Freestyle snowboarding has grown in popularity over the last several years. Those that enjoy the sport enjoy many sports, and not just winter sports but sports of many seasons. Freestyle may be so popular because it combines skateboarding, surfing, and windsurfing. In this way it combines fans of all those sports as well. Many thrill seekers love to defy gravity and moving at top speeds and both of these things make this sport a huge success.
There are different freestyle categories:
Half pipe: this looks like a very large tube with the top cut off. It must be built on a hill and the snowboarder sails down through the half pipe. The athlete sails from one side to the other and from one end down to the other. As the athlete sails from side to side they jump at each side performing various tricks at the end of each side. They are scored based on difficulty of the jump, turns, flips, spins, etc.
Jump Contest: The athlete starts at the top of the hill, speeds down, and at the end there is a slope where the snowboarder jumps off the end and does a variety of spins, flips, and rotations being graded on difficulty etc. yet again.
Power Snow Driving: This may well be the favorite of those that enjoy freestyle because they start at the top of the steep hill that is covered in powdered snow and speed down carving your way down as fast as you can. This includes all the possible little jumps, curves, and turns along the way. The path, in essence is yours to choose.
Boarder Cross: Four or five snowboarders start at the top of this steep hill and there are a variety of ramps, jumps, turns, and other obstacles set up across the way for them to maneuver along the way. The first one across the finish line wins.
There are glaciers in France that freestyle snowboarders love to tackle with vertical drops and trails. The trails extend over three slopes with vertical drops. The 3,300 meter altitude help make it quite a buzz for these thrill seekers. They will spend from sun up until sun down on the glacier.
When watching the freestyle snowboarding on the Olympics have you ever been confused by what the announcer has been saying? The next time you watch maybe the following list of terms will help you understand:
Air: This happens when the snowboarder leaves the ground; usually it is combined with a trick or two as well.
Carve: When the snowboarders uses the edge of the snowboard to make a turn.
Bonk: Usually when the snowboarder rides over an object and they will usually slap the object when doing so as well.
Duck Stance: Describes the position of the snowboarder's feet on the board.
Edges: The metal strips on the sides of the snowboard. These cut into the snow and control the board to do turns, carve, or to a stop.
Fakie: This person can lead with either their left foot or their right foot.
Lip: Normally where a trick can begin to be formed, like at the top of the half pipe.
Fall Line: This refers to the direct route down the mountain, here they generate the most speed.
Garland: When the snowboarder goes across the slope. This is accomplished by aiming the board directly down the slope and then back across the slope without going in the other direction.
Half pipe: Manmade trench that the boarder uses to do tricks similar to those at skateparks.
Moguls are the bumps that have been formed in the snow by the other riders
Kicker: a small jump used to get more air and perform tricks