Snowboarding

Snowboarding was created in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s as a rebellion against skiing community. The skiing community did not accept the snowboarding community riding on their slopes easily. Snowboarders had a completely different style with more a punk and later on hip hop style, compared to the skiers more conservative style. From the way that snowboarders spoke, acted, and entire clothing style the two snow cultures contrasted, and snowboarders were considered “inferior” for sometime. Snowboarding was an easy transition for surfers and skateboarders due to snowboarding becoming the crossover between urban and suburban styles on snow. Now, skiers and snowboarders are used to each other on the slopes and now have more respect for each other on the mountain. Snowboarding’s popularity has grown immensely, and became a Winter Olympic Sport in 1998. The typical “lazy, grungy, stoner, troublemakers,” stereotype has more or less worn off the sport due to it becoming so popular.
History

1965 is marked as the year that modern snowboarding came alive when an engineer, Sherman Poppen, created a toy for his daughter by putting together two skies and attaching a rope for control as she stood on the board. Poppen called it the “Snurfer” (snow and surfer), and it became so popular amongst his daughter’s friends that he licensed the toy and sold it. At Michigan Ski Resort, Poppen organized snurfing competitions and attracted many people to come watch during the early 1970s. A devoted skateboarder, Tom Sims was an early pioneer of snowboarding, since he was an eighth grade. Sims started to produce commercial snowboarders in the mid 70s. Jake Burton Carpenter, the creator of the biggest snowboarding company in the business, wowed a crowd with his bindings which he designed to secure his feet the the board more, in 1977 when snurfing. The same year is when Burton Snowboards was born, but very few people wanted to snowboard at that time because of the price which was thought to be to high.

1979 marked the first ever World Snurfing Championship was held. Coming with his own designed snowboard, Jake Burton Carpenter, came from Vermont to compete. Due to the new design many competitors disapproved with him competing with the old snurfer board. However, there were some of the top snurfers that wanted him to compete, so a “modified” division that was created for and won by Jake, the only one in the class. This was the first snowboard competition and was the start of competitive snowboarding.Near Woodstock, Vermont, at Suicide Six the first National Snowboard race was held in 1982 won by Burton’s first team rider Doug Bouton and in Soda Springs, Ca 1983 was the first World Halfpipe Competition. With the help of a snowboard instructor at Soda Springs, Mike Chantry, Tom Sims, founder of Sims Snowboards, organized the event. Zurs, Austria, 1985 the first World Cup was held and snowboarding popularity grew because of its recognition as a official sport. In 1994 the International Snowboard Association(ISA) was founded to provide universal contest regulations. The USASA (United States of America Snowboard Association) provides instructing guidelines and runs snowboard competitions in the U.S. The Olympic Games, Winter X-Ganes, US Open, and other events are broadcast world wide, which are high profile events.

The winter sports public accepted snowboarding at a much faster pace than the ski community. For many years the skiing and snowboarding community had a continuing feud. Park officials banned snowboards from the slopes early on, and in 1985 ski areas that allowed snowboarding was at 7% in North America and Europe had similar stats. Snowboarding increasingly became more accepted with improved equipment and skills. Snowboarders had their own slopes at major ski mountains in 1990. North America and Europe now allow snowboarding in about 97% of ski mountains and have jumps, rails, and half pipes. Regardless of age, sex, or ability levels snowboarding continuously increases in popularity in the 2000s.
Snowboarding Styles

Jibbing

Influenced directly from grinding on a skateboard, jibbing is a type of freestyle way of riding on any surface but snow. Common surfaces include: metal rails, boxes, benches, concrete ledges, walls, rocks, and logs. Typically rode in a snowboard resort park but is also done in urban environments- urban jib. Free-ride snowboarders commonly find occasional jibs, such as a downed tree, that prove suitable to ride over during their run.
Free-riding

The free-ride style is the most common and easily accessible style of snowboarding. It consists of riding down any terrain available, but most often consists of groomed runs. Free-riding may include aerial tricks and jib tricks, or deep carve turns more common in alpine snowboarding, utilizing whatever natural terrain the rider may come across. Free-riding equipment is usually a stiffer boot with a directional snowboard: because the free-rider could encounter many different types of snow conditions, such as ice and deep powder ( a medium-stiffness setup is recommended to maintain stability in deeper snow or at higher speeds).

