Sports

How are halfpipes created? – The New York Times

Dozens of skiers will try to dazzle the judges with their acrobatic stunts in the men’s and women’s freestyle skiing qualifying rounds, which begin on Thursday.

But how are halfpipes created?

Halfpipes are like baseball stadiums: No one is like the other, says Jake Ingle, 44, a former team US halfpipe contractor who helped build the baseball field at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Dirty walls that make up the casings of pipes and structures are often packed with artificial snow. Specialized snow generators with blades and other equipment used in dig out and shape half the tube.

The Olympic standards required The track is 600 feet long at 18 degrees and the U-shaped walls are 22 feet high and 64 feet apart from lip to lip.

In Pyeongchang, it took a team of about 40 people three weeks, working 10 to 12 hours a day, to build half of the competition.

Ingle says the steeper the half-pipe, the easier it is for opponents to maintain their pace.

Riders can get close to 20 feet of air above the lip of the pipe, which means it’s possible to go down a long distance if someone falls during the trick.

That’s part of the reason why builders spend so much time making sure that the snow is layered just right, says Ingle. “What you’re looking for is a chalky feel where it stays in shape but they can still get their edge,” he says.

If the snow is too soft, the pipes can start to fall out, which sometimes happens with natural snow. But it’s also not good if the snow is more like ice. The balance is subtle, says Ingle, and leans “a hair more towards the stiffer side, so it will hold its shape a bit more”.

He added: ‘The way to judge it is whether someone takes it off their lips, if you can see a speck of snow falling from the edge. “It’s the smoothness of the snow you’re looking for.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/16/sports/olympics/halfpipe-snowboarding-construction.html How are halfpipes created? – The New York Times

Fry Electronics Team

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