The Winter 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are a week and a half away. One of the most popular sports events to watch is snowboarding. When most people think of snowboarding they think of freestyle where the snowboarders perform tricks similar to skateboarders on a halfpipe.
There are many different types of snowboarding events at the Winter Olympics. There is giant slalom, cross, slopestyle, big air, and halfpipe. Each event is separated into men and women competitions. In giant slalom, two athletes start and snowboard down two separate courses and whichever athlete gets to the bottom the fastest wins. The two courses are not identical, but parallel to one another. While snowboarding down the course there are at least 18 gates that the athletes must go through.
The snowboard cross is a team event. The teams are of four or six athletes who race down a course and the team with the fastest time wins. After the first round, the top two to three athletes from each qualifying team compete in the finals. The course that the athletes snowboard down has a variety of obstacles such as banks, rollers, spines, and jumps.
Slopestyle snowboarding is on a course that has various obstacles that athletes can choose to use in competition. This event is scored by six judges who judge based on the athletes height, rotations, techniques, and degree of difficulty in their performance. A perfect score is 100 points. The obstacles that the athletes can choose to use are rails, tables, boxes, walls, and jump pads. Slopestyle is similar to halfpipe in that both are not just snowboarding down a hill.
The big air event is similar to the most popular, halfpipe event. Athletes snowboard down a hill and perform tricks after launching off large jumps. The athletes do complex tricks while trying to look secure and make a clean landing. Depending on the competition, there are certain tricks that are required for each athlete in order to place well in the competition.
The halfpipe event is the most popular event that the public watches. The athletes perform jumps, rotations, and twists in the air as they snowboard across the halfpipe ramp. There are six judges that judge based on the height, rotations, techniques, and difficulty of their skills. A perfect score is 100 points. Each athlete gets to perform twice and the athletes best score of the two is used.
Snowboarding is one of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics, with the main focus being on the halfpipe event. While this event is very popular and skilled, there are other events in snowboarding that can be glossed over.