words: Mary Walsh
photos: Pat Bridges, Mary Walsh, and Matt Hines
Woodward at Copper opened its now infamous Barn in 2008 and over the past five years, the building has been a hub of off-hill progression and of course, next level fun. Just off the side of Copper Mountain's slopes, the large building houses multiple foam pits, an extensive trampoline set up, mini and microramps, a large skate bowl, and a section of drop-ins for learning new tricks. The progression steps that Woodward has developed are accessible to all levels of snowboarders and begin on blue tumble floor (a cushioned area with some give and bounce to it), utilizing foam pads of different shapes and sizes, then progresses to foam pits and a variety of trampolines, and finally to the drop-in ramps that simulate jump take-offs. With a helpful and knowledgeable staff, it's no surprise that newbies can learn standing backflips into the foam pit in a short session and that the trampolines are always alight with people spinning. Non-snowboarders may choose Disney for their vacations, but those who like to stand sideways definitely prefer the massive fun that the expanse of The Barn provides.
And now it's even better. On November 29, Woodward debuted their newly renovated Barn during the Woodward Remix, a weekend-long re-opening celebration that coupled on hill laps, the opening of the Superpipe, open skate and trampoline sessions, and of course, some banger evening celebrations.
Woodward's Barn received a full 1.5 million dollar remodel that swapped out the snowflex for skatelite ramps and added 4,000 square feet to the overall size of the facility. Upper level space was maximized with the addition of a pump track with small, medium, and large lines and 13-foot return walls on either side. Walk past that zone and you arrive at the top of three shiny, new drop-in ramps to the massive center foam pit. Small, medium, and large sizes again accommodate all levels of riders. "All the new features were built to maintain a safe and productive progression flow," says Woodward at Copper General Manager Danny Vogel. "Virtually anyone from a beginner to pro can come in and work through our progression model to obtain their experience in a fun and safe manner." The Barn has seen plenty of riders utilizing the new drop-in since the remodel to dial in their tricks before taking them outside.
On the main floor, a new street area was constructed that has become a favorite zone for both skateboarders and BMXers. It's triple the size of the old area and provides an array of options, including two hip-style features, a bank ramp, pyramid with hubba and flat down rail, a quarterpipe, and of course manny pads and movable rails.
The tramp and foam pit area, the miniramp zone, and the bowl are all intact, too, so the end result of the renovation is a huge increase in skateable areas. To top it all off, a viewing platform was added 20 feet above the ground floor that allows for a birds-eye view of the whole Barn. The viewing of the bowl is perfect from up top and it was a great spot for the afterparty during the Remix.
"We’ve seen a HUGE increase in skateboarders and BMXers," says Vogel. "Before we switched to skatelite they only had a few small areas to ride… now through our renovation we’ve opened the entire facility to skateboarding, BMXing, and anything else with wheels. We offer them a product that no other facility can, especially with our jumps to foam, which mimic a mini-mega ramp. Where else can you practice mega ramp jumps safely?" On Saturday afternoon, Curren Caples and Leo Lopez put on an insane skate demo in the bowl and there were multiple local skaters that absolutely slayed the transition.
All of the skateable acres of the The Barn were filled with skateboarders and BMXers over the course of the weekend. The Barn was packed, but miraculously, snaking wasn't an issue—that's one of the best parts of the new facility: even when there's tons of people inside, it doesn't feel crowded, much in part because there's just so damn much to skate and utilize.
The Barn's close proximity slopeside makes for the ideal weekend and the Remix fell on two days of bluebird skies and perfect early season conditions. Copper has been blowing tons of snow for the upcoming Grand Prix December 16-22 and has opened the bottom of their main park, replete with rails, a plaza section, wallrides, giant lamppost, and more. Steve Lauder and the Buck 90 crew and Jack Kyle and the local Burton Knowbuddy crew had a solid session there on Sunday afternoon. There's also an awesome mini-to-medium park right off of the American Eagle quad that is so much fun to start laps with. The Woodward at Copper Park Crew, led by Shane Nay, Scott Cherry, and Garret Hutson does an impressive job of infusing their parks with a skate-influenced style that makes for really creative features. They have put together a sick collection of parks for so early in the season and we can't wait to return in a few weeks to take more laps through their handiwork.
The Superpipe, of course, saw tons of action over the weekend as many of the best halfpipe riders in the US descended upon the freshly-cut behemoth to hone their skills for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers. Shaun White, Elena Hight, Louie Vito, Scotty Lago, and more dropped in one after another with a faculty that made it seem like it wasn't November but much further into the season. The scene was a sneak peek of what to expect on the 16th and from the looks of it, it's going to be a very exciting year for halfpipe competition.
Woodward at Copper is continually upping their stake in Summit County as the place to get your shredding fix both on hill and off and the Woodward Remix solidified this fact by offering ample opportunity to experience all that Woodward at Copper offers. If you haven't been out to Colorado to get wicked at Woodward's expansive facilities, put it on your to-do list. This place is really, really fun.
Big thanks to Danny Vogel, Shane Nay, Scott Cherry, Garret Hutson and the whole crew at Woodward at Copper for putting together such an awesome event and such fun parks.