Tune Up Your Half-Pipe With Advice From Louie Vito

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The weather may be getting colder, but the slopes are heating up with the year's first Dew Tour event, this weekend at Breckenridge, Colo. The Dew Tour features many of the best snowboarders and skiers in the world, including Louie Vito, Shaun White, Scotty Lago and Danny Davis.

We had the chance to speak with Vito, last year's all-around Dew Tour champion, about what it takes to dominate the half-pipe. His dazzling tricks and technical prowess have propelled him to status as one of the world's best action athletes. He currently specializes in the double cork, a move with a mind-bending amount of twisting and flipping. "I have three different double corks right now," says Vito. "They are the new hot trick to have."

Vito pushes the limits of the human body each time he hits the pipe. One small mistake can lead to a fall that would cost him the competition. That might make some people nervous, but Vito uses it as fuel for success. "My dad always told me, 'whenever you have butterflies in your stomach, you should get them to fly in formation,'" he says. "You only have to control yourself and just go have fun."

While obviously gifted on the superpipe, he doesn't rely solely on his talents. Vito began training with strength coach John Schaeffer at Winning Factor in Pennsylvania after a recommendation from the legendary Apolo Ohno. "When I first started, I went to him for five and a half weeks straight after the season," Vito says. "His program changed the way I was working out and how I was eating."

Vito's workouts consist of sport-specific movements designed to help him ride faster, jump higher and land smoothly on the pipe. "We do a lot of lifting for legs and also interval running and stairs," he says. "Snowboarders have to be explosive."

The workouts also help prevent injuries and improve his conditioning. Vito says, "The best thing about being in shape is preventing injuries. And if you do get injured, you're in shape and can recover much faster."

Vito will be putting his hard work to use this Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, where, as the defending champion, he is already entered in the finals. To check out highlights of Vito and the other contenders—and learn more about the event—go to allisports.com/winter-dew-tour.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock