Superpipe

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Side view of a snowpipe

A superpipe is a large halfpipe structure used in extreme sports such as snowboarding, freestyle skiing, skateboarding, freestyle BMX and Vert Skating.

For winter sports the term "superpipe" is used to describe a halfpipe built of snow which has walls 22 ft (6.7 m) high from the flat bottom on both sides. Other features of a "superpipe" are the width of the pipe is wider than the walls are tall and the walls extend to near vertical. In the FIS snowboard world cup rules the recommended width for 22 ft (6.7 m) walls is 64 ft (20 m).

[1][2] The name term "superpipe" has evolved over the years as the size of halfpipes have grown. Originally 18 ft (5.5 m) halfpipes were known as "superpipes", but during the early 2000s major competition organizers listened to rider feedback and began constructing 22' halfpipes for competitions. These became known as "superpipes" and the 18' halfpipes they replaced are now known as standard sized halfpipes. While intimidating, the 22' wall size has proven very popular with athletes, and looks to be the competition standard for the foreseeable future.

The length of a superpipe ranges from 400 ft (120 m) to 600 ft (180 m), depending on available terrain and construction funding. All halfpipes require extensive grooming by specialized equipment. In contrast, a natural snow halfpipe can be cleaned by a normal snow groomer. Because of the high expense of constructing and maintaining them, there are not that many halfpipes in the world, and very few true superpipes. During the 2013–2014 northern hemisphere winter only fourteen 22' superpipes existed globally.

While 22' superpipes are standard for all major competitions, many ski resorts have smaller halfpipes ranging in size from 12 ft (3.7 m) to 18 ft (5.5 m). 18' is the most popular size globally for halfpipes.

Front view of a Snowpipe

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What is a Superpipe? / SlopeQuest Winter Sports News". Slopequest.com. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]