Snowboarding Half Pipe

By: Shannon Retzloff

Snowboarding is a fun, exciting sport, but it's also challenging. You need to have style, muscle and mostly, guts.

How It Is Played

Snowboarders strap on their boots, get on their board, and get ready for a wild ride. They go on courses with railings or pipes to slide on, they also have many opportunities to catch some air and impress the judges. Each run is scored on a scale of 0.1 to 10.0 by a panel of five judges. One judge scores standardized moves. A second judge scores amplitude, or height. Another judge scores quality of rotations. The fourth and fifth judges score overall impression. Falls and other mistakes lead to point deductions. The point deduction on the half pipe follows as below.

0.1 to 0.4 for unstable body, flat landings or lost air

0.5 to 0.9 for using your hand for stability

1.0 to 1.5 for minor falls or body contact with the snow

1.6 to 1.9 for complete falls

2.0 for a complete stop


If you want to snowboard, you need the right equipment so you do not get hurt. For the snowboard half pipe you need half pipe boots, bindings, gloves, a helmet and a half pipe board. Half pipe boots are soft and flexible so that you can do many tricks, twists, and turns. Bindings keep your boots on your board so that you don't fall off. A helmet protects your head when you fall. Gloves keep your hands warm in the snow. A half pipe board has up-turned edges so that you can land easily.

The Physics

Snowboarding is pretty cool, but it's even more amazing when you think about the physics. There is physics everywhere when you think about it. First of all, snowboarding is all about speed and momentum. You have to get lots of speed to do the jumps and to not fall. When a snowboarder launches down a ramp the potential energy gets converted to kinetic energy. When they take off the ground their generating a lot of velocity so they have kinetic energy. As they go in the air gravity is slowing them down, so their actually losing kinetic energy and it's being converted to potential energy. As gravity pulls snowboarders down the half pipe they gain speed, but at the same time their being pushed against the side of the half pipe by contact forces by the surface of the snow. To

gain speed snowboarders pump their legs against the G-forces.


So, we learned that you need special equipment to stay safe, and everything a snowboarder needs is speed. We also learned that snowboarding is a fun, and exciting sport. Now, be sure to be safe and wear plenty of padding for your first time on the snow.

Now get out there and have some fun!