Earlier this year I was stoked to get an invitation—along with the little ewok Tom Hey from Extra Mile Trail Building—from Trestle bike park in Winterpark Colorado to design and build the Colorado Freeride Festival (previously Crankworx Colorado) Slopestyle course.
With the repeat success and massive rider stokage from The Teva Slopestyle event in Queenstown acting as a foundation for the invite, Tom and I sat down and started designing a kick arse course that would fit in the perimeters of the Winterpark site, be at a Gold FMB level size and gap dimensions, be unique to other courses and most of all be FUN as hell to ride.At such short notice it was hard to work out a schedule to build the course; Tom already had a Europe trip locked and loaded and I had my contest/trip schedule already booked. But with a whole lot of juggling and some compromising we managed to come up with a plan to get it done.May rolled around and we both packed our bags to head out to the northern hemisphere and put a Kiwi (Tom has residency now!) stamp on the international FMB slopestyle course building scene.Tom showed up first, with snow still falling occasionally! He got to work clearing snow, marking out the course and building some maaaaassive landings! He was there in the loader and bobcat for 12ish days before I showed up from Peru. Tom did an amazing job of getting the dirt work done, the course was looking insane. It actually worked really well having all the landings built up as we could see exactly what size/radius ramps we would need. I hooked straight into getting the wood stuff done, along with the help of my mate Ramon we built up all the take-off ramps, a 16ft high fruitbowl and a boner log. Tom had to take off on his Euro trip so we agreed to meet back a week before the comp and put the finishing touches on the course.Tom and I returned to Winterpark one week before the comp and set about getting the course finished and the fun/scary part of testing it all out! I drew the short straw and was the guinea pig; most of the features worked great but we had to tweak a few things. After a few average courses on the FMB tour, most riders agree that having someone build the course who is capable of riding the course is pretty important, so the course can be ridden, tested and adjusted before athletes fly from all corners of the world to ride.
The weather played the game (most of the time!) and riders showed up from all over and started to check out the course. It was nerve racking as we hadn't built a gold level FMB event before but people seemed to be stoked. Practice kicked off and riders slayed through the course first pop. Everyone was pumped on what we'd come up with. We were stoked and there was nothing left to do but shred with the boys on the epic course we had built!
The competition was insane, the webcast was epic, everyone threw down so hard and loved the course, massive stokeage was achieved. Mission accomplished.
Check out the full replay, course preview, and various edits that came from the event
Also check out the course preview I did with my GoPro below