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What is a Superpipe?
For Immediate Release
HeadlineWhat is a Superpipe?
ResortSteamboat Ski Resort
DateSat Oct/29/05 18:16:19

Zaugg Pipe Monster
You've heard the term and you've probably seen one at least on television, but what makes a half-pipe a Superpipe? There's not really a standard definition out there so let's make one. A superpipe is a half-pipe on steroids. Or more precisely, a half pipe with near 90 degree vertical walls on both sides, over 16 feet tall and wider than the pipe is tall. The vertical wall is an almost strict 90 degrees and must maintain it's angle for at least the length of a snowboard or ski. Without this, tricks don't go as big and speed goes way down. Typically, superpipes are well over 16 feet in height and extend a minimum of 25 feet across but many are much wider.

Any Superpipe worth it's salt needs constant grooming by a special groomer made specifically for superpipes. Otherwise, the walls won't be crisp and you'll end up with a really big half-pipe instead. Superpipe's are actually "cut" from the snow. Some superpipes are framed from good old dirt and heavily packed with snow, while others are 100% snowmade. In-ground superpipes yield the longest seasons due to insulation.

A half-pipe is anything less than this. Half-pipe's can be groomed with your typical snow groomer and don't offer a full vertical lip. Superpipe's allow for big air and maximum spin.

Steamboat Ski Resort's Mavericks Superpipe photo credit:Steamboat/Larry Pierce

Superpipes have grown in popularity with 5 opening brand new for the 2005-2006 season.

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