The sponsored riders did not play a role in the design of the tire. The Pinkbike editor got it wrong, and he has since revised the article. Wayne did help with the design, though (pro bono). It was kind of funny, actually. I had been thinking about making revising the High Roller for some time, and then out of the blue Wayne sent me an email with a picture of proposed modifications to the High Roller. A couple of the modifications were similar to those I had been thinking about, so I decided to include him in the design process (which took about a month). I think it worked out well.
The knob height won't be changed, though. The center tread height is the same as the original HR, and the shoulder is a slight bit higher. As it stands now, we have a winner.
If you have any other questions, just shoot.
-Bryan Holwell, Senior Tire Design [HTML_REMOVED] Development Engineer, Maxxis