Geoff Brown. Photo: Russell Brown.
A new landing pad for snow parks, designed by a student at the University of British Columbia who was left paralyzed by a snowboarding wreck, allows snowboarders to ride away on the landing while cushioning stacks. The pad, designed by Katal Innovations, was recently featured on Science Daily:
After a 2005 snowboarding accident that left him a quadriplegic, Aaron Coret, a fourth-year UBC engineering student and snowboard enthusiast partnered with recent graduate Stephen Slen to develop a freestyle ski and snowboard safety device as part of their Integrated Engineering course work. The result is a patent-pending invention set to make its public debut at Lake Louise Ski Resort in Alberta the first week in May.
What sets the duo’s invention apart from existing safety devices that simply serve as a “giant pillow” is its unique design that simulates a perfectly shaped terrain park jump with a powder landing. Now in its third and largest iteration, at 15 metres by 27 metres in size, the Landing Pad features two independent air chambers to allow riders to continue movement downhill but cushions the fall in case the rider lands on anything other than their feet, making training safer.