Snowboarding is a boardsport on snow, similar to skiing, but inspired by surfing and skateboarding. Snowboarding is an increasingly common winter sport throughout the world where participants attach a composite board to their feet and slide down a snow-covered mountain.

A snowboarder's equipment consists of a snowboard, snowboard boots, bindings to attach the boots to the board and snowboarding-specific winter clothing. Snowboarding became a Winter Olympic Games medal-eligible sport in 1998. Other events that focus on snowboarding are the annual U.S. and European Open Snowboarding Championships and the Winter X-Games. These events are hosted by various winter resorts in the United States, Canada and Europe.


The snowboard evolved from early pioneering work by people such as Sherman Poppen (who invented the "Snurfer" in his North Muskegon, Michigan home), Tom Sims and Jake Burton. For more on the history of snowboarding, see this Snowboard History Timeline.


There are four primary sub-disciplines or sub-styles within snowboarding with each favoring a slightly different snowboard design.


Freeriding is using the natural terrain of the mountain for recreation, without focusing on technical tricks or racing. Most snowboarders aspire to be freeriders and will explore the mountain through trees, in powder bowls or anywhere else they feel comfortable riding. Freeriding is also known as all-mountain snowboarding. A variant of freeriding focusing on extremely difficult lines is extreme snowboarding.

Freeride snowboarding, where the focus is on riding cleanly and enjoying the freedom to go and explore anywhere is influenced significantly by surfing. Many freeride purists attach an almost spiritual connotation to carving down the mountain.


Freestyle snowboarding is the practice of doing different kinds of tricks on a snowboard. Tricks can either occur on the ground (e.g. jibbing, bonking, grinding, pressing, etc.) or in the air (e.g. spins, flips, grabs). Freestyle snowboarders typically use shorter, softer boards and softer boots than other snowboarders. The shorter board length reduces the weight and moment of inertia, making it easier to spin and maneuver. Softer boots and boards are more forgiving, to allow more control for the particular demands of freestyle riding, such as slower speeds, high landing impacts, quick turns, and imperfect landings. Softer boots and boards also allow riders more flexibility in body movement and the ability to reach very convoluted or stretched out, stylish body positions (known as tweaking it).

Freestyle snowboarding is very popular, and is certainly the focus of most of the lifestyle marketing in the snowboarding industry.

Freestyle snowboarding is influenced greatly by skateboarding. Many ski resorts operate terrain parks which often simulate the urban skateboard environment, complete with handrails, funboxes and machine-formed jumps

© Copyright 2024 Sports Central All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.