Gear Feature

Pyeongchang 2018 – The Halfpipe Medallists’ Snowboards

Here's what Kim, White & co. rode in Korea

Liu Jiayu, Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold celebrate after the women’s halfpipe final. Photo: Sam Mellish

The two halfpipe finals at Pyeongchang 2018 were both epic, albeit for entirely different reasons.

As soon as Chloe Kim stuck her first run, it was clear that the result would be a foregone conclusion. However, watching her step it up on her victory lap showed that there’s no stopping her, and there’s every chance that she’ll inspire the rest of the field to take women’s halfpipe to the next level.

“Camber has always been king when dealing with icy pipe walls”

Meanwhile in the men’s event, it was drama from start to finish. The top three riders went all out in search of an edge, but in the end it was Shaun White’s day.

For obvious reasons, most used a medium-to-stiff board, either directional twin or true twin. Camber has always been king when dealing with icy pipe walls, and Pyeongchang 2018 was no different.

Here’s what carried the six medallists to the podium steps:

Chloe Kim (Gold, Women’s Halfpipe) – Burton Talent Scout 2018-2019

In terms of flex, shape and profile, the Burton Talent Scout ticks all the right boxes for a pipe rider like Chloe.

It’s also got some subtle asymmetrical elements; the thicker and thinner sections of core (something the B calls ‘Squeezebox’) are positioned to match a typical park rider’s duck stance, rather than running in parallel with each other, and the ‘Frostbite’ edge protrusions are placed at different points on the heel edge as they are on the toe.

Check out our full review of the 2018/19 Burton Talent Scout here.

Liu Jiayu (Silver, Women’s Halfpipe) – Burton Feelgood Snowboard 2018/19

It’s been a good Olympics for Burton, with four out of the six pipe medallists using one of their sticks. The Burton Feelgood famously carried Kelly Clark (who finished 4th this year) to a long and decorated career in the ditch.

It’s available in two versions: one has full camber, and the other features a ‘Flying V’ combo profile. We’d bet the house that Liu Jiayu opted for the former.

Check out our full review of the 2018/19 Feelgood Flying V Snowboard here.

Arielle Gold (Bronze Women’s Halfpipe) – Unity Origin Snowboard 2018/19

Based in Colorado, Unity Snowboards only make around 1,000 decks a year, so it’ll surely be surreal for them to see their wares on an Olympic podium. That being said, when they backed Arielle Gold, there was always a chance of that happening.

Her customised version of the Unity Origin is slightly different to the 2017/18 version seen above; after a bit of trial and error, she opted for something in between Unity’s men’s boards and women’s boards.

The result is powerful enough for the pipe without being hard to manoevre.

Shaun White, holding his Burton Custom aloft on the podium. Surely the others will be along shortly...? Photo: Sam Mellish

Shaun White (Gold, Men’s Halfpipe) – Burton Custom 2018/19

In recent years Shaun has had his own pro model, the Burton TWC. However, that appears to have been dropped from the B’s range for 2018/19, hence why he was on the Custom in Pyeongchang.

It’s a mite softer than the Custom X that many pipe riders prefer, but it’s still more than capable of dealing with icy transitions thanks to its directional twin shape and camber profile.

It also features those ‘Frostbite’ edges that use small protrusions near the feet to provide a bit of extra grip, and the core varies in thickness to concentrate power and strength where it’s most needed (as well as saving weight where it’s not).

Check out our full review of the 2017/18 Burton Custom here.

Ayumu Hirano (Silver, Men’s Halfpipe) – Burton Custom 2018/19

Shaun’s number one rival in Pyeongchang was also riding next year’s Burton Custom (albeit a shorter version, for obvious reasons).

Unlike Shaun, he’s stuck with this one for a while – indeed, it’s what he rode back in 2014 when he grabbed his first Olympic silver. If they’re still making the Custom in 2022 (and we’d bet that they will), don’t be surprised to see Ayumu on it in Beijing.

Check out our full review of the 2017/18 Burton Custom here.

Scotty James (Bronze, Men’s Halfpipe) – CAPiTA X Volcom Snowboard 2018/19

One guy was REALLY keen to find out more about Scotty’s board. Photo: Sam Mellish

Wanting to get your hands on this one? Sorry, but it’s not for sale.

CAPiTA’s long-standing collaboration has produced some gems over the years, such as 2016’s CAPiTA Volcom Stone snowboard, and 2017’s CAPiTA Volcom Pat Moore Pro Snowboard.

While there’s been no official details on the one that Scotty’s riding, its all-black topsheet suggests that this one’s just for the pros.

Check out the Olympic slopestyle medallist’s snowboards from Pyeongchang 2018 here

Check out the Olympic big air medallist’s snowboards from Pyeongchang 2018 here



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