Snowboarding, at this point, has officially entered the mainstream. Networks are interested, contracts are being signed, and sponsor obligations are growing. In 2008, the Dew Tour officially entered the contest space, ushering in a new era of competition. In 2009, the double-cork entered the scene, causing the pipe to become the center of a full-on progression arms race. At the same time, the real dangers and realities of this exponential progression in the pipe began to unfold. Kevin Pearce’s traumatic brain injury and the tragic loss of Sarah Burke marked significant turning points for competitive snowboarders, causing many to question if all the risk was really worth it.
Lift-off: The Story of the Superpipe, presented by Toyota, originally aired on NBC as a 43-minute special and is now a four-part web series. Watch for new episodes dropping weekly starting on April 14th on DewTour.com.
From their humble beginnings as small, hand-dug ditches to the massive, 22-foot tall modified superpipes of today, halfpipes have undergone an incredible transformation over the years. What once started as a small niche of snow sports, competing in transition is now one of the most eye-catching and recognizable disciplines in the world. Momentous events have contributed to its evolution, including the double-cork arms race, the pipe dragon’s invention, the inclusion of halfpipe snowboarding in the Olympics, and much more. In this four-part series, we’ll dig into the history of the halfpipe and get insight directly from the riders, legends, and park builders who have contributed to its enormous growth in popularity over the years.
Featuring new and archival interviews from:
Kelly Clark, Todd Richards, Danny Davis, Shaun White, Chloe Kim, Red Gerard, Louie Vito, Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, Torin Yater-Wallace, Hannah Teter, JJ Thomas, Scotty James, Terje Haakonsen, Iouri Podladtchikov, Alex Ferreira, and more.