Hitting the slopes has held a new meaning ever since snowboarding was invented in the sixties and seventies. In 1998, snowboarding became an Olympic event, and today, four events are performed by Olympic snowboarders.

The first is the half-pipe, where one boarder must perform a series of acrobatic tricks, twists and jumps in order to score well. The second is the individual giant slalom, a speedy downhill race against time. The third event is the snowboard cross, a competition where four competitors race down the slopes against each other. This year, Olympians are also competing in slopestyle. Want to know more? Take the quizzes and watch the video pop quiz below.

Do You Speak Snowboard?

Whether you can snowboard or not, take this quiz to sound cool on the slopes

The History of Snowboarding

See if you know the origins of this snow sport.


Similar to the movement on a skateboard, skating helps you navigate across flat terrain. You can propel yourself through the snow by keeping one foot fastened within a binding and using the other to push forward. The movement may feel awkward at first, but it's a good way to navigate short distances.

Switching Edges
When you're first learning to snowboard (and even after), sometimes you need to switch edges, or the side of the board. Instead of taking off your bindings and switching, you can perform a maneuver by sitting down and either moving the board from heel to toe, or toe to heel. For an animated depiction of this movement, click here.

In order to control a snowboard, you must also learn how to glide. After mastering skating and how to switch edges, practice gliding down a low hill by moving your weight around to get the feel of the board and how it navigates with your movements.

Moving Up the Slope
Sometimes you might need to move uphill for a short distance even though your feet are still locked in the bindings. If you lean forward and put your hands and knees to the ground, you can use the snowboard like a pickax to cut into the snow and push your body forward.


Sideslipping and traversing are two easy maneuvers beginners can perform as they are moving down a ski slope. Sideslipping is probably the easier when you are learning to stand up with both feet in the bindings. By putting your weight forward and back you can control your movement downhill with the side of the board forward.

For traversing, you can lead with the front of the board at a diagonal and zigzag down the slope, face forward. The "Falling Leaf" is similar, but with your back facing downhill. If you are feeling confident with sideslipping, traversing and the falling leaf, you can move on to "Garlands."

Garlands are a great way to control your speed, while also learning how to move down the slope faster. Instead of zigzagging side to side, you angle your foot forward and go down the hill. When you start picking up too much speed, you hook your body weight to one side to form an "L" or "J" in the snow. This motion, between moving downhill and hooking, is called a garland. Your next step will be linking turns.

Instead of hooking forward, you can make turns similar to the traversing, but instead of zigzagging you will turn, changing the direction of your body down the slope.


There are many tricks snowboarders can master -- really, the only limit is the boarder's imagination. Once you can do jumps and have the guts to take your skills to the half-pipe, the snow will be your playground. Here are a few simple tricks to get you started:

An ollie is a type of jump in the air while you are on your board. By lifting the front of your board up, using the heel of your board to push off, you can lunge forward in a jump.

The weight to heels motion for an ollie is similar when you are doing a wheelie, but instead of jumping forward, you hold the weight placement to lift the front of your board up from the snow.

Once you've mastered turns, butters will be the perfect trick for you. This is a trick that requires multiple 360-degree turns, one in front of the other. By lifting the nose of your board into the air, like a wheelie, you can move your board in a quick switching motion.

Alright, so you can shred the slopes and tear it up on the half-pipe, but can you grind? Doing tricks on snowboarding rails in snow parks is similar to grinding on a skateboard -- you jump onto the rail and ride, hope and perform other tricks on it.

 Answer Ellery Hollingsworth's Pop Quiz!

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