It all took place at Buttermilk Resort in Aspen, Colorado. Snow park engineers, snowboarders, and hundreds of snow sports fans gathered to take part in a seasonal tradition: A progressive snowboarding event held yearly by Red Bull. This year, it was the Red Bull Double Pipe, and the team responsible was Snow Park Technologies.
To launch 2015’s creative twist on traditional halfpipe events, Red Bull commissioned the team at Snow Park Technologies, which aims to take snow sports to the next level with progressive track designs. By incorporating slope style and halfpipe elements, the SPT team earned recognition as the collective brains behind the March event’s success.
According to Grind TV’s interview with Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, the lead mastermind of SPT, the innovative courses designed today have been more than two decades in the making. “In my mind, and Red Bull’s too, Double Pipe is all about progressing the sport and breaking the traditional halfpipe mold,” Gunnarson commented.
Shortly before the Red Bull Double Pipe launched, the energy drink brand published a short behind-the-scenes video of the course being made, which served to pique the interest of attendees. Other amenities, like live music and flavorful foods, were only secondary to the thrill of watching boarders navigate a new course.
Gunnarson’s career began in California, where he designed extensive courses and influenced the beginning of the X Games. Notable for creating 22-foot side-by-side double pipes in 2014, Gunnarson’s involvement in this year’s event cemented its appeal for competitors.
“And that’s what we wanted to create, a venue that allows for as many creative lines as possible. I don’t think any two riders are going to have exactly the same line,” said Gunnarson. Create it, he did. After suffering a potentially brand-crushing settlement in 2014, as reported by the Inquisitr, Red Bull needs all the positive press it can get.
As seen in Red Bull’s Double Pipe “Three Perspectives” video, building the course successfully began with digging into the snow. Over time, when the snow is continuously packed and molded, it becomes very strong and capable of supporting a full course.
According to GenSteel, a company specializing in the supply of steel buildings, “Your building must be properly engineered for atmospheric conditions from the start.” It’s the art of balancing elements and structural integrity that Gunnarson specializes in.
In addition to this year’s event, Snow Park Technologies successfully completed snow parks for popular national snowboarding destinations in California, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Colorado. Internationally, SPT has built snow parks in France and Austria.
Less than a week after the Red Bull Double Pipe aired on NBC, snowboarding fans are still marveling at the skill and preparation required prior to the competition’s launch, as well as the competitors’ performances. For a recorded video of the 2-hour finals, visit Red Bull.