Red Bull Double Pipe 2015 Day 1 Recap: The Evolution Of Pipe Riding

“Everyone’s a little nervous. They don’t know how to handle it yet. Which is good. You can’t just have the same comfort zone run all the time.” — Ben Ferguson

Building on last year’s platform, the Red Bull Double Pipe continues to offer an alternative to traditional pipe events, forcing riders to break away from the standard runs they’ve developed and think outside the walls. To understand why we arrived at the Double Pipe setup and what it means for competitive pipe riding we talked with competition director Liam Griffin, contest veteran Louie Vito, and up-and-comer Ben Ferguson.

Double Pipe will air as part of the Red Bull Signature Series via livestream March 12th at 11:30am PT/2:30pm ET on TWSNOW.com, and as a full-length broadcast March 14th at 1 p.m. ET on NBC (check local listings for West Coast times).

Course Layout

The behemoth. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

The behemoth. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

This year, the Double Pipe includes three distinct zones, incorporating elements of both halfpipe and slopestyle riding. The course starts with a step-up jump so the riders don't enter the double pipe carrying too much speed. From there, riders either drop into the right Superpipe and air over the channel gap or center spine, or ride through the channel to gain speed for the left Superpipe. A small take off was added to the top of the spine so riders can gap the channel from the flat top into the transition. Just over halfway down the center spine is notched down from 22-feet to 18-feet allowing riders to more easily transfer with a more laidback transition angle. The final zone features two wall rides, two rails and a volcano for riders to get creative on. Following Monday’s rider’s meeting the course continues to evolve based on the riders feedback.

The upper zone. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

The upper zone. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Greg Bretz working out a fronside invert on the lower zone. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Greg Bretz working out a fronside invert on the lower zone. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Red Bull Double Pipe 2015 Rider List

Stale Sandbech
Ayumu Hirano
Christian Haller
Greg Bretz
Louie Vito
Taylor Gold
Scotty James
Ben Ferguson
Gabe Ferguson
Benji Farrow
Arthur Longo
Jake Pates
David Habuetzel
Brett Esser
Taku Hiraoka
Chase Josey
Matt Ladley
Jan Scherrer
Nate Johnstone

Noticeably absent from this list is Danny Davis who was warming up in practice when he hung up and dislocated his shoulder. Medical staff was able to pop it back in and Danny left walking in a sling. Get well soon Danny.

Taylor Gold is still deciding whether to ride after landing hard on the coping at the US Open pipe.

Danny Davis on the volcano, prior to dislocating his shoulder. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Danny Davis on the volcano, prior to dislocating his shoulder. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Stay tuned for more coverage from the Double Pipe. The riding is only going to get better.