There are several characteristics of terrain park equipment upon which a choice of the most appropriate equipment and manufacturer can be made. Some of the characteristics that can help you choose the safest and highest quality equipment are:
Special profile in comparison with square or oval profiles, provides a better user experience as it is easier to slide on, and at the same time safer due to the lack of sharp edges. Special profile has become a standard for quality terrain park equipment and most of the manufacturers have such profile embedded in their products.
Quality top sheet
In addition to the profile, top sheet also defines the sliding characteristics of obstacles (mostly boxes). The top sheet should therefore be made from materials with good sliding characteristics (usually plastic). To increase sliding characteristics and safety, the best solution is to screw the top sheet onto the obstacle from below so there are no screws on the top. As top sheet materials expand under the sun, there should also be enough space to compensate for this thermal tension, otherwise the top sheet will form bumps which will decrease its usability and damage the material.
Rails and boxes have dangerous parts, which can represent a thereat for users if they fall of the obstacle and get trapped in the holes. These risks can be successfully managed by covering these spaces with side panels using break-proof material. Side panels are definitely a crucial part of any rail or box and all good manufacturers have integrated them on their products. Apart from safety, side panels also provide the space that can be used for branding. This type of advertising is very effective as the obstacles are placed in the center of action sports culture therefore creating a tight connection between visitors and advertiser, be it resorts, park sponsors or endemic companies.
Terrain park equipment last for several years. If unchanged, visitors will soon get bored of riding the same set-up every season. Modularity enables almost endless combinations of existing elements and the possibility to create a completely different set-up by integrating just a single new module. Using modular equipment, obstacles can be adjusted to the desired difficulty level and target group and kept interesting for many seasons without extensive investments. There are a few manufacturers that provide modular obstacles, however their solutions differ. Careful thought has to be put in choosing the modular system that is easy to install and at the same time provides good performance.
Safety characteristics and certificates
Most basic safety indicators are obstacles free of screws or other parts popping out of the obstacles as they can be harmful for the users. There should also be no open compartments where users’ fingers, hands or other body parts can get caught in. Some manufactures also have safety certificates which attest to the fact that the obstacles are made according to the highest safety and quality standards and regulations. As there are no official regulations regarding terrain park equipment in most countries, choosing terrain park equipment that has a safety certificate is also the most you can do to decrease your liability in case of an accident.
Ease of installation
Terrain park equipment is usually heavy that is why its mechanized transportation should be enabled. There are simple but effective solutions that enable transportation of the obstacles with snow cats, such as special forks that are applied or integrated on the snow cat in order to move the obstacles to the desired location. Once transported, modular elements also have to be put together. This is usually done using screws to enable stability; however the solutions differ from manufacturer to manufacturer affecting the ease of installation and consequently the final result. The easier the installation the more chances there are that the shape crew will install it the right way.
As terrain park equipment is exposed to severe weather conditions, all metal parts should be protected against corrosion. The protection varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, however the best solutions on the market are currently galvanization and powder coating. Apart from technical characteristics already mentioned, there are also some other facts that contribute to the selection of the most appropriate provider of terrain park equipment. To list a few of them we will mention:
More and more manufacturers of terrain park equipment offer warranty on their products which varies from usually 5 to even 10 years for the faults in material and construction. Furthermore, the warranty generally also reflects the quality of the products.
Leasing and rental services
Some manufacturers offer rental or leasing options to provide favourable financing options which are especially effective when developing terrain parks for the first time or when developing events which require more obstacles. There are many manufacturers of terrain park equipment which differ in the quality and effectiveness of their products. Hopefully this article will enable you to more easily select safer and more appropriate terrain park equipment.