Thundering snowfalls – the hair-raising twists and turns, the tooth-gritting excitement of flying off the end of a ramp that’s taller than all the trees in the valley combined – this is big air snowboarding.
It’s one of the most adrenaline-pumping, awe-inspiring sports on the planet, and it’s frequently the centerpiece of the winter Olympics. In this post, we’ll explore the history of big air, go over key snowboarding tricks you need to know if you’re going to tackle big air, dive deep into the qualifications and rules you need to know to compete in Olympic big air snowboarding, and leave you with some tips and tricks to elevate your big air snowboarding skills. Are you ready to unlock your full potential in the world of snowboarding? Let’s get started!
The History of Big Air
Before the big air craze took over the snowboarding world and became a staple in the Olympic games, there were just a handful of riders who dared to launch themselves higher and farther than anyone else. These early pioneers of big air snowboarding believed that the sky was the limit and they were willing to go to great lengths to prove it.
Back then, big air was considered an extreme sport, only for the bravest and most adventurous riders. The concept was simple: catch as much air as possible off a large jump and execute a stylish trick while in the air. While some riders used the jumps to test the limits of their own courage, others used them to showcase their skill and creativity.
As the interest in big air snowboarding grew, so did the size and complexity of the jumps. Riders began to experiment with different shapes and angles to maximize their air time and to increase the degree of difficulty of their tricks. Eventually, the sport evolved into a more complicated and technical discipline that required years of practice to master.
Today, big air snowboarding has elevated to a whole new level with unique obstacles and soaring heights, making it one of the most exciting and thrilling snow sports to watch. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a curious spectator, the history of big air snowboarding serves as a reminder of just how far this sport has come, and how much further it has the potential to go in the future.
Mastering Snowboard Tricks for Big Air
Alright, so you’ve got your snowboard and you’re itching to get up in the air and show off your moves. But before you even think about hitting that big air jump, you need to make sure you’ve got some tricks up your sleeve. If you’re new to snowboarding, start with the basics: carving, stopping, and some basic turns. You want to have a solid foundational skill set before you start throwing yourself off ramps.
Once you’ve got the fundamentals down, it’s time to start thinking about tricks. The key to mastering snowboard tricks is practice, practice, practice. Start with the easier tricks, like grabs and spins, and work your way up to more advanced moves like flips and rolls.
One of the best ways to improve your snowboard trick game is by watching videos of other snowboarders. Pay attention to their body movements and try to replicate them yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask other snowboarders for advice or tips—they’ll likely be more than happy to help you out.
Another tip for mastering snowboard tricks is to break them down into smaller pieces. Instead of trying to do a 720 spin right off the bat, focus on doing a 180 or 360 first. Once you’ve got those down, work your way up to the bigger spins.
Finally, make sure you’re practicing your tricks in a safe environment. Don’t try to hit big air jumps or rails that are outside of your skill level, as this can be dangerous. Start small and work your way up, and most importantly, have fun! Snowboarding is all about pushing yourself and trying new things, so don’t be afraid to take risks and try something new.
The Qualifications and Rules in Olympic Big Air Snowboarding
Big Air events are relatively new to the Winter Olympics, with the first Big Air snowboarding competition debuting in the 2018 Pyeongchang games. The scoring system for Big Air events is based on the overall difficulty of the tricks being performed combined with the style and execution. Each contestant’s top-scored trick from two different runs is considered towards their overall score.
To be eligible for the Olympics, a snowboarder must meet the criteria set forth by their home country’s National Olympic Committee. A snowboarder must have a certain amount of FIS points (International Ski Federation) and must have competed in a certain amount of qualifying events leading up to the Olympics. Though the qualification process can vary depending on the country’s committee, there is a minimum level of ability and experience required to participate in these events.
According to the official rules set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a Big Air snowboarding event must have a minimum of three contestants from three different countries. The contest runs for 30 minutes, with each athlete taking three runs. Scores are based on a combination of jump height, execution, difficulty of jump, and landing quality.
In addition to the technical aspect of Big Air events, there are also rules regarding sportsmanship and etiquette. For example, once an athlete drops into the course, they have the right of way, and other athletes must wait until they’ve passed before entering the course. Any behavior that could harm other athletes, such as cutting them off or dangerous riding, is strictly prohibited.
With these qualifications and rules in mind, it’s easy to see why Big Air events are such a thrilling and exciting addition to the Winter Olympics. The combination of technical ability and creativity make for a jaw-dropping spectacle that’s hard to match in any other winter sport.
Tips and Tricks for Boosting Your Big Air Snowboarding Skills
Whether you’re a seasoned snowboarder or just starting to take on big air, here are some tips and tricks to enhance your skills and take your snowboarding to the next level.
Firstly, it’s essential to have a solid foundation of basic snowboarding techniques. Before attempting big air, make sure you have mastered carving and jumping on smaller jumps. Practice your turns and balance, because all of these will come into play when tackling big air.
Next, visualization is key. Picture yourself going off the jump and landing perfectly. Imagine yourself completing the trick flawlessly. Visualization helps you mentally prepare for the jump and instills confidence in your abilities.
When it comes to big air, speed is your friend. The faster you approach the jump, the more lift you will get. This extra lift gives you more airtime to perform your trick. But remember to not sacrifice control for speed, maintain your balance and form as you head towards the jump.
Timing is crucial in big air. A good thing to keep in mind is to pop off the lip of the jump as you go up, rather than off the end of the jump. This technique maximizes the amount of airtime you’ll receive, and gives you optimal time to complete the trick.
Finally, practice makes perfect. Repetition and trial and error are essential in perfecting your big air skills. Don’t be afraid to try new tricks, even if you might fail at first. The best way to learn is by doing, so keep trying and don’t give up. With these tips and practice, you’ll be competing at Olympic level in no time!