Freestyle

In freestyle, the rider uses man-made terrain features such as rails, jumps, boxes, and innumerable other innovative features to perform tricks on. All freestyle features come in a Payday Loans variety of shapes, sizes, and difficulty levels. The intent of freestyle is to use these terrain features to perform a number of aerial or jib tricks. The equipment used in freestyle is usually a soft boot with a twin tipped board for better balance while riding regular or switch, though free-ride equipment is often used successfully. Freestyle riders who specialize in jibbing often use boards that are shorter than usual, with softer flex and filed down edges. The shorter length enables faster board roatation, and a softer flex requires less energy for a rider to press a feature. Reverse camber boards, or better known as rocker boards, are most often used as freestyle boards due to their softer flex and inverted ‘camber’ design. Freestyle also includes halfpipe tricks. A halfpipe is a trench-like half-tube made of snow where a rider can do aerial tricks.
Free-carve

Similar to skiing, this race and slalom focused style is still practiced, though not as much Sometimes called alpine snowboarding, or the ‘euro-carve’, free-carving is done on hard packed snow or groomed runs and is directed on the ultimate carving turn, and Little or no jumping takes place much like traditional skiing. Free-carve equipment is a ski-like hardshell boot and plate binding system with a true directional snowboard that is usually very stiff and narrow to facilitate fast and responsive turns.
Snowboarding Competition

Slopestyle

Competitors perform tricks while descending a course, moving around, over, across, up, or down terrain features. The course is full of obstacles including boxes, rails, jumps, jibs (includes anything the board or rider can slide across). Slope-style contests consists of choosing your own line in a terrain park using a variety of boxes, jibs and jumps. To win a slope-style contest one must pick the best and most difficult line in the terrain park and have a smooth flowing line of tricks performed on the obstacles. Style is also a huge factor in winning a slope-style contest. The rider who lands the hardest tricks will not always win over the rider who lands easy tricks but makes them look good.
Big air

Big air competitions are contests where riders perform tricks after launching off a man made jump built specifically for the event. Competitors perform tricks in the air, aiming to attain sizable height and distance, all while securing a clean landing. Many competitions also require the rider to do a trick to win the prize. Not all competitions call for a trick to win the gold; some intermittent competitions are based solely on height and distance of the launch of the snowboarder.

Half-pipe

The half-pipe is a semi-circular ditch or purpose built ramp (that is usually on a downward slope), between 8 and 23 feet deep. Competitors perform tricks while going from one side to the other and while in the air above the sides of the pipe.
Boarder-cross

In Boarder-cross, also known as “Boarder X” and “Snowboard X”, several riders (between 4-6) race down a course similar to a motorcycle motocross track,with jumps, berms and other obstacles constructed out of snow on a downhill course. Competitions have a series of heats, traditionally with the first 2 riders in each heat advancing to the next round. The overall winner is the rider that places first in the final round.
Big mountain/free-ride

A big mountain contest is one that takes place in open terrain, and challenges riders to find their way down the mountain with the most style and difficulty. Big mountain events usually take place in powder snow conditions in closed off areas of resorts or in the back-country. There are a number of big mountain events in Europe, the United States and in New Zealand and this aspect of snowboarding competition is quickly rising in popularity. Snowboarders consider Alaska the holy grail of this style of riding, being featured in some of the most popular snowboarding videos and has given rise to one of the sport’s most popular events.
Rail jam

Rail jam is a jib contest. Riders perform tricks on rails, boxes, pipes, wall rides, and several other creative features. Rail jams are done in a small area, usually with two or three choices of features for the rider to hit on a run. Not a lot of snow is required. Scoring is done in the “jam” format, where every rider can take as many runs as time allows, usually around an hour; prizes are typically awarded for best overall and best trick in the male/ female categories.
Slalom

Slalom snowboarding is correspondence to slalom skiing, where riders must complete a downhill course constructed by laying out a series of gates; they must pass between the two poles forming the gates. Like skiing there are several types of courses: slalom, giant slalom, and super G. In slalom, boarders race downhill through sets of gates that force extremely tight turns, requiring plenty of technical skill. Giant slalom uses a much longer course with gates set further apart, resulting in even higher speeds. Super G is the fastest of all, where the rider reaches speeds of up to 45 mph.

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