The crew of Elevate Trail Building are passionate about building tracks and trails of all types. In the world of extreme slopestyle mountain bike courses, the crew from Queenstown, New Zealand gets the call. From epic backcountry walking tracks to Grade 6 bike park jump trails and everything in between, the crew from downunder is second to none.  I caught up with Tom Hey, Colorado Freeride Festival, Slopestyle Event course guru and builder since the inaugural event at Winter Park Resort in 2007.

CO Freeride 2017 Festival Slopestyle

Thomas Hey and crewmate Bryan get ready to test the features in the 2017 Slopestyle course.

Every year the riders get better and go bigger and Tom said, “I think we need to start changing it up a bit”  You have to find a balance of flow and size.  What makes the difference with Elevate is the fact that “we actually use the products that we create. Our necks are on the line, as well.”

Slopeside course buildingThe Freeride Festival is one of the premier mountain bike events in North America. “We have worked on trail building projects worldwide and can build anything, anywhere.” Hey boosted. The key to building a gold level mountain bike jump course is to “not got so big that the up and coming riders can’t perform“  Hey added, we ride our courses so we know what level it will take during a competition “to excel, gain experience and ignite the crowd”.  If we build a good course, the riders will do better and “the crowd will respond.”

Slopestyle Course

Bob Holme, Devin Kearns and Amy Buzardt
naming this years 2017 features for the Slopestyle

Tom and his crewmates expertise does not stop with track design and course construction. Years of experience riding and working in bike parks and trail networks they have developed a deep understanding of what makes a trail network successful. From thoughtfully ‘master plan’ layouts to implementing a solid maintenance strategy, he and his crew are the best in the business.