Halfpipe Snowboarding Competition

What is it?

Halfpipe Snowboarding Competition is matching yourself up against other pipe jocks to see who has the best combination of amplitude, style and technical tricks, all thrown down at just the right moment while the critiquing eye of the judges watch.

What does the
competition venue consist of?

  • Start area – Rider prep zone with a rider caller starter organizing shreds about to drop.
  • Fencing provide closer to keep crowd a safe distance from the lip of the pipe and allow space for photographers and the riders to hike back to the top.
  • Drop in Mound – A pitch above the beginning of the Halfpipe shape used to get speed for the drop-in.
  • The Halfpipe – With flat-bottom, transitions, vert and deck, Refer to freestyle features for details.
  • Judges table or stand – Always at the bottom of the Halfpipe the judges are posted up to keep a watchful eye on each competitor as they take their runs.
  • DJ – pumping out the tunes for riders and watchers alike.

How do you win, or lose?

3-5 judges will score on a specified scale to assign a score to each run. The riders score is the sum of the judges scores. Judges score each rider based on:

  • Flow – How fluid is the rider in line choice, execution of maneuvers, landing and movement through the course.
  • Creativity of line – How well does the rider make creative / artistic use of the halfpipe
  • Technical difficulty – How hard are the moves and how well are they being performed.
  • Amplitude – How big do they go, top to bottom. The amplitude usually just factors into the overall impression score and it is more important to be consistently 8 feet out all the way down, rather than 12 feet first hit then small the rest of the way.
  • Style – The most hard to describe, but the most important.

Like in Slopestyle, most often the event is made up of a practice session, followed by the entire field taking 2 judged runs. The best score of the 2 runs will be used for ranking. In bigger events, there may be a cut performed to select finalist to compete in a second round final. The biggest events, like the US OPEN or the X-Games require a couple rounds of cuts

Keys to competing well

The key to competing well in Halfpipe Snowboarding Competition is about making use of the halfpipe as a painter would a canvas. With well thought out preparation and precision execution the rider will flow from trick to trick and make it look smooth and effortless. Ways to ensure the best score-

  • Land high, to carry and generate speed from hit to hit
  • Try to pick the most difficult tricks you can do comfortably on the features to choose from. Don’t go for the new or the hardest trick in your bag unless you are incredibly confident. It is usually better to do the tricks you can do well, as good as you can.
  • Make sure and put good energy into every hit all the way down.
  • Try to spin both ways, taking off forward and switch. This demonstrates a higher level of skill and the judges will respond.
  • Make sure your body language is positive even if it’s not what you meant to do. Act like, yeah that was dope right, even if it was a 5 instead of a 7, and be ready to adapt and change the game plan during your run if you have to.

Most Important Halfpipe Snowboarding Competition Events

Olympics, X-Games, US OPEN, World Super-pipe Championships

Olympic Outlook?

In 1998, Nagano Japan held the first Olympic Halfpipe Snowboarding Competition. It was a huge hit and now is one of the most popular and widely watched winter Olympic events. Yeah snowboarding....

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