Oriol Rosell is one of the best persons and professionals that I’ve ever met. He has taught me a lot and since the first time I went to one of the ASP snowparks 6 or 7 years ago still in Port Ainé, to compete in a jibbing contest I’ve admired their excellent job. So it’s my pleasure to interview Oriol, ASP snowparks co-founder, head shaper and marketing coordinator.
1- Create an slogan for ASP snowparks that includes the following words: beginners, cheap and sleep.
Beginners with cheap gear that jump on the side of the kickers don’t let us sleep.
2.- When was ASP snowparks born?
ASP snowparks was born in 2003 in Port Aine. There weren’t many snowparks in the Pyreenes, and they were mainly in France and in Andorra. The thing is that we wanted to ride park, no matter what. So the only solution we could came up with was building it ourselves. My partner Oriol Carrasco hadn’t been a cat driver for a long time, but we managed to put few rails and a pyramid in our first snowpark. Then, the resort hired us to build the snowpark. Through the years we’ve learnt a lot and we’ve always had many ideas to try to improve. The continuous “war” is make the resorts realize that it’s an important part so they have to respect it and invest into it to have better facilities and services. We keep trying!
3.- You are a freestyle reference in southern Europe. What does it make ASP snowparks so special?
Actually, I don’t know what to say. We’ve always worked the same way and with the same enthusiasm. We’ve had to learn a lot of things that we would had never imagine they would be so important for a snowpark, and we still have a lot to learn.
On the other side, we’ve had a lot of people who have followed us through the different resorts we’ve been, and now, these people know our philosophy, and how we work, they are the people that form the ASP team!
The hard work, never giving up (the beginning was hard but also so much fun), and betting highly for our work it’s what brought us to this point where we have a big support from Vallnord.
4.- What are the shapers’ characteristics, those qualities and tasks that you can’t see at the first sight?
You have to be aggressive, know how to whistle super loud and shout a lot. (laughs). That’s what any gayper would tell you, but I’ll tell you that a shaper needs to be a hard worker, and must love the freestyle and has to be willing to do efforts to push the park forward, like missing powder days in order to reshape the kickers.
The best shaper’s quality, though, is being an excellent team worker and the passion for the project. Tasks that you do not see? Not every shaper has to do them but there are definitely many of them, like all the grooming and cat machine hours.
5.- Can you tell us the snowparks situation in the Spanish scene?
Nowadays the situation is complicated. There are different teams that have been working for several years and that have become better and better, but the economic situation doesn’t let the companies support all these initiatives as they should be supported.
The snowparks are super expensive facilities to maintain and without economic resources they can’t grow up. This is one of those jobs you can’t tell at first, but it’s basic and you have to put a lot effort to improve just a little.
6.- How do you see the Spanish freestyle evolution? What does a company like yours do about it?
The Pyrenees are the freestyle paradise! We have ideal steep slopes, enough snow to build them, we have teams and technology to build spectacular features and we have more hours of sun than any other place in the world!
Every time there are better results in many levels: better park construction, better riding (it comes together with the improved parks), there is great communication as there are good video producers, and good photographers. There is a lot of potential to make the freestyle grow in Spain and Andorra.
From ASP snowparks we try to improve our parks every day so everyone can develop their projects as riders, filmers, photographers, event organizers, instructors….
7.- What do you think is missing to reach the European level?
Oh… this is a good question. I think that in the Pyrenees we are in our own European level. Little mountains with not much snow compared to the rest of Europe. We do everything we can. Maybe a little bit more of support from the international brands European headquarters would help us to make the people see our resorts as an important freestyle destination.
8.- What are you plans for next season?
We are planning on keep working in Vallnord, we’ll try to make a bigger snowpark in Arinsal and to become a reference in southern Europe.
9.- What would you change about the snowboard industry?
I guess that I wouldn’t change anything from the industry, what I would change is the resources distribution.
Personally I think the brands don’t share out their resources correctly. However it’s just my personal opinion and I understand it all depends on how you look at it.