Young ski aerialists splash in the pool at Utah Olympic Park

Utah Olympic ParkThe following is an excerpt from an article originally posted at

The freestyle aerials training pool at Utah Olympic Park is the summer training site for many world-class aerialists, including Olympians Shannon Bahrke, Emily Cook, Jeret Peterson and Ryan St. Onge.

The pool holds 750,000 gallons of water and is “bubbled” to soften the impact of landing. The highest of the four primary kickers can launch twisting, flipping skiers nearly 70 feet in the air.

Chris “Hatch” Haslock, a former teammate of Legasa’s on the U.S. Freestyle Team, runs the The Axis Freeride camp. U.S. Ski Team members and aspiring junior members teach the fundamentals of jumping safely every weekend all summer. Haslock has provided thousands of kids a stepping stone on the way to becoming freestyle jumpers.

In addition to the water ramp, campers experience top-notch coaching and training techniques including video review sessions and trampoline training. Jumping begins from a box onto a mini trampoline that launches campers into the pool. After that they strap on skis and jump from a mini ramp about three feet above the water.

“You go through a simple progression to get the feeling of speed and jumping into water,” Legasa said. “As you get more speed and more air, there are a variety of different jumps you can work up to–a single jumps, freeride jumps and freestyle aerial jumps.”

Hanna progressed until she was spinning 540s—one and a half flips. Her friend Chance Luce, 12, from Spokane performed “Misty 720s,” “Corked 720s” and Lincoln Loops. A 720 is a double flip.

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