We spoke about this subject last year and again we have to tell you that the Snowboard Super Pipe is dying! How can we call this great event, the start of freestyle snowboarding contests in the 80s, still an international event?
An event which is dominated by three countries and completed by three or four riders from different countries is not what you call an international sport. A sport where the last 4-5 years almost no new tricks were landed by men and women. We are watching a non evolving sport. Snowboard Halfpipe is what the 10k is for ice speed skating, a few people still do it and only 3 people in the world excel in it.
You would think the biggest victims of this dying event are the great athletes who still do their best to show their tricks and try to stomp that new trick for themselves. When you see that athletes don't not even bother to fly to a World Cup anymore, you can ask your self, why should you build these Super Pipes and why should you organize SP contests for snowboarders?
Where were the A-riders from team USA at the Secret Garden in China? The Super Pipe World Tour only has around 5 contests a year where resorts, organization and sponsors pay a lot of money for. They pay to see the best of the best and they get half of the best and the B-team. Now it is the USA team but the next time it can be Japan or China who is staying home. If one of these countries is staying home you will miss a third of your high skilled riders. In my eyes, this is also disrespectful towards the organisation, colleague athletes and the fans.
Why doesn't Freestyle Skiing in the SP have this problem? They have enough international riders every World Cup or event. How come there is every year a new group of talents ready to attack the top riders?
We have such respect for the riders who are in China at the Secret Garden-World Cup-Super Pipe, they show they take this sport and the World Cup Tour serious and give the crowd still a show.
Snowboard Half Pipe is very lucky to stay at the Olympics because they don’t have enough winter sports, but remember the 10K ice speed skating has already been canceled and replaced because of not being international enough!