As you may have noticed, we were pretty stoked on the recent photo comp that Fruttpark put on. Not just because they got a lot of interesting shots, but because it shows a creative spirit that seems to often be missing in a lot of our local parks these days. We got in touch to find out a little more about one of central Switzerland’s strongest parks and the crew behind it.
[ Pictured above : Martin Schön by Tim Kühn ]
Hi Barbara, can you please introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Barbara Rubin, and I’m from Lucerne. I grew up in a little village and snow and snow sports have been a part of my life since I was a baby. My parents love skiing, so I learned to ski when I was 3. I’ve been snowboarding now since 18 years.
Nice! How long have you been working with Fruttpark?
It’s my third season working there. But I’ve been riding the park for almost 10 years now.
Ah, so you know it well… When did Melchsee-Frutt first start shaping a park?
It’s been going for quite a long time now. Originally it was in another spot, where some guys from Obwalden literally stomped the park out of the ground with their feet and hands. In 2000 it moved to the location where it is now, and since 10 years it appears in it’s typical orange. First there where only a few little obstacles but know it is one of the biggest parks in central Switzerland. It runs all the way down the whole Erzegg slope.
What are some of the main things that have changed over the past 17 years?
At first it was just a bunch of people putting up some stuff. Now it is well organized and integrated into the whole Melchsee-Frutt ski area, with a strong team behind it. The collaboration works very well and we get a lot of support.
Good to hear! Seems like that’s actually pretty rare these days. Who is in the current Park Shaper team?
Our head shaper is Dominic Niederberger. He’s a local has worked for the park for the past 4 years. Then we have two knew guys, Kilian von Rotz, also a local, and Tim Kühn who is also our Photographer. And me :-)
Out of you guys, who’s the best rider?
C’mon Barbara! Don’t sell yourself short :-)
So what’s the philosophy behind the park? Would you say that it’s more focused on progression or fun?
That’s hard to say, because we always try to be sure that there is something for everybody so that riders at any level can progress a lot. We try to always put up some new stuff and build new obstacles to keep it fresh. But first of all, I guess it’s our goal that the people who ride in our park have a good time and a lot of fun.
What’s your favorite feature to ride right now?
Our newest obstacle, the Toblerone. You can ride it in many different ways. That makes it a lot of fun.
If you could invite any pro to come ride with you guys for the weekend, who would it be?
I guess it would be Anna Gasser. I like her style but also personality.
Yeah, Anna’s pretty much killing it this season.
What’s your personal favorite event that you put on?
I’m also part of the local women’s snowboarding community, Hill’Dies. Every year we organize a ladies event, which is actually coming up this weekend. This year, it’s gonna be two days and the goal is to motivate as many girls as possible to come to the park, ride together, progress and have a lot of fun. I’m looking very forward to this weekend. But I also like the Banked Slalom that we’ve organized now since 2 years. The race itself is really fun and the spirit surrounding that event is always great.
I guess that this has been a pretty challenging year for all of the parks throughout Switzerland. How has it been for you guys considering the lack of snow?
First there was no snow at all where the park is located and there are also no snow canons. So we decided to move the canons and we put up a small park in another spot. It actually was a lot of fun because everybody was together and we had a lot of good moments.
In mid-January we could finally move back. But still, there is not that much snow, so it is hard to reach the goals we’d set for ourselves. But we try to make the best out of it.
Are you planning on maintaining the park into the spring? When is the official closing date?
Since we depend on the Sportbahnen Melchsee-Frutt, we will close the same day as the lifts stop. So the last day will be second of April. Until then, we’ll keep the park shaped.
Nice! Let’s wrap this up… anything else you’d like to mention?
Come by the park to ride and have a good time. Aside from the many different obstacles, there is also a chill area with a bbq where can put on your own sausage and have a perfect lunch in the sun, surrounded by the beautiful landscape up in the mountains.
Sounds like a plan! Thanks for your time Barbara and big thanks to to Tim for all of the nice shots. Enjoy the rest of your season.