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Crispin Lipscomb - back to basics

"I draw a line on the snow and walk through my run, and try to leave everything else behind.



Name: Crispin Lipscomb

Event: Halfpipe

Age at 2006 Olympics: 26

Years with National Team: 4

What’s your biggest trick?

I like them all, and I want to learn to do everything. Right now it’s backside 1080s, but for my halfpipe run I start with back to back 900s and go to a frontside 1080, but I still find it’s very helpful working on the basics, getting back to fundamentals, and having a good time riding with friends. We’re all here to have fun, and part of that is practising new tricks.

How do you get ready for a competition?

I like to look at old footage on my laptop, and have a good stretch before heading to the hill. Once I’m there I like to relax a little at the top of the pipe, and do a few visualization exercises. I draw a line on the snow and walk through my run, and try to leave everything else behind. Before every run I drop some snow down the back of my neck and let it drip, get some cold blood to my head. It really helps you to focus.

Do you listen to music when riding, and what are you listening to?

I always have music going in one ear. I like to leave one ear free to hear the environment, but I have to have my music. I’ll listen to a little Face 2 Face if I need a step up, but I also listen to a lot of hip hop. I’m really enjoying the new Talib Kewli. My newest disk is Danger Doom, by DJ Danger Mouse and Doom, which is all about this weird cartoon called Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Do you remember your first snowboard?

It was a Burton Air 5.1 in 93-94. The next year I had Burton backountry bindings. It was only a few weeks before I was getting airborne, because I was skateboarding a lot then and it was easier to get air on a snowboard.

What is your worst injury?

I separated my elbow once, and that hurt a lot. This summer I tore my shoulder and compressed my back. I also had a stress fracture of my tib and fib from learning to do frontside 7s. Let that be a lesson to all kids out there to finish your spins.

What do you like about halfpipe?

It’s all about precision and refinement and scaring yourself – doing things bigger than usual is really fun, especially when you pull it off.

What advice do you give kids starting out and who might want to compete on the national team someday?

Get lessons or get a coach. Structured learning is the best, because they will always find a way to help you get better or reach your goals. If you come ready to learn, you’ll get so much better in a short period of time. I would also tell kids to not be afraid to try things.

Who were your role models growing up, and who do you look up to now?

Definitely Terje (Haakonsen) was huge, and Jamie Lynn was the guy I wanted to measure up to, but these days it’s all about Mike Michalchuk and Xaver Hoffman from Germany.

What motivates you these days?

Just the goals. Achieving the goals you set for yourself is an amazing feeling. I’m so lucky we have that kind of instant gratification in our sport when you have a good day and everything goes right. My niece definitely motivates me – I want to have some new stories to tell her, and some stories for her to tell. I’m also motivated by my charity Go Snowboarding ( is still under construction, but the goal is to get passes and gear to kids through a scholarship program, while providing coaching and other opportunities to competitive kids).

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m going to be running my charity, that’s a priority. I’ve also got a lot of snowboard competitions in my future and I’ll definitely be trying out for the 2010 team. After 2010 I have no idea – it was only last year that I realized that you can have a lifetime career in this sport. I’ll also probably go to school a lot more in the future.

How is the training going?

The level of support) from the team has been way better, all of our travel is paid, we’ve had events like this (Whistler-Blackcomb sponsored training camp) to prepare, and we’ve got things like two physios coming out to every event which has been really incredible.

Sponsors: McDonald’s, Salomon, Cardona Alpine Resort (New Zealand), Dakine Gear, Pow Globes, Ipath Shoes, Spy Goggles,

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