The Freestyle Academy LAAX has undergone an upgrade: a parkour area, a five-square freestyle trampoline and an immense vert ramp breathe new life into the space where the snowflex area and kicker facility previously stood. This represents a significant improvement, as a wide audience is given the space to be active and have fun with freestyle.
Having their finger on the pulse and staying a step ahead of the pack. This is what drives the freestyle experts in LAAX. With this in mind, Europe’s first Freestyle Indoor Base has undergone an upgrade. After an intensive design phase and swift refurbishment, the doors of the Freestyle Academy LAAX opened once again in the middle of June.
Ivan Capaul, mastermind and head of the Freestyle Academy LAAX, casts his eye over the hall and looks very satisfied: ‘I’m looking at happy faces. There are 15 kids on smaller trampolines with air bags, three are jumping on the new freestyle trampolines, ten are skating in the bowl and another ten are zipping around the parkour area. I’m so happy to see this. The renovation has really paid off!’
Three new features improve the original: parkour, freestyle trampoline and vert ramp
Snowboard professional Sina Candrian, who works as a coach at the Freestyle Academy summer camps, identifies a favourite activity among the new features. ‘The kids love the parkour tower in particular. Kids of every age love jumping down there. It’s also fun performing a rapid fire or doing a run with everyone together.’
Emma (8) from Zurich agrees: ‘I just jump down there. And if I’m brave enough, I perform a somersault. But first, I have to climb up. I also like doing that.’ Nino (12) from Neftenbach is impressed by the freestyle trampolines: ‘They’re great. They feel a lot better to jump on, I think. They’re springier, and I can jump higher.’ Johann (40) from Sweden has even himself found a new home. Whenever he has time, he is skating at the Freestyle Academy LAAX. Primarily on the new vert ramp, a halfpipe for skateboard, bike or scooter. ‘Awesome!’
Close attention was paid to the different heights in the skating area during the upgrade. With 80 cm to 3.90 m, it is now possible to move from easy to difficult. The extensive skateboard setup ranges from Street, featuring obstacles and rails, a spine and mini-ramps, to the skate bowl and the vert ramp. ‘Now you can come to the hall, you’ve got your mission and you can work on it. This is really cool for everyone!’ explains Cedric Romanens, skate specialist in the Freestyle Academy team.
At first glance, the vert ramp seems quite daunting at a height of almost four metres. However, it doesn’t need to be, as top skater Cedric says: ‘My drop-in tip for the vert: first get used to it, get a feel for it, prolong your ride playing with the radius, then it’ll go well.’ This is just like the briefing given to newbies on the mountain in wintertime for riding the superpipe: just get on, drift from right to left, like on the waves in the ocean, get into the rhythm, keep getting a little higher, feel the flow.
Ivan Capaul adds: ‘We want to take on the Surf Groove! With the vert ramp in the valley, we now have a counterpart to the halfpipe on the mountain. Now we can also do lots of great moves indoors. This is the LAAX world that we belong to. It’s cool to work it out and put it into practice.
In fact, a street park for skaters is currently being developed on Crap Sogn Gion at the start of the winter halfpipe at an altitude of 2,252 metres. 180° clockwise, the GALAAXY Park with its casual features is already in place. Outdoor skating is also available at LAAX base station – surfing the asphalt waves on the Urban Surfwave with pizazz and style. And then straight back to the Freestyle Academy to try out the upgrade over an area of 1,200 m² – for everyone aged six and higher.
To make sure that freestyle groms under the age of six are also well looked after, the Kids’ Room features mat cubes, trampolines, crawling tunnels, a climbing wall, Bobby Cars, balance bikes and other toys. The large hall is open every Sunday morning for little ones, where they can become Flying Ants.