The Avoriaz MTB Team have been putting in the hard yards for over a decade, the slopes of Super Morzine have become a mecca for park rats, DH shredders and families alike with their well built and thoughtful approach to trail design that is rad where it needs to be, safe where it should be and offers features and trails to suit beginners all the way up to seasoned pro's.

Neil Sharp first moved to Morzine in 2006, after several years working as a chalet host, pizza chef, transfer driver, shop assistant, bike mechanic and shredding his snowboard in the park and his bike in the back country, he scored an  opportunity to join the shaper crew at Serma, the company the run the lift system, park, piste and trail network in Avoriaz, which includes Super Morzine and Lindarets. We took a pre season lap of the park to catch up with Neil, go for a quick ride and check out some of the work the crew have been putting in.

Who is Neil Sharp and how long have you been a shaper with Avoriaz MTB?
I'm 38 years old and i've been with the team for 7 years.
How did you get the job?
Basically being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people.
What's the best part of doing what you do?
For me, other than being luckily enough to work with a great team of guys, the best part is working outdoors. It’s where we're meant to be, whether its sunny or rainy. Obviously the sun is preferred. 
Your favourite features in the park?
I don’t really have a specific favourite feature, more certain parts of track that I like. For example: the first little road gap on Hattock then smashing into the left-hander and taking a high-line over the root section just after; or towards the end of Stand High Patrol after the tunnel, linking up the rollers and jumps; or the top section of Coupe de France in Lindarets, a narrow bit of track with plenty of rocks and tech. When you get sections like that dialled, it's such a great feeling.

The team behind the dream

avoriaz mtb super morzine dig crew
How do you guys decide what to build and where?
It's not an easy answer, lots of things to take into consideration, such as who owns the land, wether it is private land or public land. We're lucky here because the upper part of Super Morzine is on public land, we do share with the local farm. So we don't really have to ask so much for permissions. In terms of what we can put in, it depends on what kind of clientele we're going for, so we tend to have more of a family oriented appeal than what you might find in Chatel or Morgins for example.
How do you test the features?
We have a crash test dummy that we pay 10 cents a day and a pack of haribo, that will come and try anything that we think is not doable....when he's not available, generally we try and test them ourselves and we bring our bikes up. We also take alot of client feedback aswell, wether from Facebook or Instagram, the locals aswell. It's good to have that connection, especially with the local riding community, the tourists may bring in much of the money but the locals are here to stay, so important to have that feeback.
sat on a chairlift super morzine
What should every visitor do when they visit Avoriaz MTB?
Ride and have fun! If it’s within your capabilities, go and ride Hattock. It’s a mythical trail that has featured in a few films like 3 Minute Gaps, but more importantly was one of the original secret tracks built by Morzine locals back in the day (you guys know who you are). It’s changed a bit over time, had new jumps and sections added, but the general line is the same.  
What should every visitor NOT do when they visit Avoriaz MTB?
Litter! One part of our job is clearing up after you guys. Some items are unavoidable, like water bottles that fall when you land a jump and you don’t realise. But finding energy gel packets, inner tubes and especially tear-offs littering the trails is a real downer. It just shouldn’t happen.
What do you think of all the 'ghetto gaps' around the park, do you ever build with these in mind?
The “ghetto gaps” (cool name bro) happen naturally, they aren’t planned at all. It’s all in the eyes of the rider. Obviously a potential gap for one rider won’t be the same for another. Some have been pretty impressive.
Are there any restrictions planned for 2020?
Well it's very uncertain times we live in at the moment, as everyone has been saying! We haven't had any advice at the moment as to wether to shut down features or not to open things, we're still deciding how things will wokr with the lifts. Les Gets is opening this weekend (30th May) and everyone else will be open at pretty much the same time after that, so that will give us a bit of guide to see how things may or may not work. We want to keep the park open as much as possible for people to enjoy, to have fun, all for the love of bikes.
Much love to whole team @AvoriazMTB
Neil Sharp / @sharpography
Jean-Noel Calvet
Ben Taberlet
Niko Rosset
Michael Perrot
Pierrick Pineau
Ronan Lebras
Quentin Stuckle
Images @Tom Hardman / @MTB Beds

Interview shot with @GoPro Hero 8 Black

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