Most folks are familiar with the Michigan Legacy Art Park here on premise at Crystal. But there’s another form of park art that takes place during the winter months in our three on-slope terrain parks.
Terrain park guru Nickolas Kerby heads up the crew who sculpts the snow.
It takes snow artistry on the part of Nic and park artists Bryce Reckow, Austin Bert, Seth Morgan, Devin Lapan and Brent Johnson to craft terrain parks that can accommodate a variety of skills, thrills, and feature favorites. And they’re always dealing with the challenge of changing snow conditions – which can, in turn, provide fodder for more fun as they get creative with slope surfaces for unique terrain.
Building a park is geared towards rider progression and fun, according to Kerby. For him, it’s all about pushing the riders to get better while making sure they have fun doing it.
“Since Jester’s Alley is our beginner park, we tend to stick to smaller easier features, such as boxes and little rails” he noted. “We like to stay with ‘ride on take offs’ as they are easier for beginner riders, but we also usually do one feature in Jester’s that includes an ‘urban take off’. Our main goal at Jester’s is to enable beginners to progress to bigger features in the bigger parks – Basin Street and Little Vincent.”
In Basin Street, park features are bigger and more difficult than in Jester’s Alley. “You’ll find a plethora of features from boxes and rails, to combinations of the two. Take-offs in Basin Street are mostly urban, but we also build a few ‘gap on’ take offs,” Kerby said. Over in Little Vincent, home to Crystal’s quarter pipe, building jumps are the main focus. “There are not many rails or boxes in Little Vincent, as it’s a shorter run without much room for extra features,” Kerby observed. “Any rails built in this park tend to be big and challenging."
So what are the favorite features for frequent park fans? According to Kerby, that’s hard to say. “Some riders just like boxes, some just like rails, some just like going off the corners of take offs - which is not what they are for” he noted. “Some riders like jumps, and some like a little bit of everything.” But in the end, our talented terrain artists have one goal in mind as they sculpt park features: “We want to build parks where everyone can progress their riding skills, and have a blast while doing it!”