Shapers: the snow flake pros:
Chris Gunnarson and Franck Wells, from the American company SPT (Snow Park Technology), have studied in details what would later become the competition sites with their GPS. Those two pros have travelled all around the freestyle planet for 15 years with their state-of-the-art equipment to create the competition sites top athletes will ride. And X Games have always been their favorite playground...
XXL works for a XXL event:
Works started in July 2009 to make a king-size superpipe out of a classic half-pipe. Three weeks of excavation, one week of drainage, one more week to finalize the shape (50 more meters uphill and 20 more meters downhill), moving of electric wires trenches: there was a lot of work to do on the half-pipe to make it look like the superpipe in Aspen... but what a result! 2 new snowguns were also installed at the top of the Pipe to ensure an optimal snow cover.
The slopestyle course asked for some redevelopment as well: moving of rocks to build a track dedicated to snowmobiles ("uphill road"), installation of new snowguns at the bottom of the Double M piste (form 15 to 22 snowguns)...
A monster to help the shapers:
For the first edition of the X Games Tignes in 2010, shapers had to transfer directly from the US the only machine able to give the superpipe its X-tra large size: a Zaugg Pipe Monster. Its mission: make a 7-meter high and 220-meter long superpipe out of a classic half-pipe...
Since then, Tignes bought the Zaugg Pipe Monster. Therefore, it doesn't have to cross the Atlantic when shapers need to give back the pipe its XXL dimensions...
Tignes and freestyle: a love story:
Tignes, a sporting centre renowned for its expertise as a pioneer in new and alternative sports, was the natural choice of venue for the first ever X Games in Europe and the following two editions. Its advantages? Maximum credibility thanks to its close association with freestyle and freeriding culture. An X-tra large domain with the "espace killy", renowned for its exceptional off piste area. Excellent infrastructures at an altitude of 2,100 m, that have already successfully hosted many international events:
- 1st freestyle skiing World Championship in... 1986!
- Olympic Games 1992: freestyle skiing competitions (moguls, jumping etc.)
- Since 1979: 27 freestyle skiing World Cups
- Tigne Airwaves: biggest event dedicated to alternative sports in Europe, launched in 2004, and renewed for 4 more editions.
- 1st freeride skiing Championship in 2001, and 3 freeride skiing World Cups, in 2007, 2008 and 2009.