David Wise Lands Highest Air: Quarterpipe to Banked Landing
The American skier soars 11.7 meters (38 feet, 4 inches) above the coping of a quarterpipe to banked landing, logging the highest air yet on this style of jump
Two-time Olympic gold medalist David Wise has a shiny new feather to add to his cap: the highest air yet on a quarterpipe to banked landing, performed on Monday, April 22, 2019 at the Audi Nines presented by Falken.
On the first day of the Audi Nines, an exclusive weeklong freestyle progression session for skiers and snowboarders at Sölden and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Austria, Wise took advantage of optimal weather conditions to test out the event’s towering 10-meter-high quarterpipe feature. As his peers cheered him on, he quickly began rocketing to extraordinary heights.
“I was just enjoying myself and I started going a little higher each time,” said Wise. “I never got to the point where I was terrified. I eventually got some butterflies, but butterflies in a good way. We just kept going higher and higher.”
“It was really nice to have a measuring system in place so I could do a jump, find out immediately how high I was, and then go do another jump,” he added.
Wise’s final record-setting elevation: 11.7 meters (38 feet, 4 inches) above the top edge of the quarterpipe with a straight air tail grab.
The quarterpipe on which Wise achieved the record was a modified version, with a banked landing surface to increase the safety of the jump. The design of the feature took cues from a similar obstacle used by Danny Way to set the current world record quarterpipe air in skateboarding, and incorporated input from legendary snowboarder Terje Håkonsen, the current record holder in his sport.
It’s the second time that Wise has set a high mark at the Audi Nines. In 2016 he shattered the record for highest air on a hip, flying 14.2 meters (46 feet, 6 inches) above the coping.
“I can’t say enough for the crew out here, from the Schneestern guys and Sölden to the whole Audi Nines team, because this is a team effort,” said Wise. “I get to be the guy who gets the highest air, but I could not have done it alone.”
An earlier quarterpipe world record was set by Simon Dumont, who achieved a height of 10.8 meters (35 feet, 5 inches) while doing a cork 900 tail in 2008. Dumont’s long-standing record was accomplished on a conventional quarterpipe, landing back on the same transition he jumped from. Since Dumont’s record was set on a true quarterpipe and Wise’s on a modified one, the Audi Nines view is that Wise did not break Dumont’s record for a quarterpipe air, but rather set a new world record for the highest air on a quarterpipe to banked landing.
The Audi Nines continues this week with more action-packed film and photo shoots, culminating in the Contest Day on Saturday, April 27th at Sölden’s Tiefenbach Glacier, where the Nines athletes will put on an exciting final show for a public audience.