Atmosphere

Supersize

Breckenridge’s new halfpipe goes big.

By
February 2011

This winter, Breckenridge joins a handful of resorts around the country boasting 22-foot superpipes, the new standard-size halfpipe for the Olympics and Winter X Games. The pipe allows riders to go bigger and land tricks considered impossible just a few years ago. Here, a breakdown of why bigger is better.

Hangtime Greater height means riders stay airborne longer, providing more time for tricks like the double cork, a rotating head-over-heels double flip essential for elite snowboarders.

Amplitude Riders use the extra speed to consistently catapult 20-plus feet above the pipe’s deck—putting them four gut-clenching stories above the icy floor.

Height An extra four feet atop each wall gives riders an added gravitational assist for building their speed, which can exceed 30 miles per hour.

Length The new, longer superpipe also adds an extra 200 rideable feet so pros can execute six “hits” (jumps) per run, as opposed to just four in the old pipe.

Width At 64 feet wide, the new behemoth is nearly 19 percent wider than the old pipe, providing a larger, safer landing surface, and more transition time from one jump to the next.

Pitch With a consistent 17.5 percent grade from top to bottom on each wall, the superpipe is 13 percent steeper than its predecessor, enabling riders to maintain speed throughout a run