Old Dogs, New Tricks: Woodward Copper Is Not Just for Kids

(Plus a Woodward Summer Camp Preview)

COMPLIMENTS OF BRAVE SKI MOM. SEE ORIGINAL POST HERE: http://braveskimom.com/old-dogs-new-tricks-woodward-copper-is-not-just-for-kids


brave ski mom skiing down the small jump to foam in the barn at woodward copper

A look of total concentration as I prepared to ride my first jump in the Barn at Woodward Copper.

“Are you here for a tour?”

I was standing at the check in desk at the Barn, Woodward Copper’s indoor training facility at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Holding both my helmet and ski boots, I was pretty sure I didn’t look like I just wanted a tour. Pointing to my husband and two sons, I clarified that we were there for a two-hour intro session.

“Really? You’re here for an Intro session?”

As we waited for our coach, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.

I’d been in the Barn before, when my sons came to summer camp at Woodward Copper. At that time, I joined the other parents on the observation deck, snapping photos, taking video and cheering proudly.


woodward copper barn

Some of the fun ton offer in the Barn at Woodward Copper.

This time around, I was here to learn how to jump. Nothing big mind you, nothing fancy. I just wanted to learn the fundamentals in order to keep myself safe and have more fun.

When our coach met up with us, we made introductions and it happened again. Eying my husband and me, he asked “You two are really here for an intro session?”

We smiled and nodded. There was no backing out now.


Copper Mountain’s Amazing Indoor Freestyle Training Facility

The Woodward Copper Barn is an indoor training facility that serves gymnasts, cheerleaders, BMX bikers, skateboarders, snowboarders, skiers and more. Fully renovated in 2013, here’s a short video that highlights the facility’s features.

Introductory sessions are mandatory for all users, but once the Intro session is complete, athletes can practice on their own and work with coaches.

The evening we were there, the Barn was teeming with preteens. The average height on the trampoline floor was about four-foot-nothing. And while there were two men launching off the large jumps, there were no other women in action.

I’m competitive and this streak mostly serves me well.

It’s what encourages me to continue pushing myself on snow, while chasing my über-strong sons and husband.

This competitive streak is what also kept me from backing out as we walked to the trampolines.

For the first half-hour, we progressed in the trampoline area. We started by started by bouncing from a small ramp into foam, progressing to a tumble track, olympic trampolines and finally a really fun, high-flying super tramp.  While my sons, and another teenage boy who joined us, were adept at maneuvering through the air, it had been years since I’d done a seat drop on a tramp, let alone tried a high-flying 360.

Still with each bounce, we felt more confident and at ease as we climbed out of the foam landing pits.

The next stop was the Skatelite pump track and jumps. Designed for use by most anything with wheels, skiers and snowboarders at Woodward supply their own boots and helmets, but have to use specialized short skis and boards with embedded wheels. This means no edges to help with speed checks or course correction. It’s point and go.


Skiers use special short skis with embedded wheels in the barn at woodward copper

Short, wheeled skis, especially designed for Woodward Copper’s Skatelite pump track and jumps. Wheeled snowboards are available, too.

Luckily, as with the trampolines, there is a natural progression. First-timers start on a pump track, riding over a couple of berms before rolling up a wall and riding down backward to stop.

The skatelite pump track in the barn at woodward copper.

After you don skis, I mean wheels, the Skatelite pump track is the first stop in the Barn at Woodward Copper. While the first ride backwards after you reach the wall is a bit unsettling, finding balance on the wheeled skis is easy and fun.

Having mastered forward and backward motion (it doesn’t take long), riders progress to the small jumps and then the large jumps. All of the jumps have foam pit landing areas, making it safe to practice new tricks and skills.

By the time I’d ridden the largest of the small jumps-to-foam, I was beat. The effort of clicking out of the skis while buried in large foam cubes, tossing those skis from the pit and then climbing out, did me in, as did the potent, emotional cocktail of challenge, fear and adrenaline. While I really wanted to ride the smallest of the large jumps, and had psyched myself up to do it, I knew it was time to quit.


climbing a rope to climb out of the largest foam pit after a ski jump in the barn at woodward copper

Extracting himself from the foam pits in the Barn at Woodward Copper. Only the largest pit has a rope to help you climb out. My sons tell me the rope makes it much easier.

As for my husband, he followed our sons to the large jumps and conquered one of them. Flying high, the pinnacle of his evening was when he overheard another teen praising him to our sons: “Your dad is amazing. My dad would never do that.”

Back at our condo, we watched some of the videos I shot and laughed about the good times we’d had. That’s when one of our sons said, “Mom. Dad. I’ve got to give you credit. It was pretty badass that you did that.”

getting some coaching tips before skiing down a jump in the barn at woodward copper

The “dad” getting some coaching before riding the larger jumps in the Barn at Woodward Copper. Intro session coaches make sure you’re comfortable, ready and know what to do and expect.

When You Go…

Woodward Copper is one of four Woodward facilities in the US, the others being Woodward West, Woodward Tahoe and Woodward Pennsylvania. Woodward Park City is coming soon and Woodward training is used at the for children’s ski and ride lessons at Eldora Mountain Resort.

We visited Woodward Copper during ski season, so the next day we took what we learned and used it on snow.

I am proud, like super-proud, to share that not only was I confident and able to jump in the park, but I also rode a flat box and an up-down box in the beginner box. And as I did each of these new things, I did them with new confidence.

As for my husband, he avoided the boxes, but rode the same kicker as me. Our sons, of course, are ready to go back to Woodward and get backflip coaching.

Woodward Copper is currently closed for spring, but reopens on June 10th for weekend Intro and drop-in sessions. Intro sessions are $49 for 2 hours, while drop-in sessions  (available only to those who have completed an Intro session) are $39 for two hours.


Woodward Summer Camps

Woodward Copper also has summer camps for ski, snowboard, skateboard, BMX, mountain bike, scooter and cheer.  This short video shows differing Woodward camps across the country, not just in Colorado (but yes, if you ski or ride at Woodward Copper summer camp, you’ll also practice on snow!)

Based on our son’s experience and now our experience at Woodward Copper, we totally recommend it.

Our sons went to ski camp at Woodward Copper to learn more about freestyle skiing. We sent our sons to summer ski camp at Woodward Copper to ensure that they’d get some high-quality coaching and, as a result, be smarter and safer in the terrain park.

The same logic held for my husband and me. With just a little coaching, we’re now more confident, smarter and safer when we venture into the park.

Indeed, old dogs can learn new tricks.

We hope you’ll check out Woodward Copper no matter what your age.



Copper Mountain is on the MAX Pass. The 2017-2018 MAX Pass is available now and includes five free days at 44 mountains in the U.S. and Canada.  It does not include Woodward Copper. 

More MAX Pass Resort Reviews:

Spring is a great time to buy a MAX Pass, as the pricing is lower. If you’re thinking about investing in up to 220 days of skiing, check out these reviews of some of our favorite MAX Pass resorts.

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