Around this time, the perfect storm of halfpipe progression began to form. Pipes got bigger and better thanks to dedicated park builders and the invention of the pipe dragon, a machine designed to cut a perfect wall instead of shaping them by hand. Events such as the Arctic Challenge contributed to the riders’ ability to progress and ultimately go bigger. In 2002, the US Snowboarding Team swept the podium at Salt Lake City, resulting in one of the most popular Olympic events ever. As halfpipe popularity grew, so did its exposure to the mainstream, giving rise to some of the first international snowboarding superstars.
Lift-off: The Story of the Superpipe, presented by Toyota, originally aired on NBC as a 43-minute special and is now a four-part web series. Watch for new episodes dropping weekly starting on April 14th on DewTour.com.
From their humble beginnings as small, hand-dug ditches to the massive, 22-foot tall modified superpipes of today, halfpipes have undergone an incredible transformation over the years. What once started as a small niche of snow sports, competing in transition is now one of the most eye-catching and recognizable disciplines in the world. Momentous events have contributed to its evolution, including the double-cork arms race, the pipe dragon’s invention, the inclusion of halfpipe snowboarding in the Olympics, and much more. In this four-part series, we’ll dig into the history of the halfpipe and get insight directly from the riders, legends, and park builders who have contributed to its enormous growth in popularity over the years.
Featuring new and archival interviews from:
Kelly Clark, Todd Richards, Danny Davis, Shaun White, Chloe Kim, Red Gerard, Louie Vito, Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, Torin Yater-Wallace, Hannah Teter, JJ Thomas, Scotty James, Terje Haakonsen, Iouri Podladtchikov, Alex Ferreira, and more.