An Introduction to Para-snowboarding

 History in the Making:

An Introduction to Para-snowboarding

The athletes will make history by competing in the first ever snowboard event at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The sport was officially added to the 2014 Paralympics Games in May 2012 after years of effort on the part of Canada Snowboard and the rest of the snowboarding community.

“We are honored to have been part of it from the very beginning,” said Dustin Heise, Sport Development Director at Canada Snowboard. “Over the years we have seen so many athletes realize their dreams by participating in World Cups, X-Games and other great competitions. However the Paralympics were always the ultimate goal and without the support of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and other international partners this would never have become a reality for our athletes. The chance to compete in Sochi in front of the world is once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Event Format

Para-snowboard events include male and female athletes living with a physical disability such as spinal injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, and visual impairments. Each athlete competes three runs down the course with their finish time of their best two runs determining the final order based on ascending time. There is only one rider on the course at a time. The event takes place on a man-made course constructed from a variety of terrain features like bank turns, various types of jumps and rollers etc.

The ideal para SBX slope allows for the construction of all or some of the following terrain features:

  •  Banks (crescent shaped)
  •  Doubled banks
  •  Rollers
  •  Offset rollers (single, double, triple, etc.)
  •  Minor jumps

Other terrain features can be built, but safety considerations and the riding level of the athletes must always be respected. If the competition includes athletes in the Visually Impaired Disability Class, for safety purposes an alternate route must be created by placing a second set of gates going around potentially dangerous features.


The Canada-Snowboard philosophy is to be fully integrated with the delivery of programs and activities for able-bodied participants of the sport.

Para-snowboard has been integrated into Park to Podium: The Long Term Athlete Development Plan for Snowboarding, the Canada Snowboard Coaching Program (CSCP), and Officials Program.

Park to Podium

The Long Term Athlete Development Plan for Snowboarding identifies appropriate activities for snowboard athletes accordingly to carefully designed stages of development, such as “Learn to Ride” and “Train to Train”. Detailed information on Park to Podium is available at


The Canada Snowboard Coaching Program (CSCP) is Canada~Snowboard’s resource for the training and certification of snowboard coaches. The CSCP is a part of the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). Detailed information on the CSCP is available

The CSCP’s integrated module for coaching athletes with a disability in snowboarding has been integrated into all Coaching Workshops.

Officials Training Program

Canada~Snowboard Officials Training Program is Canada Snowboard’s resource for training and certification of snowboard officials.

The purpose of the Officials Training Program is to provide snowboard officials with a greater understanding of the role they will assume during a competition and to introduce them to the rules of snowboard competition, the International Rules of Competition (IRC) of the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS). For more information visit

The Officials Training Program integrated module for officiating para-snowboard events has been integrated into all of the Official Workshops as of 2008. Any future official workshop will include the integrated module for officiating athletes with a disability.
For more Para-Snowboard information visit: