A New Addition to the Paralympic Winter Games

If you spent any time watching or following this year’s Paralympic Winter Games, you probably noticed the newest addition to the games:


Para-snowboarding, or adaptive snowboarding as it was originally called, was added to the Paralympic Winter Games shortly after the conclusion of the 2012 summer games. The sport made its worldwide debut during the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games with two categories for men and women – sitting and standing.

In the Para-snowboard Details

As with any adaptive sport adaptive equipment can be a requirement of para-snowboarding depending on a person’s impairments and ability level. Much like snowboarding for able-bodied persons, adaptive snowboards are chosen for riders based on their height, weight and snowboarding ability level.

The big differences are that some adaptive riders use outriggers to assist with balance, some use a sitting board, and others don’t use any adaptive equipment but may change which foot is their lead foot based on amputations or limb discrepancies.

The Boarding Styles

Prior to purchasing a board, a rider will want to determine the type of snowboarding they will most want to do.

The three main styles include freestyle, freeriding, and alpine and race. Each of these use a different kind of board, and while they might look the same, they do have different purposes. The Paralympics use the Alpine and Race board, and take an average of three runs to determine a rider’s time.

Instructors that are trained in adaptive skiing and para-snowboard should be able to assist you in choosing the proper equipment, should you choose to try para-snowboarding for yourself. And, we’ll be there with your van wheelchair lift, so you can get all the necessary equipment to and from the slopes.

Did you watch any of the para-snowboard trials during the winter games? What did you think of the sport? Is it something you would try, why or why not?

« Back to Blog