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Nicholls excited for new season to gather pace

Nicholls excited for new season to gather pace

Snowboarder Jamie Nicholls is ready for the competitions to start coming thick and fast after blowing the cobwebs away with his first outing of ...

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Fuller enjoying getting back into the swing of things

Fuller enjoying getting back into the swing of things

She may have missed out on the podium at last weekend’s season opening event but Sochi 2014 Olympian Aimee Fuller insists the building blocks ar...

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Why Team GB Loves Winter Sports

Why Team GB Loves Winter Sports

We caught up with Team GB freestyle skiers and snowborders to find out why they love winter sports so much. And this is what they said. 

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Nicholls bidding to get back to Burton Rail Days with a bang

Nicholls bidding to get back to Burton Rail Days with a bang

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that is certainly the case with Jamie Nicholls as he bids to return to the Burton Rail Days wi...

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Fuller not focussing on podium finishes just yet

Fuller not focussing on podium finishes just yet

All eyes might be on Aimee Fuller at the first competition of the new season, but the Sochi Olympian insists she is not about to get bogged down...

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History

Snowboarding was developed in the United States in the 1960’s as people across the country began to seek out new wintertime activities. Many people point to Sherman Poppen as the innovator of the snowboard in 1965.

Poppen, interested in building something for his daughter, braced a pair of skis together and tied a rope to the front to help steer. The “snurfer,” as it was later called, debuted a year later as the world’s first production snowboard.

Over the next decade, different pioneers grew the production of boards and the overall interest in snowboarding. Surfers and skateboarders joined the cause, and by 1980, snowboarding was a nationwide activity. Competition was the next logical step.

Competition and national and international federation influence began in the 1980’s. The United States held its first national championships in 1982 and hosted the first World Championships in 1983. In 1987, a four-stop World Cup tour was established, with two stops in the United States and two in Europe.

The International Snowboarding Federation (ISF) was formed in 1990 to govern international competition and the International Ski Federation (FIS) followed suit in 1994, making snowboarding an officially sanctioned discipline eligible for the Olympics. The FIS pushed for snowboarding’s inclusion in the 1998 Games and remains the international federation for the sport.

 

As a result of the emergence and growth in popularity of the Slopestyle event and success of Halfpipe and Snowboard Cross at Turin and Vancouver, the IOC have added Slopestyle to the program for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

 

Olympic History

Snowboard was added to the Olympic program for the first time at Nagano 1998 with giant slalom and halfpipe event for both men and women. At Salt Lake 2002 the alpine event of parallel giant slalom replaced the giant slalom event. Snowboard cross makes its Olympic debut at Torino 2006.

Each nation can send up to 16 athletes in snowboarding, with a maximum of ten males or ten females. A nation may have no more than four athletes competing in any one event. A maximum of 140 athletes has been established for the Olympic competition.

Technical

There are six snowboard events: men’s and women’s events for halfpipe, parallel giant slalom, which appeared for the first time at The Salt Lake City Games in 2002, and new skiing snowboarding at the Turin Games snowboard cross (SBX). The sport debuted in the 1998 Games at Nagano. The Men’s and Ladies’ parallel giant slalom replaced the two giant slalom events of the debut Games.

Halfpipe

The half pipe event is held on a half-cylindrical tube shaped into the snow. It is approximately 120-130 m long with a gradient of 16-17%. Using speed gained on the slope, snowboarders come up over the rim of the pipe to perform jumps, rotations and other mid-air manoeuvres or tricks. The object is to perform difficult manoeuvres with perfect form. Each athlete chooses a track of music to accompany the entire performance.

Parallel giant slalom

The parallel giant slalom is a competition in which two riders race down the same slope on two parallel courses, outlined with gates and triangular flags, blue on the left course and red on the right course. The setting of the courses, the terrain and snow coverage must be as identical as possible. 

Snowboard Cross

This is a challenging route including jumps and obstacles, so named because if combines halfpipe and PGS and makes reference to cross-country. Competitors must be skilled not only in the alpine skills of parallel GS, but also in the acrobatic skills necessary to negotiate the series of banks, jumps, ‘waves’, ‘whoops’ and other obstacles on the course. A series of blue and red gates and triangular flags marks the course and indicate entrances to obstacles.

Slopestyle

The Slopestyle event is new to the Olympic program and will make its first appearance in 2014 in Sochi. Slopestyle has evolved into a unique format where riders compete to achieve the highest score over a range of obstacles. Courses are unique to each event and usually include a range of jumps, rails and boxes.

equipment

Snowboard athletes wear snow jackets and pants, helmets, gloves, goggles and boots. Snowboards vary between the different events. The slalom boards are built for high speed, the halfpipe for flexibility and manoeuvrability. The type of board used by an athlete is also determined by weight.

The material of the board affects the flexibility and twisting rigidity of the board, while the shape and side cut determines how the board will react to movement and steering actions. The base is made from sintered polythelene plastic which glides easily over snow and can absorb wax for faster and smoother riding and turning.

rules

Halfpipe

There are five judges, each of whom examines the competitor on a specific judging criteria: standard air, rotation, total judging of height and amplitude of manoeuvres, technical merit, incidental falls, overall impression. The 12 women and the 12 men who achieve the highest scores in the two qualifying runs progress to the final.

The final consists of two runs. The gold medal is awarded not to the person who has the best total score of the two runs, but the one who has the best individual run score.

Parallel giant slalom

The vertical drop between the start and finish lines must be between 120 and 200 metres. After two qualifying runs, a 16-person head-to-head competition is established in which riders compete in two side-by-side courses. The athlete with the best total time after the two runs goes on to the next round.

Snowboard Cross

In the first two runs, the athletes compete individually. The 32 athletes with the best individual or combined times of the two qualification runs advance to the finals, where they compete in heats of four riders. The first two athletes to reach the finishing line in each heat advance to the next stage of the finals. To win the gold medal an athlete must qualify, progress through three rounds and then win the final.

Slopestyle

There are five judges, each of whom examines the competitor on specific judging criteria based on the difficulty and skill displayed by the competitor. The 12 women and the 12 men who achieve the highest scores in the two qualifying runs progress to the final.

The final consists of two runs. The gold medal is awarded not to the person who has the best total score of the two runs, but the one who has the best individual run score.

Team HeroesEntire Team

Jenny is a Slopestyle specialist who has led proceedings on the world stage for the past 7 years, having won 3 X Games Gold medals, (she is the first UK athlete to win an X Games gold medal), amongst countless other top snowboard titles.

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Our Results

Total: 1 medals
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Salt Lake City 2002
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Turin 2006
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Vancouver 2010
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Winter EYOF 2013
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Sochi 2014
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Sochi 2014
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
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