What we talk about most? Pro athletes, places and powder. What’s missing here? The army of souls that are ski crazed enough to shape their whole life around the sport without aiming for the spotlight. Yup, we’re talking about all those behind-the-scenes industry folk that live to ski and make their living skiing. Turns out there’s a bunch of shredders you’ve never heard named dropped in magazines and we’re about to change that. From developing ski tech to slinging skis on the slopes we’re pleased to introduce the people who make up the strong backbone of the ski industry one mover and shaker at a time.
MEET TY WEED
First of all, why Ty Weed? Simple, he makes the biggest hucking dreams a reality. Born in Edmonton Alberta and raised in Pitt Meadows BC, Ty’s childhood consisted of park laps and lots of them. Always infatuated by the building aspect, he volunteered as a shaper while still in high school to learn the ropes and probably to ensure more time sliding around himself, either way, we’re impressed with the maneuver. Now with over 16 years of terrain park expereince Ty’s making the biggest, raddest and most bragable jumps accross Canada. Getting flown around as a consultant, shaper, groomer, and general ideas man Ty works for the innovate company Arena Snow Parks and you’ve most definitely seen his work. While not a name most hear name-dropped often enough, evidence of his passion for the evolution of the sport and dedication to the industry is beyond valuable to us as skiers.
“My Career highlights would include building some photoshoot features for Monster Energy, RedBull, Matchstick productions, Magnetic The Movie as well as building Momentum Camps park every year at Whistler Blackcomb. I have also been lucky enough to work on the 2010 Olympic halfpipe, WSSF Big Air, and 2018 FIS Snowmass Grand Prix slopestyle course with Arena Snowparks. I am also very fortunate to be able to build private courses and set-ups for the Canadian ski/snowboard teams every year.”
Upon hearing about Ty’s creative capabilities we couldn’t help but corner him to learn more. A true ski industry insider that deserves some love from everyone that’s admired and ridden one of his features. Whether you knew it was his masterpiece or not, you’ll certainly be praising his name next time you put the two together.
INDUSTRY TALK WITH TY WEED
SBC: Can you tell us about the first time you worked in a park on any level?
TW: My first introduction to working in the park was when I was in high school, I got a job volunteering in the Mount Seymour terrain park In 2002. I volunteered once a week for a pass and hand maintained features and got to shred laps. The parks were super loose back then and a lot of work was done by hand, working there gave me the motivation to move up to Whistler eventually.
SBC: Can you tell us about the first time you drove cat?
Ty: That would have been in about 2003, I learned how to drive a snowcat on the Blackcomb Glacier in July and that was Interesting experience. Driving a snowcat in bottomless slush is difficult for a seasoned operator let alone someone learning, needless to say, I made some pretty big holes trying to get around the glacier. We would use a utility cat to deliver salt to the camps like Camp of Champions and Momentum, and use it to help pick up injured riders which was a little nerve-racking at the time.
SBC: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Ty: I find my job so rewarding, building terrain parks is so much fun and a huge passion. There is nothing better than doing a fresh park rebuild and riding it the next day with friends and testing how the features ride, another bonus is to hear from the riders or athletes how much they like how the park or course is riding.
SBC: What keeps you hooked?
Ty: The outlet to be creative for sure, as skiing and snowboarding changes so do the parks and the types of features people want to ride. Watching how people ride and what they like to ride and making it a reality is super awesome. Also getting to work with athletes on a special project for them to work on tricks and learn new tricks on is awesome as well, it’s nice to be a small piece of the puzzle to the progression of the sport.
SBC: What’s the hardest part of your job?
Ty: Definitely the changing snow conditions. One thing a lot of people may notice riding is how the quality of snow changes as the temperature changes, these changes are noticed a lot in a snowcat as the ability to shape and maintain features can become difficult. Cold snow at – 20c has its downsides and so does snow at 0c. Humidity can also play a huge factor as well as whether the snow is natural or man-made, we just have to roll with what mother nature throws as us and do the best we can.
SBC: Can you tell us about the planning, creating and the shaping process?
Ty: I get a lot of freedom in getting to come up with new features and park/course layouts. When it comes to building a park we sit with our day crew/hand shapers and come up with a list of features we want to see and riders have requested and then come up with a layout. Then then the cat operators head out on the night shift and start pushing and shaping features for the park, the hand shapers help on specific features with some detail work that the cats can’t do but these days a lot is done with the cats as the machines are so advanced. When it comes to slopestyle courses or other events we meet with riders and event organizers and gather info on what they would like to see and we generally get a lot of creative freedom to come out with a Layout that suits the terrain and venue.
SBC: Any more industry insight for us?
Ty: A highlight would be watching a new trick go down for the first time in a feature you worked on, that’s always a unique experience.
I am lucky enough to have a job I love and I get to work with some of my best friends, everyone works well together and we all have the same passion a goal, to put out the best product possible for people to enjoy!– Ty Weed
Find Ty’s work on Arena Parks or follow along his personal journey on Instagram. Want to see more ski industry insider stories? Check it.