Coming March 22-23, some of the world's best snowboarders will descend on Aspen, Colorado for a contest unlike anything ever seen before. For the first time ever, two 22-foot superpipes will be constructed side-by-side, complete with rails, wallrides, channels and other unique features sprinkled throughout the custom built snow feature. Located at the base of Buttermilk, the double pipe will allow riders to transfer back and forth between the two halfpipes in a single run, opening up an endless number of potential lines and combination of tricks that are not possible in traditional halfpipe contests.
Thus far, 16 riders have confirmed their attendance at the Red Bull Double Pipe event, including 11 current and former Olympians. Additional names will be announced prior to the event, so check redbull.com/doublepipe for the most up-to-date athlete list and event updates. The list of current competitors includes:
On Saturday, March 22 all competitors will ride in a three-hour jam-session during the semifinals. Riders can drop-in to the halfpipes at any time during the open session in order to warm-up and practice their runs, then once they are ready, each person will notify the starter so their run will be officially judged. Each competitor can take up to three judged runs during the three-hour time period with the best single run score counting towards the overall ranking. The Top eight competitors will advance to Sunday's final.
During Sunday's finals, the top eight riders will start in reverse order (from eighth through to first), with each competitor taking a total of three runs. The overall winners will be determined by their single best score out of the three runs.
For both the semifinals and the finals, riders will be judged based on overall impression on a 1-100 point scale, taking into account not only their technical abilities, but also their style, creativity and use of the course.
"What's great about this style of event format is it's designed to maintain a fun atmosphere during the contest, replicating the feel of a regular day on the mountain and having fun riding with your friends," says Competition Director Liam Griffin. "Because this double pipe feature is so unique and unlike any typical halfpipe competition, we want to utilize a format that also reflects the creative style we expect to see during the contest. That's also why we're going to judge on overall impression rather than individual tricks, or specific criteria such as amplitude and difficulty, because we expect the riders to use both Superpipes in a single run and develop potential trick combinations that have never been seen before."
Each Superpipe in the Red Bull Double Pipe feature will be over 550-feet long, approximately 68-feet wide, and 22-feet tall with an approximate four-foot wide spine located in between each pipe. Including the outside walls, the overall feature will be 180-feet wide, making it the largest halfpipe structure built to date.
The Red Bull Double Pipe contest will air on NBC, Saturday April 12, at 2 p.m. EST, as part of the Red Bull Signature Series, and spectators are encouraged to attend the live contest at Buttermilk as the event will be free and open to the public. The current Superpipe located on Buttermilk will be closed to the public during the event construction efforts, but following the contest, the Red Bull Double Pipe will be open for the public to ride the same amazing course as the pros.