I can not understand "do a full-pipe roughie". It is from "Under the Dome" by S. King:

Benny gave Norrie a high five, but that wasn't enough for Norrie; she kissed him on the mouth, and hard. It was the happiest moment of Benny's life, even better than staying vertical while doing a full-pipe roughie.


4 Answers 4


(Partial/tentative answer) I would guess based on the context that it refers to some skateboarding stunt, but I can't find any other examples of the exact phrase "full pipe roughie" being used or defined.

My guess is based on the following evidence:

  • According to the "Under the Dome Wiki", Ben Drake "was a fanatic fan of skateboarding". Michael's answer confirms that this is also part of his character in the original novel.

  • Ben is apparently a teenager, and some kind of skateboarding stunt seems plausible as the highlight of a teenager's life (up until the romantic experience mentioned in the quote).

  • "full pipe" is a term that comes up fairly often in reference to skateboarding. E.g. you can see it used in the title of the Youtube video "Full Pipe Skate", which also demonstrates why it might be considered an accomplishment to stay "vertical" (approximately) while doing some stunt involving a full pipe.

  • I guess you're right! skateboarding stunt. Thanks! Dec 12, 2017 at 22:57
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    I've been skateboarding for almost 20 years, I've never heard, seen or read anything like that. "full-pipe roughie" either isn't about skateboarding or was written by someone who doesn't know anything about skateboarding. It sounds more like a surfing term IMHO. Dec 13, 2017 at 10:54
  • @EricDuminil: Thanks for the input. I was hoping a skateboarder might have heard of it; the fact that you haven't does put a dent in hypothesis. Surfing seems possible also, but I don't know any more about that than I do about skateboarding. Maybe somebody who surfs will be able to comment about it
    – herisson
    Dec 13, 2017 at 18:00
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    Maybe Stephen King doesn't know much about skateboarding, either ;-) Under the Dome is set in the near future, so it's possible that King made up a plausible-sounding (yet completely undefined) name, since skateboarding jargon changes over the years. Dec 13, 2017 at 18:48
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    Now I'm thinking about asking Stephen King myself ))))) Dec 15, 2017 at 13:07

To expand upon sumelic's excellent answer, it is certainly implied to be a skateboarding trick.

From the novel:

The kid was Benny Drake, fourteen, and a Razor. The Razors were a small but dedicated skateboarding club, frowned on by the local constabulary but not actually outlawed


Norrie is also a member.

It would appear that there's no such trick in real life, so it's either a trick they've invented or a name they've given to an existing trick. I suppose it doesn't really matter.


I'd guess 'staying vertical while doing a full-pipe roughie' means

staying upright while surfing a wave that has formed a 'full-pipe' around the surfer

a 'roughie' being a rough wave / sketchy ride.

  • 1
    This seems more plausible. Dec 13, 2017 at 10:27
  • The group are canonically skateboarders. There is no mention of them ever surfing. They live in Maine, and not near the coast. 'Full-pipe' is not ordinarily a surfing term. Lastly, are you forgetting that this is a work of fiction and not a Tony Hawk autobiography?
    – Michael
    Dec 13, 2017 at 18:25
  • People into board sports can be into more than one at a time. Skateboarding and snowboarding in Maine, for example, or skateboarding and surfing in California. Or all three. People watch videos and read magagines even if they don’t participate directly. The names of extreme tricks can cross over.
    – user205876
    Jan 16, 2021 at 16:27

It has nothing to do with surfing. It is supposed to be a skateboarding reference but it’s not a real one. King either did no research on the actual names of skate tricks or, as someone said above, invented new ones on purpose. He’s a great storyteller, but his weakest writing comes when he tries to write dialogue for kids or subcultures he has no understanding of. This is not uncommon. Don Winslow’s two surf centered crime novels are unreadable to me, a surfer of thirty years, because he gets everything so horribly wrong about it.

  • This is the answer. It is an invented, but plausible, skateboarding term.
    – Greybeard
    Jan 16, 2021 at 18:11

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