If you go
What: Granite Peak’s BagJump Weekend
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and March 23
Where: Granite Peak Ski Area, 3605 North Mountain Road, Rib Mountain
Cost: $5 per jump, $25 for one day of unlimited jumps or $60 for all unlimited jumps all three days
Contact: 715-845-2846 or www.skigranitepeak.com
RIB MOUNTAIN — Oh, go take a leap!
Skiers and snowboarders can take their jumps and tricks to new heights beginning Saturday during the BagJump weekend at Granite Peak Ski Area in Rib Mountain.
The BagJump will be held Friday, Saturday and March 23 allowing skiers and snowboarders to perform jumps or tricks and land on a large inflatable airbag. This will be the third time Granite Peak has hosted the event this season.
“Quite a mix of people use the BagJump when we have it. There’s always a line of some sort throughout the weekend,” said Chris Pinge, snow sports education director at Granite Peak Ski Area. “You get your teens who are eager to try new tricks, but you’ve also got people in their 40s and 50s with big smiles on their faces because they’ve just tried and had so much fun.”
Based in Austria, BagJump was first developed in 2006 by snowboarder Martin Rasinger, who initially used the bag privately for training, said Elliott Levitt, vice president of BagJump’s North American division.
After sustaining a career-ending injury, Rasinger and other former snowboarders continued to develop the bag for use by other athletes.
Since then, the bag has been primarily used as a training tool by athletes around the world, including Winter Olympians like Shaun White, Sage Kotsenburg and Torah Bright, and made available to the general public via BagJump events like the one coming to Granite Peak.
“These events that we organize on the side are mainly to get the product out there and to show people what we all do. But they also let people who wouldn’t normally get to use the bag try it out and let them have a chance at utilizing the tools that the professional athletes use,” Levitt said.
A large part of the BagJump’s appeal is the increased safety and versatility it provides, Pinge said.
“A lot of skiers and snowboarders use the BagJump as a progression tool to learn a new trick that they can take back to the snow, but some people just like the thrill of the jump and getting to try something different,” Pinge said. “You can basically do any kind of big jump and land safely … . You might be a little braver than you normally would be, which makes it a completely different experience.”
Offering the general public the chance to use a training tool that world-class athletes use regularly is another factor that makes the BagJump so exciting, Levitt said.
“The average person gets to have a relaxed training session much in the same way the best skiers and snowboarders in the world do,” Levitt said. “It might be too intimidating for a beginner to use, but anyone from intermediate to professional level will have an awesome time.”