It’s already way past bed-time, but the Kreischberg is still awake. A heavy machine relentlessly goes up and down the floodlit slope, pushes snow and puts the finishing touches on the take-offs. The course just has to be perfect. Until that’s accomplished, the work day won’t end. In a few days, the Slopestyle World Cup will be going down at the foot of the Kreischberg mountain. Andi Röck is managing the build-up of the contest line – it’s the first project of that kind for the Austrian, but years of Shape Academy experience prepared Andi in the best way possible for this endeavor.
“Actually, I became a shaper by coincidence.”, Andi remembers. “I was just snowboarding and hanging out in snowparks a lot. Then, a buddy asked me if I wanted to help them build the park. The following season, I became part of the shape crew.” Soon after, the Shape Academy took notice of the Upper Austrian. He started as a Park Designer at Snowpark Gastein where he put his personal mark on the playground. Andi took his next career step at Superpark Planai where he worked as a Park Designer too. That’s where he met snowcat operator Roli Winkler. Both were able to benefit from this friendship also on a professional level and mutually exchanged their freestyle and technical know-how. A few seasons later, it was time for the next promotion: Being a Technical Director, the experienced shaper was responsible for several projects in different regions.
Because working as a Park Designer and Technical Director during winter wasn’t challenging enough, Andi was looking for a job in summer. And the snowpark at the Dachstein glacier was the perfect fit. “I worked back-to-back seasons most times. This means I was employed as Park Designer or Technical Director in winter and in summer, I was Park Designer at Dachstein.”, the Shape Academy legend recalls. Did the double workload sap his energy? “I really enjoyed it! The jobs in winter and summer brought along different tasks, so it never was monotonous. Moreover, the community at Dachstein was simply fantastic. You always met old friends there. It was definitely one of the biggest highlights during my time at the Shape Academy.” It was also at Dachstein where Andi received snowcat operator training. Today, the powerful machines of PRINOTH are his extended arm. “Over the years, you gain the much-needed experience. At some point you’re capable of building medium jumps without measuring at all. Yet, when you build really big snow elements, you have to measure and check the details accurately before constructing.”
The 15 years of QParks Birthday Bash was bittersweet: Andi Röck – an indispensable Shape Academy member – announced that he wanted to put away the shape tool and planned on taking a break for a season. The intended break fell through though, as the Shape Academy was hired to build the World Cup setup at Kreischberg. Only one person came to mind when it was time to find a build-up manager: “When I received the offer, I took my time so I could thoroughly think about my decision. You don’t get the chance to realize such a big project every day. I just didn’t want to miss this opportunity.” And just like that, Andi returned to the Shape Academy this winter.
“You put a lot of pressure on yourself”, says the Shape Academy legend. “After all, you don’t only want to meet your own expectations. The organizer and especially the riders should be happy with the setup!” To make sure that Anna Gasser & the gang enjoy the setup, some overtime hours are required. The work day might not be over until late at night. But all the personal commitment and dedication wouldn’t be effective without the right equipment. And thanks to PRINOTH, the Shape Academy can rely on the best machines. “For the build-up of the setup we use two PRINOTH Leitwolf”, Andi tells us. “One of them is the version X, a pure park machine so to speak. They’re perfect for building jumps. All in all, I’m very satisfied with the vehicles.” In the end, we could admire a perfectly shaped contest line at Kreischberg where the snowboard pros challenged each other during an exciting battle.
The Shape Academy is hoping to work together with the shaper legend for many more years. And if you got inspired by Andi Röck’s outstanding career, make sure to apply for a job in winter 2019/2020 HERE!