Wooden ramp named for its shape. Used in many sports such as skateboarding, rollerblading, and bicycle freestyle. Usually a halfpipe is framed in 2x4's and covered in sheets of particle board. A layer of either plywood or paperboard is put over the particle board to smooth out the surface.

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Sorry about the terrible ASCII art, but the I couldn't think of how to describe where the coping goes. The coping is the zeroes in the above "art". It's a metal pipe used to grind or slide across for lip tricks. Most halfpipes also have a channel cut into the middle of one or both sides to make it easier to get started on them.

A half pipe (also written halfpipe or half-pipe) is a construct used for snowboarding. It is made of sculpted snow, typically through the use of a specialized machine. One such machine the Bombardier Plus MP, using an optional "Half pipe wing on front blower". It is similar to the typically wooden half-pipe used inskateboarding, save that it is made of snow, much longer, and is placed on a downhill slope, as you cannot kick to gain velocity on a snowboard as you can on a skateboard.


References:

Website: Bombardier (http://www.bombardier.com)

A halfpipe is a type of ramp used for skateboarding, BMX, and more recently inline. While it is a fairly common ramp to see in contests or magazines, the halfpipe was not born overnight.

As skateing and biking were in their infancy, the adventurous few ventured into empty swimming pools to see if anything was possible on the smoothly transitioned bottoms. This is best described in the skateboarding documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys. Before long, skaters and bikers alike were realizing that they could go fairly high in these pools, but the problem arose that the pools were not always available to ride. So they found a way to build one out of wood that would always be available to be ridden/skated.

There are many different shapes and sizes of halfpipes, but the most common size is 12' high, around 20' wide or wider. A halfpipe is built by using 2x4s to form a smooth transition from flat to vertical, and then surfaced in anything from plywood to sheet metal. There are two sides facing each other, and a gap of flatground, called flatbottom between them to allow for time to setup for the next side. There is normally a foot or a foot and a half of vert or vertical surface at the top of the ramp. This projects the rider straight up so that they can land smoothly. There is normally also a deck on top of the ramp that can be used for tricks, or for standing and watching on. At the intersection of the deck and the vert, there is coping, metal or plastic tubing used to grind or stall on.

There are also smaller versions of halfpipes called mini ramps. While they are not halfpipes, they are generally the same shape. The difference is that halfpipes are much bigger (8' and up) while mini ramps are normally smaller (6' and down). Miniramps also do not have any vert at the top.

Beginning years ago as a few kids riding skateboards in empty pools, halfpipes have evolved through many stages and will most likely continue to get bigger and better as is the way with these things.

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