Simon Dumont World Record Quarterpipe Highest Air
Skiing prodigy and X Games star Simon Dumont accomplished the unthinkable today, establishing a new world record for highest air on a quarterpipe as he launched 35 feet into thin air at his home resort of Sunday River in Maine.
On the world's tallest quarterpipe (38-feet tall and 78-feet wide) custom-built by Snow Park Technologies, and with a representative from FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski ) appointed by Guinness Book of World Records on location to document the record-breaking moment, Dumont beat previous record holder Terje Haakonsen's 32 feet 6 inches during his last day of attempts.
Soaring a breathtaking 73 feet above the ground — more than a seven-story building — this hometown hero sent the intimate crowd of family and friends into a frenzy as they witnessed the record-breaking moment.
"I wasn't sure how this would all go down today with the wind and some healing injuries I've been nursing," says Dumont. "As I was dropping down the hill into the run-in it just hit me that this would be it — the rest is history."
Making the attempt had been on Simon's mind for several years, but once snowboard legend Terje Haakonsen set the record in 2007 going 32 feet 6 inches high with a backside 360 at The Arctic Challenge in Oslo, Norway, Dumont knew he wanted to be the first to break it. So in 2008, Dumont turned to Red Bull and Sunday River to bring the project to life.
Although Snow Park Technologies has built countless quarterpipes over the years, this was the first developed specifically for both a single athlete and the Guinness Book. "Building a quarterpipe for just one athlete exactly the way he wants it is unique for us," says SPT's Corley Howard. "I'm super excited to be a part of this project … after seeing Simon get huge airs in the halfpipe at the X Games, we were hoping he'd go for the record." After two days of framing the quarterpipe with a snowcat, and three days of precisely hand shaping the 38-foot wall from the top down, Howard along with fellow SPT builder Jeremy Carpenter had done all they could do. It was time for Simon to get to work.
The project began Tuesday morning when Dumont arrived on site directly off a flight from Sweden. Dumont began hitting the quarterpipe in the early afternoon when he reached heights as high as 28 feet, before drifting in the air and falling nearly 66 feet onto the snow below. Dumont's hard hitting landing caused him to bruise his heel and aggravate an existing knee injury. After seeing the doctor, Simon returned to the hill on Wednesday, but was plagued by his injuries and was forced to recuperate for the rest of the day. Thursday was disrupted by high winds forcing the entire staff to delay their flights in order to provide Simon with one more opportunity to attempt the World Record.
At 9 a.m. Friday morning Simon showed up with his game face on and was ready for his final attempts. After an hour of repeatedly hitting the quarterpipe, at 10:12 a.m. EDT Dumont hiked an additional 15 feet up the hill to gain more speed. Simon crouched into a tucked position going 55 mph down the in-run and not only launched 35 feet into the air, but spun a 900 in the process (a trick where the athlete spins 2.5 complete rotations in the air).
And what better place to carry out this history-making moment than Sunday River, New England's premier ski destination located in the Mahoosuc Mountains of western Maine, where it all began for Dumont. "Simon grew up here in the town of Bethel shredding the slopes at Sunday River so we were thrilled to help him bust the record," says Alex Kaufman, Communications Manager for Sunday River. Marketing Manager Nick Lambert continues, "Sunday River is best known for our snowmaking and for the large amount of ski terrain we have to offer, both of which helped make the resort the right location for this event." As far as this quarterpipe being the tallest freestyle feature ever built in the world, here at Sunday River, Kaufman comments, "We're all about putting the snow we make all year to good use in the spring. Simon going for a world record at Sunday River was pretty darn good use!"
So, with the mission accomplished for 21-year-old Simon Dumont, what's next on the horizon? "I plan to go film for the rest of the season, then take a good vacation this summer before refocusing on next year," says Dumont.