2018 Chester Bowl Terrain Park Series
Entry #2: Will Smyth
This year we are trying something new. We have four Terrain Park Coordinators who are responsible for designing, setting up, and maintaining the terrain park along with the Freestyle Cadets. We divided the season into four and gave each coordinator a quarter of the season to design their own signature park. We drew straws and James Holak got the first quarter, followed by Will Smyth, Tommy Smyth, and Mitchel Kasper. As part of getting a chance to design the terrain park we decided to sit down with each coordinator for an interview which we will share with our community.
Will kind of came out of nowhere about 8 years ago when he and his family moved to Duluth and started skiing at Chester. Just like any beginner he wasn’t doing a whole lot of rails or jumps at first but it didn’t take long for him to start to get really good. For a long time Will and his friends were winning every Freestyle Friday and skiing with a style that as a snowboarder, I have not seen any skier take on. Will skis like a snowboarder. He has awesome style that shines when he’s lapping Spirit’s rope tow park, filming around Duluth, or shredding Chester Bowl. Will put together an awesome park design full of ideas straight out of the Think Thank movies and I got to talk to him about it after Freestyle Fridays.
Sam: How old are you, what school do you go to, and how long have you been part of Chester Bowl?
Will: I am 18 years old and am a senior at Duluth East High School. We moved here in 2010, and hadn’t skied before. So, this would be my 8th season skiing at Chester.
Sam: Besides skiing, what do you do?
Will: Lacrosse is the thing that I am involved with as much as skiing. I like being outside hiking, biking, being with friends.
Sam: What things influence your skiing?
Will: Definitely snowboarding, like the Think Thank movies with all the cones is what got me into cones. There are different ways of snowboarding like doing 50-50s. I wish I could do those. Ski and snowboard movies and me making movies and filming to try and imitate that.
Sam: You mentioned filming. What things do you like to film?
Will: Cool rails and creative things. Being in Minnesota me and my friends do not get much practice at jumps so we film a lot of low angle fish eye stuff on rails.
Sam: What’s your favorite spot to film skiing?
Will: Cascade park downtown, probably because I have been there a ton and have gotten a ton of different shots. Also, the Spirit rope park is super fun.
Sam: How would you describe your style of skiing?
Will: Trendy. I am wearing 2xl adidas track pants right now. I mean, I am not trying to be an Instagram skier. I am not doing things to be cool but I think I just fell into the trend.
Sam: A lot of the kids here who grew up watching you and the rest of the crew now have a similar style. How do you feel about being a role model?
Will: It’s definitely sick. I feel like when I was learning how to ski here there weren’t any older kids that were here skiing so we learned from videos. Now the kids here kind of look to us rather than videos. There are kids here doing 50-50’s on rails which is something I haven’t even thought of doing until a few years ago. We are also not “contest” skiers. We are doing it for fun so the kids get to see that and get into freestyle skiing for fun.
Sam: How did your style shape what you wanted to do with your terrain park design?
Will: Initially I always thought of Chester as a skatepark. Then I thought about some of the setups from a few years ago where it was a lot of rails in a line. So, I tried to make a bunch of features in a row so you could ride them one after another top to bottom.
Sam: Who do you mostly ski/ ride with?
Will: Well James, but he got hurt. Peter, Costa, Gordon, John, 1806, the Brueninghauss, Eli Koski, my brother Tommy, and any kid at Chester.
Sam: You are about to graduate from high school, what’s next?
Will: I just confirmed that I will be going to University of Montana, Missoula. I will be playing Lacrosse out there for Missoula and I will be studying Environmental Studies and Graphic Design.
Sam: What advice do you have for someone who is interested in freestyle skiing and or working in the terrain park?
Will: I would say Chester might be the best place to start because it’s super small. 5 years old are getting it daily. All the rails are straight forward so you can set up a simple flat bar in, build a jump and get it going in no time.
Sam: Any parting thoughts?
Will: I would just say come ride Chester, the volcano is super sick!
If you see Will on the hill give him a high five and thank him for the work he has been putting in on our park.