Second ASTM F27.70 ballot Jump Terminology Standard

After revising the terminology standard to address issues raised by members in the Fall 2015 ballot, ASTM subcommittee F27.70 submitted the revised draft for ballot again in May. At its July meeting in Seattle, WA, ASTM F27.70 Subcommittee chair, Elia Hamilton, reported that there was only 1 negative. The working group will work to address the remaining concern and edit the terminology and try again in the fall.


Jump Terminology Standard proposed

At its January meeting in Denver, CO, the ASTM F27.70 subcommittee on terrain park jumps reported on the subcommittee vote taken on their proposed terminology standard. Subcommittee chair, Elia Hamilton of Peak Resorts reported that there were 29 out of 33 returned ballots with 25 affirmative, 1 negative, and 3 abstaining. The meeting was devoted to reviewing and developing responses to the comments. The working group will edit the terminology and try again this summer.


ASTM F27 Committee on Snow Skiing forms jump subcommittee

At its July meeting in Burlington, Vt, the ASTM F27 committee on Snow Skiing formed a new subcommittee, F27.70, to develop standards for Freestyle Terrain Park Jumps. Elia Hamilton of Peak Resorts as selected as subcommittee Chair. The subcommittee is currently developing a terminology standard which is planned to be completed this fall.


Joint Meeting of IOC and FIS on Freestyle Skiing/Snowboarding Safety

Elite freestyle skiers and snowboarders are experiencing a high rate of injury. About half of these elite athletes suffer an injury serious enought to keep them off the slope for two weeks or more. In attempt to address and possibly recommend corrective actions, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Ski Federation (FIS) hosted a special meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. USTPC President, Jim McNeil, was invited to speak on his work in designing safer jumps.


Oregon Senate Committee kills proposed new Ski Liability Law

The Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee failed to pass a proposed measure to modify Oregon's ski liability law that was opposed by USTPC. For more information read the Bend Bulletin article.


USTPC Website fix

Following an "upgrade" by USTPC's web service provider, the secure web features were accidently disabled which prevented members from logging in and new members from signing up. After consider effort, we are happy to report the problem has been fixed. If you continue to experience problems, please email us with a description of the problem at:


Oregon Senate Bill 849 Considers Modifications to Ski Liability Law

Following the Oregon Supreme Court's ruling in Bagley v. Mt. Bachelor, Senators Knopp, Buehler, and Thomsen have introduced SB 849 which seeks to amend Oregon's ski liability laws. Specifically, it proposes to include terrain park jumps among the "inherent risks" of the sport so that ski operators would be shielded from liability should a patron be injured on their jumps or other terrain park features - regardless of the jump design, construction, or maintenance. (Bulletin Article on SB 849). The USTPC considers the proposed new law too broad and has written a letter to the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee stating that view. Not all hazards associated with jumps are inherent to the activity. Terrain park jumps are man-made features that can be engineered to mitigate hazards associated with the jump design. USTPC recommends that ski area operators implement a quantitative engineering approach as, for example, required under USTPC's Criteria.


International Sports Engineering Association Winter School

USTPC President, Jim McNeil, was invited once again to lead a module in the ISEA's Winter School in San Vito, Italy on the design, construction, measurement, and testing of a novel, constant equivalent fall height, terrain park jump. He took this opportunity to have a team of students try out several of the jump measurement methods under consideration by the ASTM F27 Task Group on terrain park jumps. The analysis of results is underway and results will be presented at the next ASTM F27 meeting in Burlington, Vt.


Meeting of the ASTM F27 Task Group on Terrain Park Jumps

The ASTM F27 Task Group seeking to develop standards for terrain park jumps met in Denver on January 27. The Task Group has largely concluded the first stage of defining the components of a jump and is now working to develop methods for measuring jumps. Task Group Secretary and USTPC President, Jim McNeil, will present a progress report on the Task Group's work to the International Society for Skiing Safety later in March.


Oregon Supreme Court Rejects Liability Waiver

In a broad ruling in Bagley v. Mt. Bachelor, Inc. the Oregon Supreme Court overturned the lower court's summary judgment in favor of Mt. Bachelor and remanded the case back to the lower court. The lower court's summary judgement was based on the liability waiver all Mt. Bachelor patrons must sign before using its facilities. In reversing that judgement the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that enforcing the waiver would be "unconscionable" due in part to the inequitable and "take-it-or-leave-it" nature of the waiver contract "negotiations" as well as the overriding public interest in deterring negligent behavior by ski area operators. The ruling stated in part that resort patrons are "due a duty of care" in the design, construction, and maintenance of their jumps because they have "the expertise and opportunity - indeed the common law duty - to foresee and avoid unreasonable risks of their own creation on its business premises,..."


Meeting of the ASTM F27 Task Group on Terrain Park Jumps

The ASTM Task Group developing standards for terrain park jumps met in Burlington, Vt. on July 22. USTPC Board President, Jim McNeil, continued to serve as Secretary of the task group and presided over a discussion of jump definitions. In the intervening year considerable progress was made in defining the elements of the jump and the task group is now researching methods which can be used to measure jump parameters.


