Natural Features that Are Fun to Hit When Snowboarding or Skiing

It may seem unusual for skiers and snowboarders who have Mammoth Mountain’sworld famous terrain parks in their backyards to talk about natural features, but even with Mammoth’s parks the team at ASO Mammothis always looking to explore the mountain. 

Whether it’s a reliable knuckle we hit every year or a log that fell in the off season, we love finding new and unique natural features and are always exploring to find more. To help you do the same, the ASO Mammoth team has put together a quick list of natural features to keep an eye out for on the mountain. Check it out below!


A knuckle is a sudden flat followed by a steep drop on a slope, typically with a steep incline leading up to it that allows riders to build up speed on their approach. Thanks to the sudden drop, knuckles allow riders with the right amount of speed to throw tricks that require big air even though there isn’t a built jump. As a result, knuckles offer riders and skiers the chance to throw everything from a hand drags to inverts.  

Knuckles are popular because the lack of a jump allows riders and skiers to open up their bag of tricks, but what makes them even more popular is that they’re easy to find. Just about every resort has a knuckle somewhere, and they’re a natural stopping point on slopes which makes them easy to spot thanks to other riders and skiers stopping on top of.

That being said, while knuckles are fun they are also usually very crowded and marked as slow zones to prevent collisions. On top of that, knuckle are often located on wide, popular slopes, so before you throw anything off of a knuckle make sure the area is clear and never push your riding out of control. If an area is marked as a slow zone, it is for a good reason, so obey all trail markers.


A roller is similar to a knuckle in the way that it often occurs on groomed slopes and is a great opportunity to throw a quick trick. However, rollers are often harder to spot and don’t offer nearly as much air.

A roller is a small bump somewhere on a slope that offers anyone with a decent ollie and some speed a quick, natural jump. Like knuckles, since rollers are often on groomed slopes you must consider other riders before you hit one. Once again, never ride out of control and always follow trail markers.


To find a good log, you’ll probably have to explore away from the groomed runs as logs are mainly found in wooded areas or around their edges. Don’t let the extra effort steer you away from logs though, as they are typically an approachable feature to hit away from the terrain parks. Unlike other natural features like cliffs or chutes, logs are typically easy to hit thanks to their easy run ups and easy landings. 

Before you hit a log, always check if the log can support you and spot your landing to make sure you have a plan to ride away. Since logs are typically away from the trail, there’s no telling what could be underneath the snow at the landing, so approach logs with caution.What are your favorite natural features to hit? If we haven’t mentioned them here and you find one at Mammoth stop by ASO Mammoth and let us know so we can add it to our list, and of course, if you need ski and snowboard gear or rentals then come into the shop for the best gear on the mountain!

Leave a Comment