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skiing on Halfpipe technique

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
How should I initiate a turn on halfpipe with my skis ??

Should I bent my knee a little bit and then turn my shoulder, extend my leg to initiate the turn when I approach the top of the pipe ?

What should be the ski line ? should I just shoot all the way up and then turn while in the air ? When I shoot high in the air , I find myself ended up landing on the side of the halfpipe. Should I turn while I am in the air, or should I prepare to turn before the whole skis are in the air ??

I cannot find any article on this topic. Please give me some tips , thanks!
post #2 of 9

There are a few keys to keeping it smooth in the pipe.

First, you want to make sure you are not jumping as much as 'popping' - alot of people have a tendency to jump when they approach the lip, and immediately find themselves perpendicular to the ground, instead of some type of parallel to it.

Start by going for real flat turns, i.e. don't go straight up the wall hoping to bust 12 feet out of the pipe, approach it at a 45 degree angle, so you don't really need to even turn too much to stay flowing. As you approach the lip, focus a little higher than the lip, pop off (you don't really need to get above the lip to do this), and allow your head to focus on the landing, which should be back in the pipe.

Your body always will follow your head, so if you look back in the pipe, you'll land back in the pipe...

Hope this helps a little, it's kind of tough to describe without pictures...
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks jpc! I will practise with your tips next time.
post #4 of 9
I've started skiing the halfpipe recently.It's a lot of fun,if you have access to a decent halfpipe you will learn quite fast to catch airs.It took me about 3 days to make consistent smooth runs getting little air (1/2m) on each hit.The feeling is great...and addictive.
-Start slow.
All pipes are different,and they change everyday as they are re-machined.Get a feel for the transition and how much vert it has at the top.
-At first aim to rotate at the vertical section just below the lip,DON'T jump or you will land inside the pipe in the flat part(ouch!).If the pipe has no vert section you will need to jump a bit in order not to land outside the pipe as you catch air.
-As you slow down,rotate head-hands-shoulders and absorb your legs a bit.Keep your hands forward.If you enter and exit at 45 degrees you only need to rotate 90deg,easy.
-Aim to land about 1 foot below the coping(top edge of the pipe).When you get it right the landings are buttery smooth.
-As you get confident increase speed to rotate over the coping.
That's where i am right now,what i find hardest is judging how much to jump or not in order to land right below the coping and not inside or outside.I guess it's a matter of experience.
post #5 of 9
Just thought I'd provide some alternate instruction from Phil Belanger - out of this months Freeze magazine:


Straigh Air with Phil Belanger

1) Make sure you have good momentum. You don't want to check your speed between your drop into the pipe and your takeoff. It can put you in the backseat or too far forward as you approach the wall. Make a progressive cut into the wall. Make sure you're on your edges until you're about 3/4 up the wall.

2) When you're almost at the top of the wall, flatten your skis and pop. The pop is very important. You have to see if the pipe is undervert, oververt or just right. After you figure it out, adjust your pop accordingly.

3) Now boost with your best grab. Hold it for as long as possible while you look down at your landing.

4) When you're coming back down into the pipe, make sure you land forward and in the transition.

5) If you've done it right, you'll have plenty of speed heading into the next hit.


Hope this helps...
post #6 of 9
Originally posted by jpc:

There are a few keys to keeping it smooth in the pipe.

First, you want to make sure you are not jumping as much as 'popping'...QB]
could you elaborate a bit on the difference between jumping and popping? Thanks...
post #7 of 9
RE: Jumping vs. Popping..

The real answer is you'll know it when you do it [img]smile.gif[/img] ...Seriously I guess with 'jumping' - I envision a knees bent, then extend and explosion off a lip - a lot of upward direction, alot of exertion by the skier to get in the air. This can cause some instability since you used so much energy taking off...

Popping is more using the lip/jump/hump whatever to get you in the air - a little more fluid, less effort. Picture lifting the tips in the direction the jump is taking you, and in the pipe - you kind of push off the tails as you leave the lip. This lets the jump/lip do most of the work, you are just making sure you aren't dead weight...

hope this helps a little...it's pretty tough to describe..
post #8 of 9
Thanks jpc--

seems to make sense. Popping sounds like a more subtle movement when compared to jumping. I am really wanting to experiment in the pipe w/out killing myself. There's a very cool website that demonstrates catching air in the pipe (among other things):


Use the search feature and select "Easy" for skill level. Next scroll down to "Cathcing air in the pipe."

[ March 04, 2003, 08:14 AM: Message edited by: ski_steep ]
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
The video are very interesting, really enjoy watching it while trying to learn from it. I am getting improvement on pipe riding, starting to get the feel of popping, but still need to find the right timing. I guess I will need more practise to make it more consistent. Thanks guys.
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