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World Snowboarding Halfpipe

It's a 400-foot tunnel of ice and snow that's the scene of snowboarding's most exciting tricks and wildest wipeouts. Kidzworld checked out a FIS Snowboard World Cup event in Whistler, Canada to get a closer look at the acrobatic action of the halfpipe.

The Pipe
The halfpipe at World Snowboarding events is around 15-feet high (five meters) and 400 feet (130 meters) long. The condition of the halfpipe is affected by the amount of snow and the temperature outside. A well groomed pipe gives riders a better chance of landing their tricks, while ice and lots of snow make the course unpredictable (which usually means a lot of wipeouts.) "The weather cannot always be perfect - that's the way winter-sport is," explains German snowboarder, Xavier Hoffman, who finished second in Whistler.

The Tricks
Boarders jump over the sides of the halfpipe and then land back on the side walls after making several high-flying turns and twists in the air. Each rider does two runs and keeps the score of his best run. Points are given for height, creativity, difficulty as well as using the entire length of the pipe.

Many boarders wear a minidisc and listen to their favorite music while riding in the halfpipe, so they can tune out the noise of the crowd and concentrate on riding. At the Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup event in Whistler, Canada, boarders were listening to a wide range of tunes including Sum 41, Guns 'N Roses, old-skool hip-hop and Nelly.

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