Copper’s Jeff Kubick named Terrain Master of the Year
summit daily news
Vail, CO Coloraod
SUMMIT COUNTY – While much of Copper Mountain is snoozing away on cold winter nights, Dillon resident Jeff Kubick can be found in the cab of a snowcat, meticulously perfecting the halfpipe, jumps and other terrain park features. Though few are around to witness his work first hand, skiers and riders in the park know when he has been there.
“I like to spend the extra time to make things how I want them,” Kubick said. “I’m kind of a perfectionist. My whole goal in my career has been to make Copper No. 1 in terrain parks. It’s my passion.”
That perfectionism and passion were rewarded Thursday night at the Colorado Ski Country USA Double Diamond Awards Banquet in Denver, where Kubick received the industry association’s 2010 Terrain Master Award.
“I think he’s a standout, because he shows what happens when you love your job and you love where you do it,” said Copper terrain park manager Adam Tietz.
Kubick’s passion for terrain parks began many years ago, back in his home state of Illinois. At a snowboard park called Raging Buffalo, he and friends hand-built 5-foot halfpipes with little more than shovels.
Eight years ago, Kubick moved to Summit County and started working at Copper as a lift operator. He had a few stints as a snowmaker and eventually got hired as a groomer.
“That first year I groomed, I knew I wanted to be in the park. That’s where I ride, and I thought I could improve it and help make a difference in there,” he said.
Since then, he has sculpted snow for riders of all abilities, including first-timers, experts and pros. He creates custom features for photo shoots and was a key player in the development of Colorado’s first outdoor summer terrain park and camp at Copper a year ago.
“Seeing that first summer park in the Rockies go through is one of his huge accomplishments,” Tietz said.
Kubick relishes working in a young sport, having the opportunity to help shape and grow it with every new feature he adds to Copper’s terrain parks.
“A lot of the stuff we’re doing, nobody has done before – it’s a clean slate. We’re painting our own picture,” he said.
As elite athletes continue to push the boundaries of the sport, they depend on the imagination and skills of terrain managers like Kubick.
“The perfectly cut halfpipe and the perfectly built jump are key. To be in this position is mind-boggling.”
And even though the world’s top snowsports athletes showcase their skills atop his handiwork, Kubick is humble about his accomplishments.
“I don’t think I would be here if it weren’t for my bosses,” he said. “Everybody has always had confidence in me and given me the opportunity to make this progression.