The increasingly popular sport of snowboarding is enjoyed by young and old alike around the world. Where there is snow, there is usually someone attempting to snowboard. While it may not be as easy to master as skiing is for most amateurs, the maneuverability of the sport and the popular image that surrounds it continues to attract new people every year.
Snowboarding is basically a combination of surfing, skateboarding and skiing. It can be enjoyed in a variety of settings and is not only fun to participate in, but amazing to watch. The snowboard was invented around 1965 and started to become commercially produced by the 1980’s. It has come a long way since then with new variants of the sport placing different demands on the snowboarders equipment.
There are a few different snowboarding categories. Free-riding is not a competitive form of the sport but it is certainly held aloft as a more pure form of the the sport. Basically the use of natural mountain terrain for recreational purposes. While no real technical tricks are used, it requires a large amount of skill to do safely and many see it as the snowboarding ‘ultimate’. Then there is Freestyle Snowboarding – the use of the board to do tricks either on the ground or in the air. Freestyle boards are shorter, lighter and the equipment is more flexible than in other forms of snowboarding. Alpine Snowboarding is quite different from these two categories all together. The boards are usually longer, narrower and the equipment is sturdier because they all come under significant stress. Alpine snowboarding is usually done at quite a speed and the snowboarder cuts his way out of the soft snow, riding on the edge of the board as he goes instead of facing the board forwards and using the whole board surface against the snow. Powder Riding and Back Country Snowboarding are also popular aspects of the sport.
So if you’re interesting in cutting up the slopes or dazzling onlookers with a couple of awesome maneuvers, why not give snowboarding a try? It’s not one of the most popular snow-based sports for nothing!