Well having just done a quick search I can’t find a post for when I last properly visited MK SNO!zone (or Xscape as it used to be known), but apart from the SnowTour Boardercross comp there in September last year I remember driving up there on 12th May 2007 and leaving after 1 run (due to a rubbish ungroomed park slope & poor staff manners)! So it’s been a while!
We decided to give it another go because this year’s SnowTour comp series kicks off in 2 weeks at Halifax and The BoyfÂ wanted to give me the chance to get some practice in before hand so that I don’t repeat my amazing superman off the kicker there!
I have to say that I was actually impressed! I commented to a couple of friends while I was there that it almost felt that I wasn’t at MK but at another slope instead. My first shock of the night occurred because they were actually pre-grooming the park slope before the session started. I’m not sure if this is because last night was supposed to be the Pink Sessions event or if it’s now a regular thing that they are doing there but it did mean that when the session started at 7pm the park slope was perfectly groomed (and the non-park slope was in really good nick too).
The lay out was a good mix of toys including ride on box type rails, 2 of the latest craze (corrugated gas pipes!) & a nice kicker with 2 take offs, with the bigger being about a 15 foot table.
My main reason for going was to work on my jumps and keep the momentum of beating my kicker fear prior to Halifax’s Big Air comp on 5th July. I managed to get a really good session on it working some straight airs & grabs and even managed to stick some frontside 180s (not very pretty to look at because I need to suck my knees up more) but they’re a start.
The one downside to it all would be that the run-ins to the toys didn’t hold up that well. One thing that I really like about Tamworth is that they close half way through the freestyle session to re-groom. Now I know that people might not like that at MK but I really think that it would be good if they had a staff member working all through the night to ensure that run-ins & outs are kept perfect through the full 4 hour session and not just the first hour or so. I personally wouldn’t mind at all if the kicker got closed for 15 minutes or so to un-rut it, as that way I’d get to ride it all night rather than leaving at 10pm because it’s starting to get too dicey to ride safely.
Anyone that’s spun off a snow kicker will know that trying to spin when there’s a giant groove in the snow is asking for an edge catch, you don’t mean to do it, it just happens and for someone like myself who’s just building jumping confidence it’s not worth persevering with because one good slam is all it takes to knock you back a few weeks in your progression at the very least and at worst injures you and puts you out for a while.
Back to the positives though, I really enjoyed myself, I feel like a achieved a lot and am actually planning on heading back there next week for more practice.
So well done MK, you’ve convinced me that you can put on a good park night and that I should spend some more money by coming back again….please don’t let me down on Thursday!
While I was there I also tried to stream live from the slope, unfortunately the signal wasn’t that great so I only shot the one vid….maybe I’ll try again next week to at least get a shot of the set-up and a run down!