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Halfpipe Snowboarding | Half Pipes | Halfpipes

A Halfpipe is basically a U-shaped bowl that allows riders to move from one wall to the other by making jumps and performing Snowboarding Tricks on each transition. Half pipes originated in skateboarding, and the whole phenomenon has now made its way to snowboarding. In this section, we are going to look at halfpipes such as you might encounter in Snow Resorts and Snowboard Parks Worldwide. To start with, let's take a look at the Halfpipe Schematic drawn below:

Snowboarding Halfpipe Schematic

A Halfpipe Schematic

These are the Elements of a Halfpipe:
  • Flat
    Is the center flat floor of the Halfpipe
  • Transitions/Trannies
    The curved transition between the horizontal flat and the vertical walls
  • Verticals/Verts
    The vertical parts of the walls between the Lip and the Transitions
  • Platform/Deck
    The horizontal flat platform on top of the wall
  • Entry Ramp
    The beginning of the halfpipe where you start your run

Halfpipe Snowboarding

Before you start, keep this in mind: a Halfpipe is no beginner's terrain. You will need excellent edge- and turning control before you try your first run. Make sure you are able to ride fakie as well since you'll probably do it a lot in the Halfpipe. It would help a lot with the transitions between the flats and the walls of the pipe if you can jump smoothly. Moreover, to make your run less trying when you start out, try starting a bit further down the pipe. You can go further up the pipe to take your runs as you improve your skills.

When riding the Halfpipe for the first time, it is important that you practice first. You can do this by simply traversing the transitions of the Halfpipe, similar with what you did when Learning How to Ride Down Regular Slopes. It is a weird sensation going up and down the same slope when all you are used to are one way descends.

Slide Turns
Once you have quite gotten the feeling, you can try real turns. You will be making turns up and down the same slope so you have to learn how to roll your edges. Rolling your edges means that you will be ascending the transition with one edge and descending with the opposite edge. Practice the Slide Turns by going higher and higher up in the transition.

Jump Turns
Once you are going higher and higher up the wall, you will at one time almost take-off into the air, leaving the lip of the wall. Go for it and make a little jump at the lip, and turn in mid air. As with all jumps, keep your knees bent in the landing and close to your body while in the air. Try getting more and more air and make sure to concentrate on the lip. You do not want to land on the platform with your nose digging into it.

Well, those are the basics of riding the Halfpipe. As you are able to jump higher and higher you will probably want to start showing off some tricks. You can read and learn all about Halfpipe tricks in our Halfpipe & Obstacle Tricks section.

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Article Comments
Snowboard Bulgaria
Sunday 27th September 2009 at 4:04:23 AM  

Here in Pamporovo we have a half pipe, but it''s really a beginners one. So it was easy for me to learn how to ride it. And the most important thing for me was building up a momentum while riding in the pipe. Once you drop down the walls it''s good to just practice riding in the pipe and building speed. This will help you later on with the tricks and the speed that''s needed to perform higher jumps and more advanced tricks.

Monday 9th November 2009 at 10:52:43 PM  

is this a old Schematic? i think most pipe now is 3-5m from lip to flat. being tal i pefur 5m.

J.C. Bouter
Tuesday 26th January 2010 at 4:51:46 AM  

helo may we have your half pipe use as a picture for our made website


Robert and lesley

sammy g
Friday 12th February 2010 at 10:38:29 AM  

iloveyou :)n a lil d here n there. comment back. from david fedewa portland michigan

ted mast
Friday 19th February 2010 at 3:08:59 AM  

Is there a vertical decline from the entry to the finish line? How steep?

sameri sam
Wednesday 3rd March 2010 at 5:28:22 PM  

your website is the best i Lve you

Thursday 18th March 2010 at 3:54:20 PM  

Maybe post what its about and not how to play it.

Sunday 31st October 2010 at 12:11:42 PM  

Ok normally this website is really helpful, but this halfpipe page is just not helping me at all. I was hoping for info on how to transfer your weight in the transitions, how to jump past the lip if you''re a small person, and the best way to drop in backside.
@ ted mast Yes, there generally is a vertical decline as the pipe goes down the hill, but every pipe I''ve seen it has not been very steep.

Tuesday 25th January 2011 at 9:25:11 AM  

a cool sport

snowboard halfpipe
Tuesday 25th January 2011 at 5:23:02 PM  

Great halfpipe diagram, last year Keystone resort had a half-bowl at the end of their terrain park, it was an awesome new twist to see in the freestyle section!

Wednesday 2nd February 2011 at 7:35:53 PM  

I want to help fulfil one of my grandpas wishes,

I was talking with my grandpa one day and he told me that he was watching a show with skiers,
he said he was extremely interested in how
they kept the snow on the pipe
but he was also interested about the fact that
at the end of the competition, the snow immideatly melted off the pipe.
He would really enjoy being able to observe how you would get the snow to stay on.

bill Hull
Wednesday 1st February 2012 at 9:54:51 AM  

They could construct safer halfpipes. Simply add a 4 foot high safe zone with a 45 degree bank at the top of the pipe, so you don''t have that dangerous 90 degree lip and the hard flat on top. So if they don''t make it all the way back into the pipe, they at least land on a 45 degree bank rather than slamming down hard on the flat. Mark the transition between the pipe and the safe zone and deduct points for landing in the safe zone.

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