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Snowboarding is a winter sport that involves descending a snow covered slope with a snowboard attached to the participant’s feet. The board is attached using a special boot set into a mounted binding. Snowboarding was inspired by surfing and skateboarding. It was developed in the United States during the 1960s and became a Winter Olympics Sport in 1998. The two main snowboarding events are the giant slalom (similar to Alpine giant slalom) and the half pipe, in which riders use a large, snow-covered trench (halfpipe) to repeatedly launch themselves into the air and perform various acrobatic feats.

The first modern snowboard was arguably designed by Sherman Poppen for his children in 1965 in Muskegon, Michigan. It was essentially a skateboard without wheels, steered by a hand-held rope. It lacked bindings, but had provisions to cause footwear to adhere. Poppen’s snowboard, called the Snurfer, started to be manufactured as a toy for children in 1966. During the 1970s and 1980s, snowboarding became more and more popular and designs improved, as well. Newer designs were based on the feel of a surfboard but worked the same as skis. In 1982 the first National Snowboard race was held near Woodstock, Vermont at Suicide Six. In 1983 the first World Championship halfpipe competition was held at Soda Springs, California. In 1985, the first World Cup was held in Zürs, Austria and The International Snowboard Association (ISA) was founded in 1994 to provide universal contest regulations. Today, high-profile snowboarding events like the Olympic Games, Winter X-Games, US Open, and other events are broadcast worldwide. Twenty percent of all visitors to United States ski resorts are snowboarders, and more than 3.5 million people have taken up the sport worldwide.

Styles of Snowboarding:

The freeride style is the most common style of snowboarding. It involves riding down any terrain available. Freeriding may also include aerial tricks and jib tricks borrowed from freestyle, or deep carve turns more common in alpine snowboarding, utilizing whatever natural terrain the rider may encounter.

In freestyle snowboarding, the rider uses manmade terrain features such as rails, boxes, handrails, jumps, half pipes, quarter pipes and many other features. The intent of freestyle is to use these terrain features to perform a number of aerial tricks.

This style is the most infrequently practiced style of snowboarding. Similar to skiing, it is sometimes called alpine snowboarding, or the “euro-carve.” Freecarving takes place on hard packed snow or groomed runs and focuses on the ultimate carving turn, much like traditional skiing. Little or no jumping takes place in freecarve.


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