Friday, February 27, 2009

Shaun hits the Pipe, in Private.

Crouched below the spinning rotor blades, the smell of Redbull mixed with jet fuel is nearly overpowering. As the heli lifts off things begin to take shape around us, the outline of a massive halfpipe just visible through the low light and swirling snow. The sound of the helicopter is suddenly muted as an ultra bright light flashes above, a loud mechanical boom echo’s, and I fall backwards, partially blinded with ears ringing…

Two weeks earlier stories had begun circulating the internet about a private halfpipe being built somewhere deep in the Colorado back country for boardsports super star Shaun White. While speculation may work fine in financial markets, the world of snowboard blogging is not so receptive to the rumor mill, and I knew I had to get to the bottom of the story with this one. A few days of phone calls, faxes, and secret handshakes and I was boarding a plane to somewhere. 20 hours in the air, and I didn’t need to take off my blindfold to know that we weren’t anywhere in Colorado.

Chasing the last rays of light across the desert floor, sometime over the last few hours our plane had turned into a helicopter and we were fast approaching a giant mound on the horizon. The heli slowed its speed and it seemed like we were going to land on the summit of the now fully visible mountain, but as we got closer the top of the mountain began to open. Slowly we entered the roof of the mountain; the hologram of a scientist appeared out of nowhere and began to tell me about the project. Deep within this artificial mountain, located deep within the deserts of La Guajira, Columbia, lies the most perfect artificial halfpipe ever constructed.

Sculpted by gold diamond laser welders, the 22ft pipes transition are true to the 1/1000th of a degree. Due to the heat given off by the lasers, normal snow wouldn’t do, so they created a synthetic snow like material made from mixing cream of wheat with Red Bull. The scientist explained that eating the snow was part of a well balanced breakfast, and each handful had the mind focusing effects of drinking two Red Bulls. While the rumors of a foam pit were unwarranted, the pipe did include a 30ft. extension, a loop, a double loop, and an anti-gravity section powered by one of those stationary sky diving fans.

Back to the flash of light. Paralyzed by fear I had fallen backwards into total darkness. Maybe a minute, maybe an hour or even a week passed, and as I opened my eyes I saw everyone standing around me; Shaun, Jesse, Adam, and even the hologramed scientist. Behind them was a giant robot, a helicopter with airplane wings, standing tall like a giant man, it had a belly of snowcat tracks and a mustache made of pipe cutters. It spoke to me through the scientist, explaining that to keep the pipe properly maintained Redbull had outsourced to a team of groomers from the planet Cybertron. For a quarter of the price of Frank Wells, the hybrid autobot-snowsazaurs not only kept the ground manicured but also protected against decepticon attacks. Once all this was explained to me, Shaun got back to riding, and I got to blogging.

Over the next few days and sleepless nights (courtesy of Redbull based snow seeping through my boots and absorbing into my bloodstream) Shaun elevated his pipe game to Chris Brewster esq. levels, Adam snapped some cover shots, and Jesse sketched a new Target line. While these words can’t fully recap the magnitude of the event, hopefully the T.V. commercials, magazine ads, and billboards will live on, long after the Robots take over.


Anonymous said...


chrisbrewster said...

I got 500 dollars for my spare gold just laying around my house at!!