Slopestyle SnowboardingFebruary 6, 2014
Slopestyle snowboarding will be making its debut as a Winter Olympic event in Sochi. Needless to say, Canada will be in full force with some of the best slopestyle snowboarders in the world. The goal of slopestyle snowboarding is to put together the best jumps and perform the most difficult tricks while making the least number of mistakes. Snowboarders hurtle down a terrain park, or in slopestyle lingo, the jib park.
The Sochi slopestyle course will be 635 meters in length. It will feature 3 jumps which get progressively bigger, encouraging snowboarders to take monster jumps. Jumps, or kickers as they are known are usually between 20 to 80 feet in length. The Sochi course will also feature rails or jibs where the athletes can do tricks, such as the frontside 180 to 50-50 or the board slide.
Riders are judged by the degree of difficulty of each trick, with new tricks usually scoring the highest marks. Amplitude or height is another criteria which judges look for. They also base scoring on the landing; a fall or a hand touching the ground will result in a deduction of points – thus the landing has to be as clean as possible to score the maximum amount.
Some snowboard terms you might hear while enjoying the event:
- 540 Air – An aerial manoeuvre in which the snowboarder rotates 540 degrees — one-and-a-half spins.
- Slopestyle – A freestyle event where the participant is judged on tricks performed while riding over a series of assorted jumps.
- Blindside – Any rotation where the rider approaches or lands “blind” to the direction of travel such that he/she must look over his/her shoulder. An air performed with this technique usually increases the level of difficulty.
- Frontside – The frontside of the snowboard is the side where your toes sit. The frontside of a snowboarder is the side to which his/her front faces
Slopestyle might be one of the hottest events in Sochi. Canada has brought its best riders with athletes such as Mark Morris, Sebastien Toutant, Max Parrrot and Charles Reid on the men’s team and Spencer O’Brien and Jenna Blasman on the women’s team. The team is full of young riders who are at the top of their game and ready to showcase slopestyle snowboarding to the world, while solidifying Canada as the best nation in the event.
Slopestyle snowboarding qualification rounds for both men and women are scheduled for February 6. The men’s semifinals and finals will be on February 8, while the women’s semifinals and finals are slated for February 9.