Part of the army's 10th Mountain Division during WWII, Richard Bresnahan trained in Pando, Colorado?and there he fell in love with skiing. Years later, frustrated at the long drive to the ski resorts up north, he and his brothers dropped their septic-tank business and converted a local hill into a small slope named after the town where he gained his downhill skills. An early supporter of snurfing?snowboarding's predecessor?the park claims to have hosted the first snowboard race in 1979. According to legend, when 'boarding founder Jake Burton Carpenter showed up with his prototype for the modern snowboard, the snurfers wouldn?t race against him and he competed alone in an ad-hoc category. Refusing to rest on their laurels, the park's owners later opened one of the first tubing hills in Michigan and a cross-country-skiing trail.
Today, six downhill trails welcome every skill level, each ferrying riders to the top with the aid of its own tow rope. A snowboarding terrain park lets advanced shredders show off their stuff with a wide halfpipe and grindable rails. Tree runs and backwoods areas take patrons off the beaten path, and more than 5 miles of groomed cross-country trails wend their way through the trees. After guests hit the slopes, a cozy lodge warms bodies with short-order snacks and hot drinks to sip or throw at stalking snowmen.
Modern Skate & Surf?s alternative-sports shop was founded in 1979 and has since hosted events frequented by Olympic and professional athletes?including superstar Tony Hawk?as well as earned a feature as Best Snowboard Shop in 2012 from Real Detroit Weekly. In Modern Skate Park's world-class, 60,000-square-foot Royal Oak skate park?one of the largest facilities of its kind in the US?skateboards grind across rails or glide over jumps, and inline skaters whiz over obstacles and BMX bikes hang in midair. Customers can build on their extreme-sports skills in clinics and lessons or rent out the facility for parties or high-speed chases. Committed to supporting the next generation of extreme athletes, Modern Skate Park offers discounts to students who bring in report cards sporting A?s and B?s.
In addition to the skate park, Modern Skate & Surf also maintains a East Lansing store that stocks snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, skating, and protective gear to facilitate exciting adventures.
When winter's clouds block out the sun?s rays like a row of bouncers, Hawk Island County Park?s hills come alive. The main draw?the slopes?ranges in grade from gentle and inviting to steep and challenging, allowing family-friendly activities such as tubing as well as more extreme pastimes such as snowboarding over manmade obstacles or writing "homework is dumb" in the freshly fallen powder. A handy tubing lift hauls visitors back to the tops of the hills after their descents, and a 1.5-mile paved trail invites visitors to enjoy leisurely strolls through the riverside park before enjoying snacks at the snack bar.
Timber Ridge caters to winter recreation enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels, boasting sleddable slopes perfect for a variety of low-friction conveyances. Hit the specially reserved tubing lanes for two hours of sliding, coasting on downhilling donuts from a lofty hilltop perch to a naturally powdery landing platform beneath. During the speedy jaunt down the inclined plane, riders can clutch the handles conveniently affixed to their tube to evade snow banks or avoid holding hands with clingy snowmen. Post-plunge, tubers can retire to Timber Ridge's lodge, which offers concessions, picnic areas, and more to refuel and defrost. Check the snow report and tubing hours before heading to the slopes.
Located in harbor-friendly Grand Haven, MACkite Boardsports Center offers a diverse range of land and water equipment ideal for enjoying Michigan's seasonal splendor. Guests can peruse a range of amphibious goodies, including stand-up paddleboards, kiteboarding gear, and electric longboards. When the seasons shifts to winter, they will find plenty of snowboarding and snow kiting gear along with a helpful service staff that can tune up pairs of skis and or a snowboard. The team's passion for all things kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, and snowboarding is reflected in the store's inventory. Whether it's a Cabrinha Switchblade or a Rome SKS snowboard, team members always ride the gear they stock and relay their recommendations to customers in earnest.
When Jim Wiseman bought what would become Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area in 1968, it consisted of a dilapidated farmhouse and seven rope tows. A mere day before opening, five of the tows were condemned. But Jim remained undeterred, forging ahead with a humble inventory of 122 pairs of rental skis. Today, that number has grown to 2,000, in addition to 500 snowboards, which plunge down 11 runs and a 225-foot peak that also allows guests to test-drive the equipment and practice their yardstick skills. The terrain parks, one of which was added in 1997 to reflect the resort’s devotion to freestyle skiing, greet visitors with new challenges such as tabletops, high spines, grind rails, and pyramids.
Whether skiers tackle the stunt-ready equipment or seek out beginner lessons, they’re guaranteed fresh powder thanks to Swiss Valley’s expert method of snowmaking. The technology ensures enough snow for winter fun, as long temperatures allow and no salt giants attack the slopes. After their frosty jaunt, visitors can warm up in the fireside lounge, dotted with freestanding fireplaces and picture windows that overlook the snowy terrain.