- Extreme snowboarding
gaps and anything else that occurs in a mountain environment. One need to be highly trained to do this sport and it is highly dangerous.
Some riders just can't get enough of snowboarding, after they have outgrown the gentle slopes, lift lines, marked trails, and safe recluse of snowboarding resorts, they try off-piste and backcountry snowboarding which is done in the wild with no lifts, patrols, and other conveniences.
Some riders take snowboarding further by doing it the extreme way. For those who wish to push their physical limits, try death-defying stunts and rides, and battle with extreme terrain and snow conditions, they can try the so-called extreme snowboarding.
Extreme snowboarding is done on nearly vertical slopes that exceed 45 degrees on mountainous regions. This also entails going through cliffs, deep snow, chutes, and trees, among other obstacles in a mountain environment. Some of the best extreme snowboarding locations are the Fall Wall, Mont Fort backside in Verbier, Suisse with its 1600 m drop and the Pas de Chèvre in Aiguille des Grands Montets, Chamonix, France with its 1500 m vertical drop.
Anyone who would try extreme snowboarding should be an experienced rider, in physical and mental shape, and is familiar with avalanche safety and rescue. Speed, technical ability, and finesse are the main factors an extreme snowboarder should consider while the terrain and airtime (for those who enter in competitions) are the restraining factors.
Alaska, extreme snowboarders compete for the World Extreme Snowboarding Championships. Extreme snowboarders do either downhill or freestyle. Downhill entails convert|4000|ft|m of vertical run with rollers, gullies, and wind lips. There are two timed runs and one inspection run. Freestyle, on the other hand, involves convert|3000|ft|m of vertical run with natural half pipes, small cliffs, rolls, cornices, and wind lips, and has two judged runs and one inspection run.
In New Zealand, the Marmot Extreme Skiing and Snowboarding Competition attracts riders who have the courage to run down a challenging and risky double black diamond terrain. The competition is done at one of the toughest snowboarding zones in New Zealand - the Pinnacles in Whakapapa Ski Area.
There are five factors that judges in extreme snowboarding look for:
• Line. Every snowboarder will decide what line he or she will run. High scores will be given for those who chose a difficult line. The level of difficulty is defined by steepness, exposure, snow conditions, and obstacles or hazards. How the snowboarder executed the line also has a bearing in this category.
• Control. Extreme snowboarders should not be able to fall down because this is the means total loss of control. This, in any way, will lead to lower scores. A dexterous recovery will lessen the penalty an extreme snowboarder can get. Competitors must also avoid falling in no fall zones such as the finish area.
• Fluidity. Extreme snowboarders must run the line smoothly. Judges look for continuity, good velocity, and smooth transitions. If the riders stop and make unnecessary traverses, it will lead to lower score in the Fluidity category.
• Style. Competitors should astound the judges through their technical abilities and snowboarding style. This category has no standards so the competitors have the leeway to perform any possible style as long as they do it with grace.
• Aggressiveness. This is synonymous to how the snowboarder attacks the line. This includes focus, confidence, and the rate and intensity of the run.
Extreme snowboarding competitors are required to wear
climbing harnesses, helmets, and avalanchetransceivers. They should also bring shovels and other pieces of basic survival gear in case they deviate from the course. Planning and choosing the line carefully is extremely necessary. Extreme snowboarders should be able to read the mountain, the terrain, as well as the snow conditions.
Every year there is a competition in
Alaskacalled King of the Hill, where extreme snowboarders compete for cash prizes.
* [http://www.kingextreme.com/ King of the Hill]
* [http://www.abc-of-snowboarding.com Extreme Snowboarding]
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