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First time in half-pipe

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I enjoyed my first time in a half-pipe yesterday. The proper technique for launching and re-entry was much more difficult than I anticipated. My first time through I got good air but I would land on the top. It almost seems counter-intuitive to push off the wall on a horizontal plane prior to the launch. I never did get it right. The second time through I pushed off a little and I would land half in half out. The third time, I took it slower and just practiced getting turned around without any air.

I am interested in any suggestions for a progressive learning strategy.
post #2 of 9
Here's my tips for skiers in a half pipe:
1. Sit down on the lip. It's very comfortable dangling your skis over the edge, and everyone else can just go round you.
2. Stop about half way down and get a few friends together. Try to find the best way to block the biggest amount of the half pipe.
3. When someone else is going up the side, go straight down the middle, making them perform a great trick to avoid you.
4. Duck walk back up the middle - it will save you going along the edge.
5. Ask them to play classical music only.

Anyone else got tips for skiers in a half pipe?

post #3 of 9
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am not sure how to interpret the message behind the medium in Fox in the Hat's reply. I appreciate the humor if that was all it was supposed to be. If it was a personal statement about freeskiing, it disgusts me as much as or more than some of the attitudes of the GenX crowd. I despise traditionalist. They clog up the entry of positive innovations that enhance life. They eventually wither and are blown away by free-thinkers. The best snow-sport athletes of the future will not be in the traditional nordic events. They will be in the free-skiing arena. Just like the best cycling athletes will not be competing in road races. They will be in the mountain biking and free riding arena as long as the roadie traditionalist stay out of it. Canada's nordic ski team is already experiencing the loss of its best athletes to the free-skiing arena.

Please don't put me in a closed box either. I am a 39 year old father of 2. I bought a pair of twin-tip Soloman 1080s this year because I am getting my 4 year old twins started skiing and they were a great deal. However, I since I have them I might as well take advantage of the new terrain parks. The closest resort for me is fairly small. It is easy to become bored with the few black diamond runs. The resort built a terrain park and half-pipe. I really enjoyed the variety. I felt like I got a lot more value for my money. I am not the type to just play in the half-pipe. I will never take my skis off just to walk back up the pipe.

Again, if the response was just for laughs it was funny. If there was a hidden agenda behind it, please identify yourself on the mountain by wearing a blue suit, white dress shirt and a necktie like all the other old-world unemployed corporate managers.
post #5 of 9
Sorry, DD, you'll get used to me.
Every so often I just switch to my humour mode.

I don't play in terrain parks much, occasionally when I'm on my skiboards, so I'm not the best one to answer your question seriously, but there are guys here who'll give you useful advice. In this case, I'm not one of them!

Keep smiling, and keep enjoying the snow, however you want to do it!

post #6 of 9
Here are a couple drills I find very usefull in getting comfortable in the pipe.

Rock in'and out. Drop in on one wall, set your edge, carve across the bottom, and go up and out onto the deck of the other one. Sounds simple? Try it. You may have a few interesting moments. It will really help you to judge your speed.

Here is another one. Try this after you feel comfortable dropin' in and out. Drop in, and carry enough speed to get all the way up the opposite wall, so that your feet are just at the lip. Remain calm, and drop back down switch (twins please!). Very scary at first, it will go a long way in terms of comfort in the pipe, especially when you try a 360, or a straight stall air.

Get comfortable rolling in with some speed, not just from a standstill. You can use a "pre jump", or just retract your skis, and roll those tips down to get early contact with the vert. Do not air of the lip. Get your skis onto the snow as soon as possible, or keep them in contact as you roll in.

Once you are ready to go out, be sure to look at the sky, not the lip.

Also, try to avoid planting your pole. It is a nice balancing crutch, but really limits how far out you can get.

Pump yourself up the wall, and be sure not to extend into the pipe when you "pop". This could lead to landing in the flat at the bottom of the pipe, instead of early on the transition.

Have fun!
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip. I felt pretty good about dropping in. On my first 2 passes, I was flying out of the pipe and landing on the deck. I watched a kid going through. He was popping off the side wall. He wasn't getting any air but he was effectively getting around. He also did an alley-oop fairly well. My last couple of trys I reduced my speed and just practiced popping off the wall enough to turn around. I like the tip about coming back down without turning around (fakie). I have been practicing on-snow 180s and skiing backwards. But the pipe is a whole lot different. I have not tried launching a jump from a fakie or landing in a fakie.

To be honest, the hardest part is actually the embarrasment of looking stupid in front of a group of middle school kids.

I think skiing in the terrain parks and half-pipes is really going to help me improve my skiing overall.
post #8 of 9

I've played around in the pipe for a few seasons and haven't had much success with it. This season the school I work for hired a freestyle trainer and he's helped me out. Here's what I've learned.

Before this season I was having the same problem as you. Going out of the pipe and landing on the deck, or landing on the edge and then dropping back in.

At the top of the vert while getting airborn, I was flattening (parallel to the deck) my skis out to get on top of them like I would in a normal jump while rotating them back into the pipe. The correction I had to make was to rotate my skis back DOWN the pipe while keeping them parallel to the vert. Looking back into the pipe and bringing your uphill shoulder around will help. The movement feels similar to laying of the floor on your back and rolling over onto your stomach.

A few more tips...
Don't extend as you become airborn or you will ollie into the flats.

Try and leave the wall at the same angle you enter into it.

Extend as you are moving across the flats and flex as you start the transition to generate speed (pumping).

Good Luck.
post #9 of 9
hey Fox Hat...I wouldnt be making jokes about skiers in a half-pipe if you admit publicly that you own snowblades.
And...next time you "switch to your humor mode" make sure you include humor.
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