Park riders, make room for the cutters |

Park riders, make room for the cutters

BRECKENRIDGE- A walk in the park isn’t always bland, and a ride in the park is far from it, especially if the park is designed by the best in the business.

Breckenridge hosts the second annual Snowboarder Magazine Cutter’s Cup Saturday and Sunday at the Peak 8 Freeway Terrain Park.

The mountain may be closed, but the park will be open to an elite few of the best snowboarders and park designers in the country.

“There’s only room for a handful,” said Jeremy Kent, Cutter’s Cup public relations manager. “We’re going to have some people out there who are really pushing the sport. The idea is to have the builders come out and to reward them. They’re kind of the unsung heroes.”

Every season, pro riders and skiers competing in events such as the Chevy Trucks Grand Prix and Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding frequently comment on the quality of Breck’s park and halfpipe. That’s why Breck designers Elliot Cone and Brad Hoerter and test pilot Tim Eastley won last year’s Cutter’s Cup and will be defending their title this weekend.

“Yes, we’re defending the title,” said Breckenridge spokeswoman Dawn Doty. “The pressure’s on. The most exciting part is that people can watch it on the course.”

Exclusively invited park-design teams from throughout North America will have 30 hours to build tables, hips, banks, berms and jibs in an allotted zone within the park.

Saturday, after the terrain is built, more than 100 world class snowboarders will spend the weekend testing it, including 2003 U.S. Open Champion Shaun White, 2002 Olympic bronze medalist JJ Thomas and 2002 Cutter’s Cup winner Travis Rice. Spectators are invited to watch as competitors throw their biggest tricks on the new features and decide which ones they like the best.

“It’s a cool event because it serves as an All-Star game/trade show,” Kent said. “You get to see the best stuff, and (designers get to) trade ideas on what works at their (respective) mountain. If you’re at Breck, you’re going to have great riders, but you don’t have Shaun White coming in every day. The riders are stoked, because they end up riding in the best park built by a whole lot of different designers, and (the designers) get feedback from the best riders.”

Kent also pointed out how terrain parks have become an art form.

“It’s become a kind of nuance,” he said. “You look at old snowboard footage, and the way the guys ride halfpipes S was completely different. It was like a surf style. They’d pop out of the pipe and do whatever they could to get back into it. It’s a lot different now, all the tricks riders can do, and it has to do with the nuances of how transitions are cut. (The best park design) has a good combination of approaches to hits, flow and launch. Each is fine-tuned.”

The design team that wins the Cutter’s Cup will be given $7,500. The best rider in the park will win $10,000.

The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Peak 8. Spectators can use Chair 7 to reach the park. The lift ride is free but open to foot passengers only.

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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