Behind the scenes of the snow park: What is a park shaper doing?

Linda Eigner

Snow, fun and shaping - when it comes to the construction and design of snow parks, park shapers are the most important point of contact. They are responsible for planning and building park facilities that are not only functional and safe, but also look creative and appealing. We asked park shaper Daniel Gander fromAbsolut Park in Flachauwinkl about the tasks and requirements of his job and what you should know about them. Take a look behind the scenes with us 🔥

The magic of the snow park: How park shapers create a winter wonderland

As a park shaper in the snow park, you are responsible for the design and construction of snow features that give skiers and snowboarders an unforgettable time in the snow park. The tasks don't just fall back on one person, but are divided up, as the park shaper Daniel explains.

👉 Daniel : "The park designer is more or less the main head of the park. He makes sure everything fits. Sometimes he also works together with the head of the department. The head shaper is responsible for the shape crew. In the shape crew are the park shapers and snow groomer drivers. Normally, every park has a park designer. In small parks, the head shaper and the park designer are the same person."

From halfpipes to rails: The tasks of a park shaper

In addition to preparing a snow park, maintenance and reshaping are also part of the tasks of a park shaper. Daniel told us what a typical working day looks like and which tasks are involved.

👉 Daniel : "We take the first lift up at 8 a.m. and set up the first fences and then we clean up the chill area and take care of the rubbish. Many people don't know that the shapers also take care of it Then we go up again with the shape tools and drive through the whole park and make sure that all the ice chunks are removed and the take-offs fit. Once in a while something new is built by the snow groomer drivers at night. That will be shaped in the morning or finished by us. These are the first tasks that arise during the work day. Since we are not employed externally, but via the ski lift, we are available for the rest of the time on call in the "rescue service". You have a radio and wait if there is anything to be done until the reshape. If it snows a lot, then you have to shovel snow or you have to do some reshaping, for example if there is an event coming up. Sometimes you can also shred yourself. At the end of the day we go up again with the last lift and shape everything down and then we're done around 6 p.m.."

Requirements: How to become a Park Shaper?

Have you ever wondered whether there are actually requirements to work as a park shaper? Daniel answered this question for us.

👉 Daniel : " Shaper is not an apprenticeship. There is no special training for it. Employers are of course happy if you already have experience. But the job is learning by doing. That means if you like shredding and bring passion, then you have the craft soon out."

Building the perfect snow park: From the idea to the design

Before the snow park is shaped and the crew can start with the implementation, an exact design has to be created. This includes planning obstacles and features and taking terrain and snow conditions into account. Daniel told us how the snow park design came about and whether it changes during the season.

👉 Daniel : "We're all always in contact in summer. If you have an idea, you're welcome to bring it up. The basic principle of the park usually remains the same. Occasionally something is changed. There are some elements that are the same every season. Of course that also depends on the snow and how you can drive through with the snow groomer. Sometimes it's easier if you have a down rail in a certain place and no other rail. Basically, the lines are built once and then occasionally something changes. If the big line is rebuilt for the spring battle, then the kickers on this line will also get bigger towards the end . Depending on the snow conditions, they will be rebuilt again and again."

What does a snow park shaper do in summer?

When the winter season comes to an end, many snow park shapers head to the bike park, as Daniel told us: 👉 "Lots of park shapers work in a bike park in the summer. There are also people who work in the golf club in the summer, for example. Some are also employed by the lift all year round. Because you have to do the maintenance at the lift in the summer."

The perfect shape in the best snow park 

The most important characteristics in the snow park are creativity, passion and commitment. The shapers in the snowpark play a crucial role in creating unique lines for the riders and are instrumental in making the snowpark a safe and exciting place. Although the work often takes place in the background, their presence in the snow park is essential. Finally, Daniel told us what is important to him in the snow park.

👉 Daniel : "The snow park needs to be playful and you should be able to jump anywhere and have good take-offs. The flow is important. You should be able to shred well, so that you don't just go from obstacle to obstacle."


Snowparks in Austria: The big guide

Have you gotten the desire to shred? Then it's probably about time that you visit one of the Austrian snow parks. Here in our guide you will find the best snow parks in Austria . Let's keep on shredding 🤙

Interview partner: Daniel Gander
Photo credits: Florian Dorn

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