HISTORY OF PARA SNOWBOARD

Para Snowboard is practised worldwide and features three disciplines: snowboard-cross, banked slalom and giant slalom.

Athletes combine speed and agility while racing down courses as fast as possible.

Competition includes male and female athletes with a physical impairment such as spinal injury, cerebral palsy and amputation.

Athletes compete in three categories based on their functional ability – SB-LL1 and SB-LL2 for lower-limb impaired riders and SB-UL for upper-limb impaired athletes.
Snowboarders use equipment that is adapted to their needs including snowboard and orthopaedic aids.
 

World Para Snowboard acts as the International Federation for the sport which is coordinated by the World Para Snowboard Sport Technical Committee.

Para Snowboard was initially governed by the World Snowboard Federation (WSF), but after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2010, it was taken under World Para Alpine Skiing with a view to continue working with the WSF to develop the sport. At the moment, World Para Snowboard also has a co-operation agreement with FIS collaborating on the development and technical aspects.

The sport owes its success to the determination of a group of pioneering riders who in 2005 began their quest to have the sport included at the Paralympic Winter Games.

After many years of campaigning, in 2012 it was announced that snowboard would make its debut at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games as part of the alpine skiing programme, with two medal events in lower-limb impairment classifications for men and women in snowboard-cross time trial.

A hugely successful debut which attracted worldwide media interest saw Netherlands’ Bibian Mentel-Spee secure the women’s gold whilst US rider Evan Strong took the men’s.

Evan Strong (C) led the first Paralympic men's snowboard podium in 2014


This thrust snowboard onto the global stage and in 2015, the first  World Championships were held in La Molina, Spain. Here, banked slalom and snowboard-cross head-to-head were contested for the first time, whilst the lower-limb impaired classifications were split and upper-limb impaired riders also competed for coveted world titles.

The 2015 World Championships saw the culmination of ongoing improvements to the classification system, including the separation of lower-limb impaired riders to SB-LL1 and SB-LL2 which was introduced during the 2014-15 season.

The competition calendar has also been expanded and now takes in some of the best locations around the world for World Cups and Europa Cups, and most recently for the North America and Asia Cups.

This growth was reflected at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, where the snowboard programme was expanded to ten events. 

GROWTH OF SNOWBOARD AT THE PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

YEAR COUNTRIES MEDAL EVENTS MALE  FEMALE  TOTAL TOP 3 COUNTRIES
2014 (as part of alpine skiing) 20 2 33 12 45 1. USA 2. NED 3. FRA
2018 24 10 56 13 69 1. USA 2. NED 3= AUS, FIN, JPN

 

OVERALL PARALYMPIC MEDALS TABLE

RANK COUNTRY GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
1 USA 6 6 5 17
2 Netherlands 3 2 1 5
3= Australia 1 0 1 2
3= Finland 1 0 1 2
3= Japan 1 0 1 2


TOP 5 MALE PARALYMPIC MEDALLISTS

RANK ATHLETE YEARS COMPETING GOLD  SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
1 Mike Schultz (USA) 2014-present 3 0 0 3
2= Simon Patmore (AUS) 2014-present 1 0 1 2
2= Matti Suur-Hamari (FIN) 2014-present 1 0 1 2
2= Gurimu Narita (JPN) 2014-present 1 0 1 2
2= Noah Elliott (USA) 2014-present 1 0 1 2
2= Mike Minor (USA) 2014-present 1 0 1 2

 

TOP 5 FEMALE PARALYMPIC MEDALLISTS

RANK ATHLETE YEARS COMPETING GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
1 Bibian Mentel-Spee (NED) 2014-2018 3 0 0 3
2 Brenna Huckaby (USA) 2018-present 2 0 0 2
3 Cecile Hernandez-Cervallon (FRA) 2014-present 0 2 1 3
4 Amy Purdy (USA) 2014-present 0 1 2 3
5 Lisa Bunschoten (NED) 2014-present 0 1 1 2
Bibian Mentel-Spee (C) is the most successful female Para snowboarder


Competition description

Banked slalom
Each athlete competes three runs down the course with their best run determining the final order based on ascending time. There is only one rider on the course at a time. The course may be a medium pitched slope. It may be preferably a naturally varying terrain, with plenty of bumps and dips, and preferably a U-shape/natural valley.

Snowboard-cross (head-to-head) 
During qualification, each athlete completes three runs down the course with their best run determining the final order based on ascending time. There is only one rider on the course at a time during qualification. 
Finals consist of 16 men and eight women, with two competitors per heat or such other numbers as determined by the Jury. The ideal snowboard-cross may allow the construction of any features excluding: gap jumps, corner jumps, spines and double spines, cutting banks, giant slalom turns and negative banks.

Snowboard-cross (time-trial)
Each athlete competes three runs down the course with their best run determining the final order based on ascending time. There is only one rider on the course at a time. As with head-to-head, the event takes place on a man-made course constructed from a variety of terrain features like bank turns. The course design is also the same as head-to-head.

Giant slalom
Each athlete competes two runs down the course with the combined time determining the final order. There is only one rider on the course at a time. General characteristics and terrain of the course include a medium pitched slope, preferably with various grades. The course may be perfectly groomed and the snow surface may be compacted.
 

Strategic Plan