Big Bear Mountain is the premier destination for skiers and snowboarders in Southern California and the birthplace of the modern terrain park movement. Always committed to the continuation of this illustrious tradition, this past weekend Bear Mountain debut what is quite possibly the most impressive snow park feature created to date — The Red Bull Plaza!
Stoked? We are too. While you’re too late to get in on the first sesh that went down this past Friday — there’s no worries — there are plenty of fresh features to hit, and the boys have left them (relatively) in tact.
The Plaza is the brainchild of Clayton Shoemaker, Director of Youth Marketing and Park Development for Big Bear Mountain Resorts, and is masterfully designed to resemble an urban terrain setting. Street riding has been a staple in freestyle ski and snowboard scene for quite some time now. Originally born out of necessity for inner-city youths and geographically hindered snow sports enthusiasts, the urban scene has gained such prominence that it has now beginning to enjoy the same mainstream status as park-specific features and halfpipes. Remember, at one point in history this type of riding was all taboo!
Clayton Shoemaker breaks down the new addition. “It’s all about the entire experience. When you arrive at the Red Bull Plaza you will immediately realize that you have never snowboarded or skied through a run like this anywhere. It’s not one feature but a whole run with multiple features that flow together and give riders opportunities to create lines that they’ve never seen in a resort’s terrain park before.”
The Plaza is filled with creative structures such as streetlights, brick and mortar walls, and chain link fences. While these types of items are typically found in much more developed areas, something just feels right about breaking through an epic tree line to be faced by a marble-topped box to butter across. The new park kicked off its first day this past weekend and was met with an enthusiastic community of SoCal shredders clamoring to be the first to stomp it on these new features.
“In urban areas of the United States that receive snowfall, snowboarders and skiers are riding rails, stair sets and ledges and nailing tricks on features around their neighborhoods as traditionally is only done by skateboarders here” says Bear Mountain’s Director of Marketing, Rio Tanbara. “Partnering with Red Bull, we sought together to bring this authentic experience to Southern California, providing guests with a creative urban environment to jib and just hang out.”
The Plaza occupies ideal real estate on the mountain, convieniently isolated off Chair 9 in the “Street Scene”. Park rats will be shielded from the rest of the resort and the inevitable peanut gallery leering from the chair lift. They’ll be left free to frolic about the Red Bull Plaza on features that include a 30’ marble ledge, two 20’ concrete rails, three ledges, two banks, a kink building wall, building wall with a ledge attachment, four stair sets, two down rails, bleacher box, planter ledge box and a down-flat-down ledge wall. You may recognize some of these items from their inclusion in this year’s Hot Dawgz and Handrails.
For more information, please visit www.bigbearmountainresorts.com. In all honesty though, the Red Bull Plaza at Bear Mountain is a terrain park you just have to experience for yourself. The coolest part being the fact that once there, not only will you be free to jump, jib, butter, bonk and grind to your hearts content — but you’ll have the option to just hang in the plaza and mellow your day away with friends! So gas up your ride, grab a couple of your closest homies and get up to Big Bear!
Photos provided courtesy of Red Bull