Axis Freestyle Academy
Axis Freestyle Academy is Canada's first all-in-one, year-round Dryslope Freestyle Training Facility for Skiing and Snowboarding. It features a dryslope and specialty trampolines, and offers drop-in open gym sessions ($15-23 for two hours), coached sessions ($25-35 per session), and other classes.
Axis is located in Vaughan in a huge facility. Inside, there's a small reception area with retail goods, gender-neutral washrooms, and individual change rooms. The facility opens up into a larger space that houses the dryslope and the trampoline zone.
Mimicking the feel of snow, the dryslope allows you to practice skiing and snowboarding throughout the year using your own equipment. The slope is 40 feet wide, which allows for four individual run lines to be used simultaneously.
Opposite the dryslope is the trampoline zone, which includes three 7'x 4' fly-beds, a 10'x10' square trampoline, and a 20'x20' foam pit.
Though I treated it as an adult-acceptable bouncy castle, the actual point of the trampoline is to enhance your aerial awareness and body control, and to learn how to flip, twist, and rotate in a safe environment.
Upstairs, there's a large multipurpose room that is used for yoga and private parties. There's also a big mezzanine that overlooks the dryslope and trampoline zone for doting parents and envious non-athletic children to observe their adorable children and smug siblings, respectively.
Though all the equipment is cool and unique, the best part of Axis is the positive attitude being fostered by the founders and staff members. The space is decorated with positive and motivational quotes from athletes like Muhammad Ali , and Axis has a strict zero tolerance policy outlawing any form of negativity, including certain skiing slang for inexperienced or bad skiers.
As a unathletic person whose yoga instructor audibly sighs when she comes over to correct my perpetually incorrect downward dog, it's nice to have an environment where the focus is on positivity.
Writing by Martha Stortz. Photos by Jesse Milns.