2010 Olympian and half pipe pro, Justin Lamoureux, shares what works for himAlong with two medals and numerous top 10 finishes on the World Cup circuit, Justin Lamoureux of Squamish, B.C., is a three-time Canadian half-pipe champion and a Torino Olympic team member. This year he's a definite medal contender in the Olympic half pipe.
Learn to carve
Lamoureux likes to go big. The higher out of the pipe he gets the more points he scores for his tricks. The key for height is speed and that means proper edging. "Really knowing how to carve well is an overlooked skill in snowboarding," he says. "Once people learn to turn they want to learn other things. But you need to really learn how to turn and hold your edge and lay into deep carves. It unlocks a lot of things, most importantly speed." In the morning, before hitting the pipe, he takes a few runs down fresh groomers. "You can see your lines on the run," he says. "If you have a nice string of narrow "C"s in the snow, you got it."
To nail his runs, Lamoureux relies on good-fitting boots and bindings and a board he can trust. "As long as I've got my set-up, everything else is trivial," he says. The actual boots aren't that important, but he always uses Intuition Liners (from $200) and Surefoot Footbeds ($235). Both are mouldable for a perfect fit. He rides Burton bindings ("customized like crazy") and various snowboard models from Bataleon, including the Enemy, the lightest board on the market ($950).
"It's amazing how many people don't bend their knees while they're riding," Lamoureux says. The key to smooth, effortless-looking riding is a proper stance. Bend your knees, keeping them square over your ankles, which should also be bent. Shoulders and hips should always be parallel with the hill. Arms should remain relaxed at your sides.