Carl Murphy

Carl Murphy

Alpine Skiing | Snowboard

A rider from the days before Para snowboard became a Paralympic sport, New Zealander Carl Murphy has an impressive resume of finishes under his belt.

In 2012, he won the head-to-head snowboard-cross format and finished second in the sling-shot at the World Snowboard Federation World Championships in Orcieres, France.

In recent seasons, he has finished in the top 10 in the men’s SB-LL2 World Cup rankings. His record in 2014-15 showed his podium potential, with a gold in banked slalom and a bronze in snowboard-cross at an IPC Snowboard World Cup in Big White, Canada.

But he subsequently missed the 2015 World Championships, due to an injury sustained at the 2015 X Games, and the 2015-16 World Cup season, due to a serious knee injury.

Murphy likes to joke about how his below-the-knee impairment came about:

“I lost my leg at a young age while surfing off the south coast of Australia when a tiger shark thought I looked like a tasty lunch package!”

“Ha, I wish it was that dramatic! I was actually born with only one and a half legs. However, this has not stopped me from getting up on a snowboard and competing at an international level.”

Murphy is also the only impaired rider to be named onto the New Zealand national team, and will be back on snow in 2016-17 aiming to get back to his best.


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Wife Aleisha, daughter Millie, sons Luca and Oliver
Wanaka, NZL
Architect, Athlete, Business Owner

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began snowboarding in about 1997, and took up the sport competitively in about 2007.
Why this sport?
He grew up close to Mt. Taranaki in New Zealand and developed a love of snowboarding.
Name of coach
John Shelly, NZL

General interest

Carlos Mancini (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018)
Fly fishing, spending time with family. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
His wife. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
New Zealand rugby union player Richie McCaw. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018)
In February 2016 he ruptured the patellar tendon in his knee during a race in Canada. He needed 18 months to fully recover from the injury. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018; Facebook page, 17 Nov 2016)

In January 2015 he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] in his left knee at the Winter X Games in Aspen, CO, United States of America. He returned to full training on snow 12 months later. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018;, 31 Jan 2016)

In December 2013 he suffered a tibial plateau fracture and partially ruptured the lateral collateral ligament [LCL] in his knee after overshooting a jump during training. It took him 12 weeks to fully recover from the injuries. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018;, 05 Mar 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Smooth is fast." (Athlete, 06 Mar 2018)
Awards and honours
He was named the 2015 Senior Sportsman of the Year in Central Otago, New Zealand. (, 08 Apr 2016)

In 2013 he was named Athlete of the Year and Adaptive Athlete of the Year by Snow Sports New Zealand. (, 05 Oct 2013)
In 2009 he became the first adaptive snowboarder to be named to the New Zealand able-bodied snowboard national team. (, 31 Jun 2016;, 01 Mar 2013)
He was born without his lower right leg. (Facebook page, 11 Jan 2019;, 11 Aug 2011)
Other information
In October 2018 he announced he would not be competing during the 2018/19 northern hemisphere season. "I feel after so many years it's a good time to give my mind, body and family a break. For now, I look forward to watching the World Cup tour from my living room and maybe I will be back in 2019/20. Watch this space." (Facebook page, 17 Oct 2018)


Unit Date Rank
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Para Snowboard Cross Standing Final Round 2014-03-14 4
2017 IPC Snowboard World Championships Big White, CAN (Big White, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL2 Race 1 2017-02-07 12
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Snowboard Cross SB-LL2 Final 2018-03-12 6
Men's Banked Slalom SB-LL2 Final 2018-03-16 5