How to Ride the Halfpipe
The halfpipe is very popular with younger snowboarders these days. This type of snowboarding which is called freestyle is a new addition to the sport. Because of its increase in popularity more resorts are installing halfpipes for boarders within the region to enjoy. Just like any other aspect of snowboarding there are few concepts and basic boarding ability a riding should know before entering one.
Like the other types of boarding, there is special gear required in order to achieve the best results in the pipe. A freestyler needs a board that is shorter, wider and has softer flex. This will make the board more responsive and forgiving on turns and bumps. These boards also have the same shape on the tail and tip making it easier to ride fakie. Be sure to research different boards before spending hard-earned cash on one.
The next important aspect of learning the halfpipe is knowing the parts of the pipe. The main parts of a halfpipe include flat, transitions, verticals, entry ramp, and deck. The flat of the pipe is the center floor that is level. Next are transitions or sometimes called trannies, which are the curved areas between the verticals of the pipe and the flat. Verticals are in between the transitions and top most corner of the walls which are called the lip. The next element in a halfpipe is the entry ramp, which is where the rider would start their attack. Lastly, there is the deck or platform. This is the flat area on the top of each wall. Typically, this is where bystanders will watch as boarders perform their runs. The roots of the halfpipe come directly from the sport of skateboarding. Nowadays this is the most popular aspect of snowboarding.
Understand that before hitting the halfpipe, this is not an area for beginners to learn basic moves. It takes time to master the techniques used in a halfpipe. A boarder interested in the halfpipe should have superior edging and turning abilities. It is also important to master being able to ride with either foot in front because this will be used often. The basic moves needed to maneuver within a halfpipe include traversing, jump turns, and slide turns. Begin to traverse the transitions of the halfpipe and become familiar with this move. Then once you become comfortable with this begin to do slide and jump turns. There are much more difficult and take physical strength as well as technique. It is best to learn from an instructor to ensure that these fundamental moves are being executed perfectly.
Enjoy practicing the halfpipe and before you know it, you will be showing off to your friends and peers at the snow parks.