Where would snowboarding be without transitions? Whether it’s a tabletop, step-up, quarterpipe, halfpipe, bowl or berm, the fact is that snowboarding owes most of its iconic moments to some form of transition. With 9.8m airs out of a quarter, back-to-back double corks in the halfpipe and now quad corks, we can’t deny that snowboarding has progressed at pretty much the same pace as the the trannies the riders launch themselves off. But what came first, the transition or the trick?
Transitions have come a long way; snowboarders just didn’t have the technology to build 22 foot superpipes back in the day. You only have to look back to the 4-foot high hand dug ditches of the first Burton open halfpipe competition in 1988 for proof of that. Now it seems like there is no limit to what can be achieved with a big ol’ pile of the white stuff, a snow cat and some willing shapers.
Big transitions gives the top riders the best opportunity to go big, which means more air time to try and sneak in an extra rotation or flip, or longer tweak, until it’s maxed out. The transitions get bigger and so do the tricks that get landed. Sure, some will say that snowboarding is just turning into gymnastics on snow, but there are certain riders out there doing their best to run events where snowboarders can get creative with transition to increase the possibilities. Now the technology is available, we need more inspired course set-ups in the top level competitions.
In honour of this sentiment, we decided it was time to run through the great, giant and downright ridiculous transitions that have had the biggest impact over the years. The best are still being recreated and improved and the newer ideas like Peace Park and the Holy Bowly are taking everything golden about transition events and multiplying by some crazy physics equation that we’ll never understand. Straight up, next level transition.
Peep below to check out some the greatest transitions ever built.