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Ski Indoors. It’s Cool. We Promise.

At Woodward at Copper, Colorado’s new indoor park training facility, you can learn Rodeo 5s, backflips, and more, into the comfort of a foam pit.
posted: 07/22/2009
A skier takes the plunge into Woodward’s foam-filled pool
by Eugene Buchanan

The arm cast can’t be a good sign. “Broke it Monday,” says 22-year-old Mike Harris. It’s barely a month after the opening of Colorado’s Woodward at Copper, the planet’s first indoor ski and snowboard training facility dedicated to park and pipe. The good news: Harris broke it throwing a flip outside at Copper’s Catalyst terrain park, not here. That he’s hucking indoors just four days later illustrates Woodward’s user-friendliness.

At least that’s what I hope. The facility is for the aerially challenged who think a misty or a plain old flip is as out of reach as an Olympic podium.

But those moves are within grasp at Woodward, which houses these dreams in The Barn, a multimillion-dollar, 20,000-square-foot jibbing HQ complete with skateboard features, a spring floor, six trampolines, and a 35-foot-long Snowflex ramp that launches skiers into a foam pit.

After a two-hour primer session that certifies our group to launch off the jump, I click into my bindings and ease my tips over the edge. Below me is a massive pit filled with nearly 12,000 nine-inch foam cubes to absorb any miscues.

Soon I’m straightlining toward the shark-finned lip and then rotating my first-ever back flip on skis. When I come to the surface, a coach swings me a rope from the ceiling to climb out of the foam pit, and there are high-fives all around.

“You should rodeo it this time,” says Harris.

I ask three other groms how, and then point ’em down again, this time entering the realm of off-axis rotation. I land backward, just like I’m supposed to, and reach for the rope, grinning. [from $25;]

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