Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
They swallow their pride, that’s how. These days, any resort that’s serious about park and pipe has “progression parks. You start out in the green parks, sliding ankle-high rails, move on (that’s synonymous with “progress) to a 180 on, say, smallish kickers or midget halfpipes in the blues, and graduate from there to the big leagues. “You can’t ski with your cojones, says David Oliver, head freestyle trainer for Breckenridge’s Ski and Ride School. “You’ve got to take it one step at a time—whether it’s air, a trick, or rotation. While the rest of us are taking baby steps, new-school airmen like Tanner Hall get to practice off-axis spins on trampolines, or launch misty flips off 40-foot-high water ramps into pools. But be warned: Flake once lost a third cousin in a mishap involving twin tips, trampolines, and freeskiing hottie Kristi Leskinen—who, by the way, walked away from the incident having perfected her mute grab.