ISSS Meeting in Bariloche, Argentina

The International Society for Skiing Safety met in Bariloche, Argentina, in early August. USTPC President, Jim McNeil, co-authored a talk describing his work to design, build, measure, and test a novel constant equivalent fall height jump at the ISEA Winter School the previous March. The work demonstrated the feasiblity of building safer jumps..


Meeting of the ASTM F27 Task Group on Terrain Park Jumps

The ASTM Task Group developing standards for terrain park jumps met in Burlington, Vt. on July 23. USTPC Board President, Jim McNeil, is the Secretary of the task group and presided over a discussion of jump definitions. He also presented preliminary results of research he and collaborators performed at the ISEA Winter School in San Vito di Cadore, Italy, earlier in March.


USTPC participates in the International Sports Engineering Association's Winter School in San Vito di Cadore, Italy.

USTPC Board President, Jim McNeil, and Director of Operations, Brodie McNeil, participated in the ISEA Winter School in San Vito di Cadore, Italy, from March 3-8, 2013, hosted by Prof. Nicola Petrone, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padove, Padova, Italy. They were part of the Winter School's jump team whose project was to desgin, build, and performance test a constant equivalent fall height jump. The jump was built on the San Vito Ski Resort. The team of three instructors and two assistants supervised five international students in the ambitious project. Their results will be presented at the upcoming ISSS Congress in Bariloche, Argentina, in August.


USTPC conducts inspection of the new Nanook Terrain Park on the campus of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

USTPC conducted an inspection of the new Nanook Terrain Park on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), on February 12-14, 2013. The USTPC site team measured the terrain park jump features, analyzed their performance, and reported their findings to Mark Oldmixon, the Director of Department of Recreation, Adventure, and Wellness. UAF is the only university campus that boasts a winter terrain park on their campus.


ASTM F-27 Task Group on terrain park jump safety meets in Salt Lake.

The ASTM F-27 committee on Ski Safety met in Salt Lake, Utah, on January 23-24, 2013. The session on terrain park jumps was chaired by Jake Shealy who turned the meeting over to USTPC Board Chairman, Jim McNeil. Jim had proposed a set of working definitions and measurement methods to be discussed. The meeting was very well attended and the discussion was lively with some progress. However, ironically the Task Group could not reach concensus on the definition of "jump". The plan is to continue the discussion through the ASTM's collaboration website and hopefully make more progress at the next ASTM F-27 meeting in Burlington, Vt., in July.


NBC Bay Area News airs piece on terrain park safety.

On January 22 KNTV Investigative reporter, Elyce Kirchner, reported on terrain park safety on the NBC local affiliate in San Francisco. The text of the presentation can be found at Safety Concerns at Ski Resorts.


Sports Engineering journal selects article on terrain park jump design co-authored by USTPC Board Chairman, Jim McNeil, as its "Best Paper" for 2012.

The academic journal, Sports Engineering has selected "Designing tomorrow's snow park jumps" co-authored by USTPC Board Chairman, Jim McNeil, as the "Best Paper" for 2012. The article establishes the theoretical and practical foundations for designing terrain park jumps that minimize certain risks to users. The announcement can be found at


USTPC members invited to comment on terrain park jump definitions and measurement methods proposed by ASTM F27 Committee's Freestyle Terrain Park Jump Feature Task Group.

ASTM F27 Committee's Freestyle Terrain Park Jump Feature Task Group has proposed a set of Definitions and Methods that would be used in a possible future terrain park jump standard or guideline. The USTPC invites its members to read the document and provide feedback to USTPC Board Chairman, Jim McNeil, serves as Secretary of the Task Group.


Wired Magazine featured comments by USTPC Board member, Jim McNeil.

Wired magazine featured comments by USTP board member, Jim McNeil, on the risks posed by certain terrain park jump designs. The short article, entitled "Get Big Air, Safely" appears on page 56 of the Demember 2012 issue and discusses the hazards posed by curved takeoffs and hard impacts due to large equivalent fall heights. While the USTPC acknowledges that no jump can ever be called "safe", certain designs pose greater risks to patrons, especially beginner jumpers.


USTPC Board member selected as Secretary for the ASTM Task Group on Terrain Parks.

At its July 19 meeting in Burlington, Vermont, the Terrain Park Task Group of the ASTM Committee F-27 on ski safety selected James McNeil, USTPC Chairman of the Board of Directors, as Secretary. He will lead the effort to organize the Task Group's web-based standards development pages. At the F27 meeting McNeil also gave a talk and demonstration of his "Park Profiler" device which measures the profile of a terrain park jump and uses the data to analyze a set of jump performance characteristics such as the range of takeoff speeds expected, distances jumped, and impact (equivalent fall height) upon landing.


USTPC Board approves best practices criteria...

At its February 16 meeting the USTPC Board of Directors approved (most) of the pending best practices criteria which had been open for member comment for the last nine months. The Board also elected previously pending new Board members, Andrew Swedberg and Arn Menconi. (Jen Hudak's election is pending.) The terms are for three years. The approved criteria can be viewed at USTPC Criteria.


