Snowboarding has great similarities to surfing and skiing: It's
like surfing in that it is a board sport, and like skiing
because it is performed in the snow. Snowboarders - or riders,
as they are called - strap boards to their feet and slide down
snow-covered slopes. It is an increasingly popular winter sport
across the world, wherever there is snow. In 1998, it became an
eligible medal sport in the Winter Olympic Games. Other major
events include the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship and the
Winter X-Games in Canada and the United States.
No one knows exactly when snowboarding was invented, but it is
widely accepted that it was created around the 1950s by a mix of
surfers, skateboarders, and skiers - who were able to transfer
their skills to the cold mountains. Snowboarders during that
time used hand-made boards. Because snowboarding was new and
crude at that time, many skiers largely frowned upon the sport.
In fact, many ski resorts would not allow snowboarding.
However, the sport began to gain more popularity in the 1970s
and '80s, and snowboarding equipment became more sophisticated
and advanced. By 1997, almost all of the ski resorts in the
United States allowed snowboarding. Today, the sport is
attracting an ever-growing fan base (more than 3.4 million
people), so much so that the number of skiers has actually
declined. Some people attribute this to the comparative ease of
Today, standard snowboarding equipment includes snowboards,
boots, bindings, and warm clothing. The sport has three main
sub-styles: freestyle, freeride, and freecarve, with each style
distinguishable by the equipment used and the desired terrain.
Freestyle riding is currently the most popular style among
snowboarders. It is characterized by a lot of jumps, tricks,
rail slides, and switch riding. Freestyle equipment includes
soft boots and relatively short mobile boards, which are ideal
for the frequent jumps in this style of riding.
Freeride, the most general style of snowboarding, is performed
on most mountain terrains including open terrain and backcountry
chutes. As with freestyle snowboarding, freeriders wear soft
boots; however, the actual snowboard is a little longer and
directional than the one used in freestyle snowboarding.
Freecarve - also known as alpine snowboarding - focuses on
carving and racing. Freecarving is performed on hard-pack or
groomed runs. In this style, there is little or no jumping.
Equipment includes hard boots and plate binding system; and the
boards are stiff, narrow, and long.
Within each of these sub-styles are more variations, including
sandboarding, heli boarding, kite snowboarding, and mountain
for more information on snowboarding and skiing you can visit
the site at http://www.winter-skiing.com
About the author:
Ashley Barnard is a great outdoor explorer and apart from
climbing mountains around the world he also enjoys snowboarding
and skiing for a brief insoght into snowboarding and where it
came from you can visit his site at http://www.winter-skiing.com