My local mountain sucks. If you live in (or near) Oslo, then you know of Tryvann and you know what I'm talking about. The jumps don't work, the half-pipe could be more likened to half a box and the rails are direly unkempt. Each day that I go there, the first lap is reserved for jokes and awkward attempts to clear everything and all subsequent laps for bitching about it to no avail.
However, in a stroke of genius, one day they fucked up so hard that they completely forgot to put a kicker onto one of their rails. A 6 meter long flat box lying dead in the middle of the upper part of the park... It was the most fun rail I've ever hit.
I spent the rest of the day lapping this box. Every approach to it was something completely new to me and physically took a lot of effort not only to get onto it but to make the trick look half decent ("steezey" I think the kids call it). After about 50 fast plants onto the front of the box later, I was snaked by some asshole snowboarders who just popped right onto it from the side. Jealous, I decided to try my hand at approaching it like they did... This is when I discovered the joys of the ollie.
As much as it hurts to admit, those asshole snowboarders were onto something. Being a former skateboarder, I should have realized the greatness of the ollie sooner. But now that I know what's up, I find it hard to look at rails the same way as I used to. The jump has become less of a tool and more of a hinderance. I'm not quite at Travelling Circus level, but something's definitely changed.
If you've made it this far congratulations. I owe you some karma.
CONCLUSION (skip to here because I know you're lazy):
The hunt for creativity isn't necessarily about adding elements and features, it could just as easily be about taking them away. I think it's time we realized that skiers can ollie too so let's try getting rid of a few transitions and working those thigh muscles. Not every feature needs a jump...
I don't have any pictures of people ollie... ing, but here's a random shot of Walter Wood boostin' off a corner at Tryvann.
Walter Scott Wood