Growing up in Virginia it didn't take Day Franzen long to realize the best snowboarding terrain is what you build yourself. After mastering the basics of Jumps 101, Franzen was soon driving snowcats with Massanutten's park crew and since then he's made a career of designing and building features and parks of national acclaim. He most recently owned and operated Kingvale Terrain Project, in Lake Tahoe—a shredder's wonderland that oozed stylish flow, while stimulating rider progression as one of the first all-park mountains in North America.
Franzen is now leading the team at Mount Snow's Carinthia Parks, as the new Freestyle Terrain Manager. OnTheSnow was able to catch up with him to talk park design, reminisce about the Kingvale days and hear about what he’s looking forward to in Vermont. Part Two of the interview is below. Click here to read Part One.
OnTheSnow: Must be a cool feeling seeing pro riders hit your features whether it's in videos, photos or a magazine spread. Can you describe it?
Day Franzen: There is a sense of pride seeing something you created in your head come out in snow and steel. Seeing kids ride things to their full potential and doing things I never dreamed of on features is amazing. It’s awesome to see progression happen this way in the features and the riders.
OTS: That must have been even more powerful at Kingvale. The rider community was super bummed when things got shut down. Is that still a sore subject for you?
DF: Wow, I could write a novel on this topic. It’s still a sore topic these days. We had kids so bummed they boycotted riding for the season.
OTS: That's nuts. Did you learn a lot from the experience?
DF: So many lessons learned. Number one for sure though is buy the land... don’t lease.
OTS: Any hopes to re-open your own park someday?
DF: I don’t know. I‘m honestly super glad to be away from the landlord drama these days. It feels good to be done with that chapter and to move on to a new park.
OTS: Yeah, let's talk about Mount Snow and Carinthia. How does it feel to be back on the east coast?
DF: It has been amazing to be back on this side of the country. There are a ton of differences between the two, but the East Coast will always be home.
Franzen's creations at Kingvale were so innovative that he developed a dedicated following among Cali skiers and riders.
OTS: What’s your goal for Carinthia?
DF: I see Carinthia as an amazing opportunity for Mount Snow. They have created an amazing program. The dedication to the parks is top priority for them. My goal for Carinthia is to help the parks progress even further and to have some truly unique features.
OTS: Any challenges you see with the snow and working on the East Coast?
DF: More snow is always better, but I started driving a cat in VA, so I know both ends of the spectrum. The cold factor will be a challenge as far as changing features.
OTS: No doubt you’ve seen the latest reader poll from TransWorld Snowboarding... what was your response to Mount Snow’s ranking?
DF: I think it’s great Mount Snow was ranked again. Hopefully we can get the number one spot back on TW Snow as well.
OTS: We're sure you've heard Seven Springs is building the first urban park with Snow Park Technologies. Any plans to “urbanize” Carinthia?
DF: I always think in urban terms, but I try not to bite others' ideas unless I can build on it. Those guys at Seven have been killing it. They got some sweet features going on.
OTS: Any preview or teasers you can give for this season?
DF: XL TANKS and some custom features and a new team rider.
OTS: Got a few parting tips for backyard park builders?
DF: Use screws not nails. Get a Honda 11HP snowblower. Rock salt.