Snowboardcross in its simplest terms is a race down a man-made track on a snow slope, the track is outlined by gates which you must stay within and a number of obstacles are found on the track, the first person down wins.
Your common Snowboardcross track will include a number of turns, jumps, banks, rollers, bumps and straights which the rider must pick their line and use the transitions which will get them down fastest.
In most races the following format takes place:
Inspection: ride slowly down the track not riding the course or transitions, just scoping it out
Practice: A number of practice runs to familiarise yourself with the course
Qualification: A number of timed runs to rank and seed yourself within the heats draw
Heats: Usually 4 riders will race in each heat, the fastest qualifiers will have gate of choice, slowest will have last, first 2 to finish progress to the next round
Finals: After heats, a small final (5-9) and overall final (1-4) determine the final results of the race.
It is an exciting and dangerous sport, it is probably the most popular to watch at the Winter Olympics. This is due to the often random nature in the results; skill, experience, weather conditions, snow conditions, snowboard preperation, mistakes, fitness, determination and tactics, will often determine the winner of the day. Therefore it is hard to repeat such feats! Only the best will succeed.
It’s best to watch a video to better understand it, a selection videos below including The Brits Snowboardcross Finals where I came 2nd are found below:
Use the buttons within the embedded player to skip between each video and see the playlist. For more info on each video, you guessed it you hit the ‘More info’ button!