There’s no time for ADD at Copper Mountain — between skiing, snowboarding, zip-lining, ice skating, tubing and — the crown jewel, Woodward at Copper, which lets your kids soar off jumps into a massive foam pit — there’s just too much to do.
That’s what we found over a couple of days in February when, with the kids out of school for the week, we headed to Copper Mountain for a little fun in the sun and fun in the foam.The action started shortly after we arrived as, before our date with Woodward and after a quick couple runs on the manicured slopes, the kids beelined to the newly installed zipline that zooms over the ice rink in the heart of the village. After those airborne antics, it was time for a different kind of flight, with our Intro Session class to Woodward starting at 6 p.m.
When Woodward opened its doors in 2009, it transformed the action sports industry by opening up freestyle training to the masses. Basing its philosophy off Camp Woodward in Woodward, Penn., an action sports training school which opened in 1970, Copper Mountain was the first indoor/outdoor mountain home for the program and still one of few training facilities of its kind today.
Inside the a 19,400-square-foot facility dubbed The Barn is a skate park, tumbling mats, flybed trampolines, and the crown jewel, two massive foam pits to fly into. The goal: put flips, misties, corks or just plain jumping within reach of everyone. The hucking headquarters includes skateboard features, a 54×22-foot spring floor, six Olympic-grade Flybed trampolines and a 35-foot-long Snowflex ramp that launches Average Joes into an ego-cushioning foam pit, filled with 12,000 nine-inch foam cubes each to absorb any errant miscues. And top caliber coaches are on hand to help you every huck of the way.
The first stop for the kids was a two-hour primer session Intro Course qualifying them to launch off the jump. Starting on the spring floor under the guidance of coaches Chris Billups and Terry Mayer, they stretched, dove over a barrel, cartwheeled, and learned the basics of tumbling that they’d need in flight, including the hollow body and candlestick roll positions. They practiced tucking their chins on forward and backward somersaults, as well as a Nestea Plunge into the pit. Next, it was tramp time, which they eventually sailed off into a smaller pit known for stealing your socks.
From there it was time to strap on the skis. After a few practice runs sliding down a beginner slope on the Snowflex, they headed to the smallest of the three jumps. One by one they confronted their fears of flight and soared off into the wild blue yonder of the foam pit.
How successful was it for them? Let’s just say that no jumps were left unturned the next day on Copper’s slopes.
Taking Flight in Summer
Winter’s not the only time you can soar like the birds. Summer might be when the rivers rise, but Woodward and Copper are ensuring you don’t have to hang up your skis.
This summer Woodward is completing a $500,000 renovation expanding its indoor and on-mountain offerings for all action sports, including BMX, freeride mountain biking and skateboarding, as well as digital media. Woodward plans to unveil its improvements for the first week of Summer Camp, June 16.
Included in the renovation: all synthetic snow surfaces at Woodward will be replaced with a surface also designed to accommodate wheels, promising to boost jumping progression beyond skis and snowboards to include BMX, mountain bike and skateboards; a new progressive foam pit will be added with 2- and 4-foot jumps for beginners (no more subjecting newbies to the steeper ramps right out of the gates); and the street area will double in size allowing for full access by BMX, mountain bike, skateboards and park skis and snowboards. Renovations also will include two new viewing areas giving spectators an up-close peek at the action.
The resort will also add a summer chairlift, complete with real snow, offering full access to a lift-served snow jib park with dedicated features designed to shrink the learning curve from indoor acrobatics to outdoor. BMX and skate program offerings will also be extended outdoors, including an outdoor mini-ramp. Add in new summer camp programming and The Woodward at Copper promises action-filled fun for the whole family all summer long.
–The Woodward center offers day and weeklong camps throughout the summer, as well as a One Hit Wonder program ($69), which qualifies you for two-hour-long Drop-in sessions ($25). All participants must be 8 years or older. Info: , www.coppercolorado.com; (866) 534-7444.