Paying Attention: The snowboard half pipe (joined at this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics by skiing half pipe) is the equivalent of the dry land half pipe beloved by skateboarders. The idea is deceptively simple: drop in from the top of the pipe, get up some speed, go over the top on the opposite edge, do a trick, comedown and go back up the other side, do another trick, repeat. The king of half-pipe snowboarding for the last two Olympics has been Shaun White (aka “The flying tomato” although he says he doesn’t like that name anymore–probably bad for endorsements). White will have his hands full at Sochi trying to defend his Olympic Gold Medal status. He pulled out of the snowboard slope style (citing a wrist injury) to concentrate on the half pipe, so much is expected of him. One thing is certain: snowboarding–like skateboarding–is a young man’s sport and Shaun is no longer a young man by snowboarding standards. He will have his hands full. Expect a battle, as White is always very good under pressure. Check out the video above, which provides a great POV of half pipe snowboarding, then read this wiki and finally follow it up with this pretty terrific video overview of the sport, courtesy the Sochi Olympics group. You’re now Officially Briefed: drop in and enjoy the ride.