|Competitions held||51 (Venues)|
Snowboarding is a sport combining elements of surfing, skateboarding, and skiing. The snowboarders slide down a snow-covered surface on a single board strapped to their feet. It developed in the 1960s, with the first mass-produced snowboard being sold in 1966, termed the “Snurfer”. In the late 1970s, snowboarding became more popular, and snowboarders began to “invade” traditional snow resorts, often met by opposition from skiers, who tried to exclude the snowboarders from “their” mountains. By the 1990s, almost all ski resorts allowed snowboarding, with these resorts finding the snowboarders to be an excellent source of revenue.
Competition in snowboarding developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. World Championships in the sport were first held in 1993, for both men and women. At the World Championships, there are multiple events contested, including parallel giant slalom, parallel slalom, halfpipe, big air, slopestyle, boardercross or snowboard cross, and a combined competition.
Snowboarding was admitted to the Olympic Program for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. At the Olympics, men and women currently compete in five events: parallel giant slalom, halfpipe, slopestyle, big air, and boardercross. A mixed boardercross team event débuted at Beijing 2022.
Parallel slalom and giant slalom are similar to slalom racing done in professional Alpine skiing, in which two skiers race down parallel race courses of identical design; the first snowboarder to finish the course advances to the next round. Halfpipe is an acrobatic event, conducted in a tube (termed the halfpipe), which is bounded by two steep parallel walls of ice. Big air is a halfpipe-type event on larger courses and slopes. Slopestyle is an acrobatic event on a specially designed course, with various ramps, rails, jumps, and other terrain park features. Boardercross is a very exciting, almost combative, event that is contested in rounds and heats, with each heat consisting of several snowboarders (4-8). The snowboarders race pack-style down the same course, with the first finishers advancing to the next round. The event is fast, with lots of action, skills, contact, and falls and was added to the Olympic Program at Torino 2006.
Snowboarding is governed by the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS), although this has been controversial. When snowboarding sought recognition as an Olympic sport, it tried to do so under the aegis of its own federation, the International Snowboard Federation (ISF), which was not recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC agreed to allow snowboarding on the Olympic program but only if governed by the FIS, as a discipline of skiing. After losing that control, the ISF eventually ceased operations in 2002. The decision was not well accepted by the snowboarding community, and several top snowboarders skipped the first Olympic competition in protest. As of 2022, the FIS has 136 member nations.
The United States is the most successful nation in this discipline. Through 2022, Shaun White (USA) has uniquely won three Olympic snowboard medals, all of them gold. White is followed by Vic Wild (ROC/RUS), Philipp Schoch (SUI), Seth Wescott (USA), and Pierre Vaultier (FRA), all with two gold medals. In the women’s competition, there are four snowboarders with three medals and five competitors with two Olympic titles, but only Americans Lindsey Jacobellis and Jamie Anderson are on both lists.
|People's Republic of China||CHN||1||2||0||3|
|Republic of Korea||KOR||0||1||0||1|
|Republic of Korea||KOR||0||0||1||1|
|Vic Wild|| ROC
|Name||Gender||Still contested?||Times held?|
|Parallel Giant Slalom||Men||6|
|Parallel Giant Slalom||Women||6|