The news is out, Woodward Park City has opened! In fact, I’m sitting at a cafeteria table writing this while my kids go wild. To say that I haven’t been here as often as possible during lunch breaks, lulls between classes or phone calls would be an understatement. Surrounding the opening of Woodward there was excitement, concerns, and questions. It’s the first action sports park of it’s kind. Would it cater to locals, be beneficial to visitors, how does it impact the town… the list goes on.
I had many of the questions myself but after a week of being able to jump in on Daily Passes as a Hub Member as well as get my kids in the mix I am more than impressed. What stands out most to me is the culture that this Woodward works to create. I am a 40-year-old dad riding my bike here which is not the norm. Having said that, the amount of encouragement and support I receive is no different than a kid throwing 720’s or backflip tail whips over the resi jump. While I toss myself into the foam pit and work on learning how to do a 360 on my dirt jumper I get just as much help from a coach as the next kid. New to Woodward? Learn more about what they offer here.
The atmosphere is unique. Before coming I had visions of what you see when you take your kids to the trampoline park. Attendees that are in zones “helping” with safety or making sure people don’t break the rules. It’s a downer, to be honest. At Woodward the vibe is different. Those standing by the foam pit, trampolines, resi landing, airbags, and pump track are there not just providing a safe atmosphere, but often genuinely providing coaching tips. The coaches have done everything from encouraging me to safely get out of my comfort zone to help my son dig his bike out of a foam pit. I’ve seen them teach kids how to do their first backflip in a day, and let little ones launch themselves into foam pits.
What about the safety though? I get it. Most of the sports practiced and encouraged here are “action sports.” On the first day coming in we were required to do a 40 min orientation of how to use the facility. This wasn’t just a walk around on how to follow the rules. The staff member was a coach at the facility and taught us how to fall correctly, get on the trampoline, basic safety bailouts should you need them, and gives you a lay of the land. In application, it’s oddly chaotic and organized all at once. They have done an excellent job of laying out the jumps and areas, helping with the communication of who goes where and when. Staff not only ensures this but they also ride with some of the kids during their sessions. In my limited experience, this provides a level of respect. The staff isn’t just someone enforcing rules. They are a part of the culture, living the lifestyle, and being a good example. It’s easy for kids and adults to respect them because of this.
The inside is often packed with kids of varying ages. After school and evenings seem to be the most popular times to come. If you have the time and flexibility the early to mid-morning is much quieter. As the 40-year-old dad, it can be much less intimidating. Many of the other riders I have met at this time are super supportive. There is something about a community that simply enjoys watching people progress, no matter what the level is. Tony, a fellow Ski Utah writer, and rad dad refreshed his skills recently and lived to tell about it here.
When it comes to signing up you have a few options. Either way, do it ahead of time! You can get a day pass with all access, just the lift, indoor sessions, or just the tube park. The day and time dictate the cost per person. You can also grab a membership which is a 3-month commitment but gives you access to everything. The price is $120/month per person for membership. I often get the questions of “family discounts” but haven’t seen anything here yet.
The membership allows you to also sign up ahead of time, gives you discounts on classes, and even the coffee I’m sipping on now. You can sign up for 2-hour blocks to use the indoor facility or tubing. The mountain is open to all members and useable at any time.
The summer will be a whole new experience in my mind with the addition of outdoor pump tracks and skate parks, downhill mountain biking, and summer camps. I’m continually curious about what is to come but if it’s anything like the first opening week I’m all in.
My advice is to sign up for a 2-hour block and no more, otherwise, you may be turned away with the second session. I would also suggest adding in the day and time you plan on going to your calendar, especially if it’s weeks ahead of time. Aside from an email you will receive confirming your order there is currently no way to see what you signed up for. I also recently learned that if you don’t show up for your session as a member it will cost you $10. I understand the concept here and the goal of limiting “no shows”. Knowing this ahead of time is helpful though!
We all heard our parents say “I wish I had this when I was a kid!” Although I feel that way, instead of being the one to say it, I’m living it at 40. At any age you can find yourself learning flips, 360’s, cruising in the skate park, learning how to ride a pump track, or just jump on a trampoline. The ability to safely progress is something all new to me. Eons ahead of the jumps we built in the street with empty milk crates and a piece of roof sheeting. Much less forgiving to say that least. What’s holding you and your kids back from taking advantage of all it has to offer today?
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