What's it all about?
If you’ve ever bombed down a snowhill while sitting on a toboggan, and thought to yourself “what happens if I stand up?”, then para snowboard might just have you covered.
How it's playedCarousel with 7 slides.
The sport: Men and women with leg and arm impairments compete in three different classes. Classes are based on the particular type of impairment.
The events: Para snowboard includes events like banked slalom, giant slalom, snowboard cross (head-to-head) and snowboard cross (time-trial). (See pictures below.)
The equipment: A cool snowboard and a cool helmet, of course! Plus some awesome looking goggles and a good pair of snowboarding boots.
The strategy: Speed and balance are key, because falling down can cost an athlete the race.
The points: The snowboard cross and banked slalom are both timed events where the fastest snowboarder wins, but each athlete gets three attempts.
The athletes: At these speeds, falls in para snowboarding can be pretty common, so learning how to fall in a way that reduces the chances of injury is helpful. Snowboarders also tend to toughen up the body parts that take the most punishment, like wrists or knees.
Did you know? The first snowboard was just two skis tied together! It was called a snurfer because it combined snow and surfing.
Things to watch for
- The banked slalom is a young sport, it was just introduced at Pyeongchang 2018.
- Athletes navigate down a twisting course with bumps and divots, steering around gates.
- Para snowboarders get three attempts to race down the hill, and the best time is kept.
- Snowboard cross is an exciting all-out race on a 500 to 1,000 metre course.
- Athletes ride over berms, rollers, jumps and other obstacles in the terrain.
- The snowboarder who crosses the finish line first wins.
The Three Classes
- Para snowboard athletes are divided into three classes based on their physical impairment.
- The first and second classes are for lower limb impairments that affect one or both legs.
- The third class is for athletes with upper limb impairments that affect their balance.
The snowboard was invented on Christmas day in 1965 in Michigan, Detroit.
You couldn't snowboard at ski resorts until the '80s because it was considered dangerous and just a fad.
Para snowboard is the latest sport to be added to the Winter Paralympic Games, launched as recently as Sochi 2014.