Tabletops are a dime a dozen, Halfpipes make their appearance on a regular basis, while the Hip Jump has always been a rarity. It’s not without good reason, they’re difficult to build, require tedious daily maintenance and are notorious for the low margin of error when snowboarding on these beasts.
A hip jump shares that same characteristic as a half pipe wall where you leave the lip, elevate, then hope your trajectory brings you back down into the transition smoothly. Anything else is a harsh landing on the deck, the flat bottom or possibly the deck and the flat bottom.
The snowcat has the ability to groom a tabletop unassisted every evening; the same goes with a halfpipe. Grooming a hip jump requires a massive amount of hand shoveling, from its inception to the preparation for every session. Yes, the snowcat provides the initial base of snow and approximate shape, but it’s up to the hand shovel to make it proper. I’m guessing this is a major contributor to their lack of presence in public and private park settings.
However, when they do make their appearance at photo shoots, all in attendance use every waking second to maintain, session and get shots. This has always been my experience during the Hemsedal glory years (early 2000’s) to modern times at Filefjell and most recently at Mammoth Mountain in June of 2011.
The beast of manmade obstacles never fails to deliver snowboarding madness, while the documentation aspect will never leave the photographer without images. Blotto