In 2009, when the news broke that Shaun White was training in a private halfpipe in Silverton, Colorado, the snowboard world went crazy. The thought of training in a private ski area was unheard of, not to mention the fact that White was practicing game-changing tricks into a foam pit at the bottom of a superpipe.
During these sessions White learned and perfected his signature trick, the Double McTwist 1260, which has been an integral part of keeping the renowned rider atop the podium time and time again.
Three years later, private sessions with foam-pits and airbags are becoming the standard for competitive snowboarders. It’s required to keep up with the ever-evolving sport and stay in podium contention. Sage Kotsenburg of the US Slopestyle Olympic Team and Silver medalist at this year’s X-games said to ESPN, “Everyone’s been on airbags, so if you haven’t been on one, you probably don’t have a couple tricks other people have. It’s key to have one.” By applying the new methods for training Kotsenburg stomped the first ever cab Double-Cork 1440.
Recently, while at Northstar-at-Tahoe in California, Danny Davis and Chas Guldemond held their own private airbag session on a massive park jump. Kevin Pearce was also on the scene, supporting his friends as they perfected a series of double-corks into a bag-jump.
Whether you love it or hate it, it seems that the airbag phenomenon is here to stay.