On the morning of Friday, April 11 skiing prodigy and X Games star Simon Dumont of Bethel, Maine broke the world record for highest air on a quarterpipe at his home resort of Sunday River by executing a corked 900 tail grab and peaking at a height of 35 above the top of the quarterpipe. The 38-foot quarterpipe built by Snow Park Technologies with support from the Sunday River Park Crew is the largest quarterpipe ever constructed. Norwegian Terje Haakonsen held the previous world record at 32.5 feet.
â€œI wasnâ€™t sure how this would all go down today with the wind and some healing injuries Iâ€™ve been nursing,â€ said Dumont. â€œAs I was dropping down the hill into the run-in it just hit me that this would be it â€“ the rest is history.â€
The attempts began Tuesday morning when Dumont arrived on site directly off a flight from Sweden. Dumont began hitting the quarter pipe 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. Dumontâ€™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 quarter pipe, at 10:12 a.m. EST 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).
â€œIâ€™m really glad to have pulled this off in my backyard at Sunday River where I started my ski career,â€ said Dumont. â€The fans from the East have always been super supportive. That makes breaking this record at home even sweeter.â€
The world record jump.
â€œI think what happened today was a bit unexpected because of the injury he sustained on the first day, but I think when heâ€™s feeling it, heâ€™s feeling it â€” and it was the right time,â€ says Riley Poor, Simonâ€™s longtime friend and personal documentarian. â€œHe achieved a goal heâ€™d set for himself quite a while ago. It was monumental thing for the sport of skiing.â€ He also added that, â€œit was one of the most insane things Iâ€™ve ever seen done. He [Dumont] was in the air for seconds… he was doing a 900, just grabbing the whole time, which added to the insanity. Weâ€™re stoked.â€
Building and maintaining the worlds largest quarterpipe for nearly two weeks fell on the shoulders of Snow Park Technologies and Sunday Riverâ€™s operations teams including Parks Manager Nick Roma, Mountain Manager Brian Jones, and Terrain Park Development Manager for Boyneâ€™s New England Resorts Jay Scambio.
â€œThere may not be any other place in the East where this record could have been broken,â€ said Alex Kaufman, Sunday River communications manager. â€œWeâ€™ve proven over the last few years with our April Heat Harvest events that Sunday River can deliver world class big air features for world class athletes. Weâ€™re known for our snowmaking firepower and thatâ€™s always the first step in a project like this. Weâ€™re proud to have worked with Simon Dumont and the teams from Red Bull and Snow Park Technologies to deliver this caliber of an event for our hometown hero.â€