Beijing reveals Great Wall-inspired Olympic slopestyle course
Cast your mind back to the women’s snowboard slopestyle event from Pyeongchang 2018 and you may recall the wind playing havoc, with riders describing the proceedings as “dangerous” and a “s— show”. It was a disappointing distraction from an otherwise epic slopestyle course and a talented line-up of riders.
Well, the same world-renowned park creators, Schneestern GmbH & Co, have been given the job of creating the Beijing 2022 slopestyle course at China’s Genting Resort Secret Garden, and there’s no doubt Pyeongchang will have been in mind. The “culture-connected” course has taken inspiration from the Great Wall of China, with a replica wall running alongside the top sections of the course to protect riders from the prevailing westerly winds.
“The main challenge we faced was to protect riders from the strong west winds. ‘Where would you like to be in windy conditions?’ I asked myself. Behind the wall, right?”, says Schneestern head designer Dirk Scheumann.
“That’s how Great Wall design came to be a part of the course. Also, the rail features are installed in steps, that go lower and lower towards the right side. We believe this will serve its function and that riders will be able to perform at their best.
“Once the wind issue was solved we put all effort to designing features that allowed for creative lines on the rails, take-offs, and landings, and I hope to see all the lines we imagined – and more – utilised by the riders at Beijing 2022.”
The course features the standard three jib sections and three jumps, but with the kind of flair and creativity you’d expect from an event of this magnitude. A Newschoolers article describes it as “…pretty rad, like an extended Audi Nines setup.”
There are a couple of defining features of this course – the first, in the second jib section, is a replica of a Great Wall watchtower, with a slideable ridge beam on the roof to boot. A post from FIS/Schneestern states that it “has the potential to be the most-photographed aspect of the entire Beijing 2022 slopestyle course”.
Section four features two imposing, off-camber kickers that were featured for the first time on Pyeongchang 2018. They will send riders 19 metres over a table top to the sweet spot of the landing and will require “some inspired trick selection to get the most out of the feature”.
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