge” features that actually help people transition up to the new class of difficulty.
Like with all learning, helping people progress requires intentional design and a keen eye for user experience. I’m optimistic that mountains will continue to improve on this in years to come.