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Can CAD Features Multiply Your Terrain Park’s Stoke?

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Cannonsburg Ski Area has been doing something since last season that I think is just about brilliant. For each event they put on or big feature they add to the part, they’ll often create a CAD drawing of the setup and post it on Facebook. Some of them appear to have been made with something as simple as Google SketchUp (in case you were wondering about cost). Here are a few recent examples:



Pretty simple drawings but the response to these has been awesome. I’ve seen three things that it has been doing all year.

1) Adds to the “Dream Factor”
Features may not look as cool in real life, but, like an “artists rendition” of a new building, it shows the possibilities and lets riders dream about how they’d hit each feature when they aren’t on the hill. With these fantasies in mind, the desire to get on the hill has a chance to grow.

2) It Gives Valuable Feedback
Building part features is not quick or easy task. So if you have a dud in your line-up, wouldn’t it be nice to know before you spend all day pushing snow? That’s exactly what these drawings have done. No major duds have been reported, but riders are always giving valuable feedback:

“The tank and the wall should be switched… it would give the set up more flow.”

“Problem is you wont beable to get to the bar after hitting the first hit because the speed will not be there.. this set up would be epic in january when there is speed, but being it is in march and it is suppose to be 40 degrees outside…the speed will flux to much.”

3) It Spreads the Stoke
Getting the features drawn up before an event lets riders see how cool it will be before they get there and register, removing the worry about “will the setup be lame?” Every drawing they have posted has had really great feedback, including stuff like this:

I love that you share the drawings. It is so much more than plopping a feature in the snow and calling it a challenge! Rather professional people!

A simple idea from the crew at Cannonsburg but a smart one as park setups become more and more important for mountains.

  • I love that they're doing this. Reminds me of when I used to play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games and they had the park editor feature.

    I guess the next step it to let users submit park plans? That would generate some cool responses.

    • That would be an awesome extension of the idea. And with tools like Google SketchUp out there, it really wouldn't be that hard for kids to get their designs drawn up.

      • There are huge communities in the gaming industry with games like halo where players share maps.

        If I was a kid growing up with this I would definitely spend a lot of time on it. I used to wast time in class drawing dream skateparks. I remember drawing something like Dumonts Cubed Pipe… back in the day.

        Really hope they progress with this idea.

        The indoor slops in the UK are doing something similare on their facebook pages. Seems to be working very well for them. Spoke to a couple of the park builders and they get a lot of ideas for the next weeks park.

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  • park

    good read.. however… it seems you guys are a bit behind…
    we have been doing this at our resort for the past 3 years…
    a lot of bigger parks having been doing longer ;)
    ..and yep CAD not necessary, sketchup is fine if done well enough.

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