SAM magazine carries article about USTPC...

Following the controversy sparked by John Rice's September BLOG POST (below), the December issue of Ski Area Management magazine included an article about the USTPC and the conversation spawned by Rice's blog post. As a result of the mistrust generated by these events the USTPC has decided to suspend all certification services pending a review by the Board. The USTPC feels that a better working relationship with and understanding of the concerns of the industry is needed first.


Terrain park safety a highly debated topic ...

In a September posting to the Ski Area Management's BLOG PATROL, Sierra-at-Tahoe GM, John Rice, mistakenly wrote that the USTPC's founders where involved in litigation against ski resorts and questioned the motives for creating the Best Practices criteria. USTPC's facebook page was inundated with negative comments and XREME reproduced the Rice comments on their webpage. In a response in the BLOG PATROL, USTPC Board Chairman, Jim McNeil, set the record straight regarding Mr. Rice's claims and the following day, Mr. Rice phoned McNeil to apologize and retract his claims. Following this awkward introduction, the two realized they actually share similar goals for terrain park safety and agreed to continue to the conversation.


Book your Smart Parks Educational Seminar now!

Full Smart Parks Certification enrollments are now closed for the 2011/2011 season, but spots are still available for the Smart Parks Educational Seminars. To educate your staff on industry and engineering best practices contact us at


USTPC will be partnering with ASR-SIG to promote safety in terrain parks.

USTPC is proud to announce that it will be partnering with the European company, ASR-SIG (Active Sports in Resorts - Special Interest Group), to promote safety in winter terrain parks. As its name suggests, ASR-SIG, is dedicated to assisting commercial resorts in developing all manner of action sports - from traditional skiing and snowboarding to mountain bike parks, and much more - to expand the range of activities offered to their patrons. Since novel resort-based action sports are an exciting new area that is growing rapidly, resorts often lack the special expertise needed to develop these non-traditional activities in as safe a manner as possible. USTPC will assist in the winter terrain park component by providing our expertise in engineering design and certification services.


USTPC is involved in ASTM Ski Safety (F-27) Committee efforts to consider terrain park standards

At its July meeting in Burlington, Vt., the Executive Subcommittee of the American Society of Testing and Materials' (ASTM) Committee on Ski Safety (F-27) has voted to amend its bylaws to expand the scope of the Committee to include recreational terrain park jumps. The change in scope will be put to a ballot of the entire ASTM F-27 Committee later this summer with a decision expected by September. If approved by the members, the bylaws change will go to the ASTM Committee on Technical Committee Organization (COTCO) for final approval. In anticipation of the likely approval of the bylaws change in scope, the chairman of the F-27 subcommittee on New Projects (F-27.65) formed an informal Task Group on terrain park jump standards. Jake Shealy was appointed chair of the informal Task Group, and USTPC President, Jim McNeil, is a member. Task Group member, Steven Hanft of Snow Summit Ski Corp., will provide an industry perspective, and the Task Group is seeking additional participation by experienced terrain park builders and designers.


USTPC welcomes new board members

Five-time X-Games Medalist Jen Hudak and Slopestyle Powerhouse Michelle Parker have joined on as US Terrain Park Board Members. We look to these leading ladies of park and pipe to act as a voice of the professional ski community in shaping the future that will assist in minimizing the risk of terrain parks while ensuring they retain a fun, creative environment.


USTPC members present research at ISSS Congress

USTPC members present research relating to the design of safer terrain parks at the 2011 International Society of Skiing Safety Congress in Keystone, Co, May 2-6, 2011. Their research will be submitted for the 19th Volume of the Journal of ASTM International on Skiing Trauma and Safety.


Membership pages now open!

The web-based membership sign-up and login features are now working. Join up and learn about recent research and terrain park news. Read about the proposed new "best practices" criteria and provide your feedback or post your own research. Join the conversation!


ISSS Conferences May 1st through May 7th

USTPC will have 2 of its founding members presenting at the International Society for Skiing Safety (ISSS) this May at Keystone Ski Resort. We will be discussing some of most recent findings on Terrain Park safety and we hope to see you there. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Looking forward to seeing you there.


SIA Tradeshow

USTPC and Smart Parks attended this past weekends SIA Tradeshow in Denver. If you've never been to this show, you must make it out next year. Next years lines look amazing and the industry is looks to be in strong shape. You may want to keep the kids at home though. This year was not PG rated. Highlights included the Ride Booth.... which was designed to look, very accurately, like a Peep Show!


USTPC attends NSAA/ASTM Conferences

USTPC will be attending both the NSAA and ASTM conferences in Snowbird, UT from January 18th thru January 20th. USTPC Physicist and Board Member Jim McNeil, PhD will be speaking at the ASTM F-27 Subcommittee meeting on Terrain Park Safety at 9:30 am at The Cliff Lodge in the Magpie Room.


New Website is now Launched

The New USTPC Website has now officially launched. The membership and partnership pages are still being populated, so sit tight.

Happy Surfing!