Students hit the slopes


George Watkins, Staff Writer

Back flips and front flips, a rodeo 540 and a 360, all with or without grabs.  Can you do them?  Senior Jason Caputo can.

“I’ve been snowboarding for nine years now and it just keeps getting better,” senior Jason Caputo said.  “I usually end up at some kind of Terrain Park every weekend during January and February.”

A terrain park is classified as one the most difficult slopes within a ski resort because of the expert style terrain including jumps, rails and boxes which are located strategically throughout the run.  Jumps usually vary in size anywhere from ten to 30 feet.  Rails and boxes are manmade obstacles composed of metal and polycarbonate with a waxed surface to create a surface with less friction.

“The best local terrain park would have to be at Whitetail,” Jason said. “They play music while you’re doing your run and it’s not all that far.”

On the map Whitetail is about an hour away.  Jason makes the one-hour trip with fellow snowboarder Tyler Tracey and skier Michael Hugney.

“We usually switch off driving up so it stays fair with gas prices and such,” Tracey said.

When they get there, they like to play follow-the-leader down the terrain park to push the others to try new things and see how daring the people following are.

“When we play ‘train’ we switch off the person in the front and we follow really close behind the person in front to try and make them fall,” Tracey said.  “You never want to be the one in the very front and then fall because you’re going to get run over by everyone in the back.

Tracey has been snowboarding for six years and his parents have always encouraged his snowboarding.

“Both my parents ski but I wanted to be different,” Tracey said. “I personally get a bigger thrill from snowboarding than skiing so I just stuck with snowboarding.”

Hugney on the other hand has been skiing for four years and enjoys going with friends and family.

“I can both ski and snowboard but I like skiing better,” Hugney said.  “Skiing has more of a challenge to it and I always love a challenge.”

Even though the two have different styles of getting down the slopes, they enjoy traveling together to larger resorts for a long week break.

“Last year we went to Banff, Canada and stayed for a week,” Hugney said.  “The resort had three different mountains to go explore with more than 15 acres of terrain parks open.”

The two usually try and go to one new place every year.

“A few years ago, Michael and I went to Seven Springs, PA,” Tracey said.  “They have nine different terrain park runs with a full half pipe and a building to freestyle across.”

This year the two are headed to Tremblant, Canada over the long weekend at the end of the quarter.

“I am very excited to be going to a place with so many of my friends,” said Tracey. “My goal is just to not break anything while I’m there.”