Snowboard Halfpipe (SBHP)

Halfpipe ski makes its Olympic debut in 1998. Halfpipes originated from surfing and then skateboarding when surfers in California decided that trying to skate in some huge storm drains and empty swimming pools might be a fun thing to do when the waves weren’t pumping. This eventually evolved into skate-specific halfpipe so the athletes could “drop in” (start off on the lip of the pipe).

Skateboarding moved over to the white waves when snowboard was introduced and snowboarders decided they wanted to bring what they had perfected on concrete over to the snow. To make a long story short, skiers saw the snowboarders flying out of the pipe and felt the desire to go higher. Voila! A new discipline was born.

As the sport has evolved, so have the tricks. Whereas a few years ago 1 1/2 spins and a bunch of grabs were the tricks of the day, now it is not uncommon to see two or three tricks involving two-and-a-half spins as well as double flips or variations of singles in one run. To match the evolution of the tricks, the pipe has been getting bigger and the standard competition pipe is now 22 meters wide.

In competition athletes are judged on: Amplitude: How much air athletes get out of the pipe, DD: The degree of difficulty of the tricks they perform, Execution: How well the athletes perform their tricks.