We all know that winter is coming. To some that may cause a twinge of fear, but to others that means skiing, snowboarding, fat bike riding and many other winter activities. For all you winter junkies who have been waiting all summer long for that first run down the mountain, your wait is over… and may never have to go away. Dust off your snowboard and skis, because Buck Hill in Burnsville, MN just opened up their new Neveplast® slopes.
Neveplast® is an innovated design of plastic bristles that simulate real snow conditions. There are different types of Neveplast® for downhill skiing/snowboarding, tubing and Nordic skiing. At Buck Hill they have Neveplast® slopes for your downhill sports as well as Neveplast® for tubing. They plan to have these slopes open all year round. But once the snow making conditions are ideal they will cover up the Neveplast® slopes and everything will be back to normal.
So, does Neveplast® work? The short answer is yes!
We sent a group of ERIK’S employees out there who are avid winter sports enthusiasts. Their take away from trying out the product was pretty positive. At first they were a little hesitant, unsure if it would actually hold up to their carving. But after a little testing, they got the feel for it and pretty soon they were carving down the hill like normal.
The Good: It works! Neveplast® does feel a little different than snow so you need to be a little bit more deliberate in turns. It took a couple runs for our guys to get a handle of it, but it wasn’t long before they were out there doing their regular turns and tricks.
The Bad: Friction, heat and your board. The Neveplast® can create some friction and heat up your board, especially when using the tow rope to go up the hill. A few riders noticed some damage to their boards after a couple of runs up and down in a row.
Because of the friction it is recommended that you take short breaks between each run to allow your board to cool down. This will be a lot better for your board because excessive heat can be harmful to the base of your board. It is also recommended that you have a pair of skis or a snowboard that is specifically for summer use. We would recommend getting a board with harder base to use on the Neveplast®. Softer bases will get damaged easier.
Overall the experience was good. Neveplast is not the same as snow, but for skiers and snowboarders looking to stay sharp in the off-season, it is way better than nothing.
Buck Hill has plans to create a bigger run requiring the chair lift to get to the top. They also plan to add in a ramp with an air bag pit for big jumps and tricks. Buck Hill is now open, so dust off the board and skis and give to the new Neveplast® system a try.
Be sure to stop into your local ERIK’S for all your winter sports needs. See you on the slopes!