Snowboarding Safety

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Snowboarding Safety

SNOWBOARDING : Snowboard Insurance | Types of Snowboarding | Snowboarding Safety | History | Destinations & News


There are different styles of boarding which require special equipment and techniques, such as Freestyle, Freeride and Freecarve/Race. 



Freestyle is the term used for riders on man-made terrain over features such as boxes, rails, ramps, quarter pipes, half-pipes, super-pipes and many others.  This type of terrain is where you will see riders performing many of their jib or aerial tricks and stunts.  A soft boot is worn and the board will have extra flex.  This is the type of board most commonly used in competitions.


Freecarve (Race) or Alpine Snowboarding

Powerful and graceful curves cutting into the snow - this style is best suited to hard snow or manicured runs. Stay focused because this is race style and not one for beginners.




The most commonly practiced, and is basically the term for just pointing the board down the mountain and going!  It also includes aerial stunts and tricks which are used in Freestyle.  Freeriders typically wear a softer boot and the board is longer and not as flexible.

This style of boarding is used on the smooth, groomed and hard-pack snow runs for a faster ride.  The boot is sturdier and the board stiffer and narrower.


It is important to note that ski and snowboard insurance only provides limited cover for certain types of snowboarding. Some may provide no cover whatsoever for snow park activities. Some, such as our own ski insurance (click here) will cover for pipe and rail activities. It is unlikely however you will find any general ski insurance to cover for competition snowboarding. It is down to you to ensure that your insurance will cover you for the activities you are planning.



Other Snowboarding Terms

Snowboarding has an extensive jargon of its own.  We won’t begin to tackle the subject here but there are plenty of dictionaries available and website to help you out, such as  Here are a few general terms to get you started: 


Big Air:  In big air events, competitors use a snow-packed ramp or hill to perform tricks and stunts in the air.  They are judged on their landing, distance jumped, height and difficulty of the trick. 


Slope Style:  In this type of boarding, competitors will descend down a special course and perform tricks on and around terrain obstacles and features such as moguls, rails, jumps, jibs, boxes, half-pipes and super pipes.


Half-pipe:  A half-pipe is a purpose-built semi-circular ditch in a slope which can be anything up to 21 feet deep.   Competitors descend the pipe by traversing from one side to the other and catching air at the sides

Super-pipe: Super-pipes are very popular and becoming more widely available for use by snowboarders.  It is basically a very large half-pipe, which can be used for snowboarding, freestyle skiing, freestyle BMX, in-line skating and skateboarding.  As a general rule super-pipes have walls that are over sixteen feet high and ninety degrees vertical.  Super-pipes are more wide than they are tall and are wider and longer than a half-pipe.  Super-pipes are becoming the norm for most snowboarding competitions.


Snowboard Cross (Boarder X):  This is a competitive race with obstacles, moguls and jumps on the course.  Several riders – usually from four to six, will ride the course at the same time, in various heats until there is an overall winner.


Snowboard Racing:  Racing events include Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G.   In slalom races the boarders descend the run making tight turns through gates at high speed.  Giant Slalom is basically the same but with a longer course and the gates positioned further apart and the racers travel at much higher speeds.




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