How to Ride a Halfpipe on a Snowboard

Riding the half pipe can be a daunting task to most snowboarders, massive 22ft walls, ice and a whole lot of pros lining up to drop in.

So where do you start if you want to learn the basics of riding pipe without looking like a complete newbie?

Riding the halfpipe for beginners

Before we even enter the pipe, we need to get some basic wall riding tips down.

When riding a half pipe on your snowboard, it is important to remember you Carve (hold an edge) through the centre (bottom of pipe) and flatten out the edge angle towards the top. (Up the wall)

So now that you understand that, let’s get into the progression.

Halfpipe full video progressions is only available for Online Snowboard Coach members…Click here to Join OSC lab

NOTE: Want to learn how to stay balanced and controlled when Riding steeps on a snowboard? Simply download this bad habits cheat sheet to gain an unfair advantage on the hill. Learn what bad habits snowboarders make so you can AVOID them to progress faster and maintain balance and control easier…check it out now!

black diamond trails on a snowboard

Before we even get into the pipe, I want you to do some drills on the snow, just to get you use to rolling the snowboard from edge to flat board.

For this exercise we are going to use the side cut and edge tilt of our board, we will be making the shape of a U in the snow

SNOWBOARDING HALFPIPE TIPS:

Start by pointing your board down the hill with an ever so slightly flat board, at this point start rolling onto your toe side edge and steering your board across and back up the hill.

Through the bottom of the turn , I want you to focus of edge angle and tilt, as you start steering your board back up the hill, I want you to slow start rolling the base of your board back out to the starting position…

A slight edge with a flat base.

Now repeat of heel side edge.

Once you feel comfortable and understand what the motion is, we are now going to practice this in the pipe.

At first the pipe can be very intimating and scary, but now’s the time to grab your you know what and just do it.

NOTE: Halfpipe full video progressions is only available for Online Snowboard Coach members…Click here to Join OSC lab

For your first run down the pipe, I recommend just making small turns through the pipe.

This will help you get use to the walls and comfortable with your surroundings.

jumping on a snowboard

This is where it starts to get a little bit more interesting, this time instead of changing edges on the base of the wall, I want you to steer your board up the pipe and hop jump into the new edge change.

Take this extremely slow at first but with practice, soon you will be able to steer your board up the wall and let momentum carry you into the hop turn.

Keep your stance low and centred, don’t lean back when you start riding up the wall, and always be perpendicular with the wall.

It is highly important you have good anticipation into the hop turn, look and point to where you want to go.

Remember flat board at top, create edge angle through the bottom and flatten out again.

Try and keep your knees wide and relaxed, don’t get caught in the trap of triangle knees, this limits your flexion and extension.

Take your time learning this, you will get smashed if you try and force this progression, go for a smooth, easy style of riding.

NOTE: Halfpipe full video progressions is only available for Online Snowboard Coach members…Click here to Join OSC lab

Never Ollie out of the pipe!

Always use the hop jump so you get used to flowing with the angle of the walls, pipes these days are maintained pretty well and if you use this progression, eventually when you get to the top of the lip, you will be able to flow out of the pipe smooth and with style.

When it comes to the time of dropping in, start off slow and work your way up to dropping in from the very top.

You must absorb the lip if you decide to drop in from the top, suck it up with your knees or Ollie the lip into the wall.

When you drop into the pipe, you must land perpendicular onto the wall with a slight edge.

Take your time and watch how others do it, you’ll pick it up fast enough.

WORD OF WARNING:

Never Ollie out of the lip of a half pipe, you will push yourself off the wall and end up dropping 22ft back into the center of the pipe….

DON’T DO THIS….’I did and it sucked’ it was more like 28ft.

Enjoy, and be safe.

NOTE: Want to learn how to stay balanced and controlled when Riding steeps on a snowboard? Simply download this bad habits cheat sheet to gain an unfair advantage on the hill. Learn what bad habits snowboarders make so you can AVOID them to progress faster and maintain balance and control easier…check it out now!

black diamond trails on a snowboard

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Logan
Logan

Logan is the founder of Online Snowboard coach and has been coaching people how to snowboard for over 12 years...

Please Leave a comment

    2 replies to "Half Pipe On A Snowboard"

    • Alan Shelley

      What’s the best edge angles for a board in the half pipe?

      • Logan

        Hi Alan,

        Generally speaking, you want to leave the lip of the pipe with a flat board (Leave and re-enter the pipe) and as you traverse through the Lower transitions and center, you would ideally have some edge angle combined with flexion and extension for pressure control!

        Depending on your level, this might be a bit challenging so I would recommend just steering your snowboard up the wall to lose speed and when you feel comfortable, perform a hop turn and change onto the new edge (jump and turn at the same time)…over time your confidence, skill set and speed will increase and you’ll naturally start to flatten out the board and let gravity take you down the pipe!

        Please let me know if this helps…cheers, Logan

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