I met up with Jakob Engel, Project Manager at Air + Style, to talk about his main focus; the GoPro KPark in Kühtai, which is just 45 minutes drive from Innsbruck. The base point at Kühtai is at 2020 metres, so you can be sure there will be great conditions all season long.
I’ve been to this snowpark a few times in the past, but this season it’s really stepped up its game. The KPark caters for all disciplines and rider levels and is well maintained, so standards are consistently at their best. Their vision is to continuously develop the infrastructure so national teams can practice there. The German team will be practicing here this season.
What has the KPark got?
The superpipe was originally built in 2012 for the Winter Youth Olympics. It is 160 meters long, 6.5 meters high and has an average width of 21 meters.
With the existing infrastructure, shape-guru Jake Ingle flew over from the USA for a redesign and reshape, to guarantee perfect conditions for the whole season. Jake built the world-famous pipe in Mammoth Mountain, California and has years of experience in high-end park design. Recently, Jake built the pipe for a test event in South Korea and it is whispered that he will build the Olympic superpipe for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
The superpipe has a daily reshape (weather permitting) by Schnee Stern. These guys did the shaping for Air +Style in Innsbruck, Beijing and LA as well as many other Parks and events around the world, so they know what they’re doing.
There is also a Slopestyle section with a nice kicker line, as well as a ski and boarder cross area.
There are not many snowparks that have an entire area for beginners and kids, as well as facilities for Olympic hopefuls to train on. This gives everyone access to the world of freestyle.
In theory, you could go from trying out a snowpark for the very first time to training to be an Olympic champion, all in the same park.
For more in-depth details, check out their setup webpage.
There are some cool events coming up in the KPark. Here are some to keep you eye on…
The KPark is now opening for night sessions. Every Wednesday from 19:00 to 22:00, not only the superpipe will be lit up, but also the kicker line and jib section.
This is when the normal night slope is open, so you can do a bit of both if you wanted to.
Need to brush up on your superpipe skills? Free Snowboard and Ski coaching is available at the KPark, which is a wicked idea! Pipe4All is every Sunday, unless there is a special event on – it’s best to check out their Facebook page or website for more information.
To finish up, you can really work on all areas of freestyle at the KPark, whether you’re a novice or training for PyeongChang 2018, you can do it all here.
Do you live in or near the South East of England? Find out how easy and quick it is to have breakfast in England and lunch on the mountain, in my other article.
Stay in Innsbruck and get the free shuttle bus to the KPark to perfect your snowpark skills.
All photos by Kühtai KPark.