Snowboarding is one of the youngest sports in the Winter Games program. Imagine, in the 60s there lived a man who really wanted to please his daughter with a new toy. Once this American named Sherman Poppen took a pair of skis and glued them together, which became the archetype of the snowboard. He named this invention the snurfer, which meant “snow” and “surf”.
Then this invention resembled a sled, because there were no leg mounts. Instead, a rope was tied to the nose of the board, which the rider had to hold on to. By giving a toy to his child, Sherman invented a self-sufficient sport.
The resulting sport immediately began to spread throughout Europe, thereby gaining recognition.
First recognized snowboard competition
Soon it was recognized as an independent sport. And already in 1979, the world’s first snorkeling tournament was held. The boards themselves have never been improved, there was not a single harness, protective helmets and even gloves. But one participant in the contest, Jake Burton, nevertheless came to the first contest with a small but important improvement. I made mounts for the boards.
For this reason, he was not allowed to compete, but was given the opportunity to compete in a separate discipline, where he was the only participant and won easily.
Already in 1988, the Mondial Snowboard Contest was held, and 10 years later, the double sport was consist in the list of the Winter Olympiad, where it is present to nowadays.
Existing disciplines of snowboarding at the competitions in China
In fact, there are quite a few types of snowboarding at the these Games. I think that you have not even heard of most of them, because, let me remind you, this sport is very young.
- Halfpipe. Interesting name isn’t it? That is why this old-timer discipline has been present in the Olympic Games since 1998 to this day. The bottom line is that the athlete must master and perform various tricks on a snowboard, while flying from a structure like to a half-pipe. This part of the pipe is called the halfpipe.
- Giant slalom has been an official discipline at the Olympics since 2002. The essence of this type is that the athlete needs to overcome the marked track in the shortest possible time.
- Big Air is consist in the program of the Winter Olympic Games not so long ago since 2018. In this discipline, athletes have to perform a jump from a large springboard, perform any trick and land in the rollout zone. A prerequisite – you need to perform 2 different tricks. It is no wonder that big air is one of the most spectacular sports. It is overflowing with the game of adrenaline, danger and risk.
- Snowboarding – cross – is another type of tournament included in the program of the Winter Olympic Games since 2006. The task of the participant is to drive along a long and wide track, on which there are various obstacles.
Snowboard pros or who to look at?
Given the worldwide popularity of this discipline, the competition in this sport is growing exponentially. It is impossible to predict the outcome of events in competitions. I think the most popular disciplines will still remain more youthful: half-pipe, big-air, which are interesting to watch, and riders who are replenished with followers on Instagram.
Of course, you will be interested to see Shaun White from the USA. He has already won 3 medals in the halfpipe. Another Olympian worthy of your attention is Mark McMorris, who has long proved that nothing can break him. He is the first snowboarder in the world to complete a series of three hardest tricks in slopestyle.