Invention Finding Favor In Snowsports

The Otago Daily Times is reporting that a Wanaka entrepreneur’s snow-grooming invention will be shaping park features at two of the resort’s skifields this winter, after gaining valuable exposure from the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Development Snowparks director John Melville’s “Global Cutter” invention – a custom-designed and laser-guided halfpipe shaper – was released on the international market last year.

Melville, a groomer and park shaper at Cardrona Alpine Resort, travelled to Vancouver to help build the halfpipe at the recent Winter Olympics.

The Global Cutter was used by Melville to shape Cardrona’s Olympic halfpipe, which hosted the southern hemisphere’s major snowsports events – the New Zealand Snowboarding Open, the New Zealand Freeski Open and a FIS World Cup snowboarding event at the first Winter Games – last year.

The company also recently shipped a second model to Vancouver, which will be used to build and shape the pipe at a World Skiing Invitational event and the World Ski and Snowboard Festival at the end of April, Melville said.

“We’re looking to demonstrate how the machine works and the industry benefits it can deliver for shaping park facilities and halfpipes,” he said.

The Global Cutter sale to Snow Park is the second for the Wanaka-based company, after a machine was sold to a skifield in Turkey last year.

Development Snowparks spokeswoman Sophie Melville said Wanaka was increasingly being used as a southern hemisphere training base for the world’s top snowboarding and freeskiing athletes.

Having two Olympic-standard halfpipes on either side of the Cardrona Valley increased the training and park infrastructure available for snowboarders and skiers, she said.

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