I am 95 percent sure that half-pipe skiing is the scariest thing of all time. Ever. In the world.
Dropping into a full-sized 7.5m tall pipe is a life-changing and ball-dropping experience that will make you think twice about whether or not you deserve those twin-tip skis.
Do not give up hope! You can totally conquer the half-pipe, all you need is a bit of help to boost your confidence. Thus, I’ve taken it upon myself to give you a few tips...
Get acquainted with the pipe
“Get used to the half-pipe,” says French superpipe extraordinaire Benoit Valentine. “Spend a lot of time doing straight airs, bigger and bigger and try to land at the top of the wall every time.”
Much like a violent lover, the difference between the best ride of your life and a painful beat-down is communication.
Hell, it won’t kill you to find a smaller pipe and practice catching the transitions on that. Much like the violent lover, surprises when (s)laying the pipe aren’t always a good thing.
You, my friend, are no god of the pipe just yet. Popping too hard or too little in a 7.5m superpipe will end you, so ignore those around you and pick your own pace. This means that you stay well within your skill level and stick to the tricks you know.
"Half-pipe is not like slopestyle. Don't try something you’ve never done on a trampoline, water-ramp, airbag, etc." insists the wise Benoit.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself
Just as the almighty Ice Cube demands, you better check yourself… because if you mess this up, you will wreck yourself. Think through your run in your mind before you drop and make sure you understand each and every hit. The margin of error in the half-pipe is too small to decide you’re going to double while you’re already halfway up the wall.
If you have ever ridden a half-pipe before, you will know that some mysterious force doubles your speed at the top of the wall. The god of the pipe (I like to think it’s Yoda) puts his invisible hand up your ass and insists you send it to the moon. “The fact that you have to deal with the deck is hard enough, so don't go too fast,” says Benoit. Listen to the man and scrub some speed until you know what you’re doing.
Enjoy the ride!
This one is easy…
Embrace the terror!
Half-pipe skiing may be a daunting experience, but that’s part of the fun. Yes, you are going to fall a few times. Yes, you are going to look like a noob in the beginning. Yes, you are going to poop yourself that one time you tried a flair but fell to the bottom of the pipe while everyone was laughing at me last February. But get back up there and make that pipe your bitch! I believe in you!