Slopestyle snowboarding rules! Incorporating most aspects of freestyle snowboarding, slopestyle has historically emphasised style over difficulty. This does make it tricky for onlookers to understand how riders are scored. What are the slopestyle snowboarding rules nowadays?
The Slopestyle snowboarding rules fall under four main categories:
- Slopestyle snowboarding courses
- Slopestyle snowboarding rounds
- Slopestyle snowboarding judging
- International Ski Federation snowboarding regulations
Keep reading to learn more. Alternatively, experience slopestyle for yourself at one of the best snowboard resorts in the world!
1. Slopestyle Snowboarding Rules: The Course
Slopestyle snowboarding is like riding down a mountainside obstacle course.
And a pretty gnarly one at that.
The goal is to finish the course whilst landing tricks to accumulate points.
Courses typically consist of jibs and jumps.
A jib is an obstacle, often with some sort of rail, that snowboarders can jump, ride, or slide on to earn technical points. A jump is a place where snowboarders can soar into the air and perform tricks.
According to the International Ski Federation (Federation Internationale de Ski, or FIS), there are a few regulations for the course:
- The incline of the course should be about 12 degrees.
- The course must be at least 30 meters (98.4 feet) wide.
- The length of the course must be between 50-200 meters (164-656 feet).
- The runtime of the course should not be less than 20 seconds.
- The course must be usable for both male and female competitors.
Pretty straightforward right?
2. Slopestyle Snowboarding Rules: The Rounds
- The qualifying round: This consists of two runs, and the rider keeps the higher of the two scores. The top 12 scorers then advance to the final round.
- The final round: This round is typically three runs. The snowboarder with the lowest score goes first in the finals.
3. Slopestyle Snowboarding Rules: The Judging
Easily the most controversial part of the slopestyle snowboarding rules.
Some judges will judge the rider’s performance as a whole, while other judges analyze specific areas of the course.
Riders are given a score out of 100, with 60 points possible for tricks and 40 points for overall impression.
This allows scope for subjectivity… some judges value steeze more than others.
Judges score riders on:
- Amplitude – The height the rider reaches & whether they land in the right spot
- Difficulty – how difficult the tricks are, based on factors like the number of rotations or how the competitors land
- Execution – How well the rider was in control. This includes their overall form during their tricks
- Variety – If the rider has performed a variety of tricks during their turn, this will be factored into the overall score. No-one likes a one-trick pony.
Judges may deduct points for things such as:
- Unstable body or using hands for balance
- Hand touches or body contact with the snow
- Hard touchdowns or falls
4. International Ski Federation Snowboarding Regulations
The FIS has a rulebook full of regulations for snowboarders. It includes regulations such as:
- Snowboarders must be at least 13-years old by the end of the calendar year in which the season begins and 15-years old for major competitions.
- Warmup slopes that are both closed to the public and appropriate for the event must be made available to all competitors.
- The finish line must be crossed with at least one foot attached to the board.
- All competitors must properly wear appropriate helmets.
Hopefully that gives you some understanding of the slopestyle snowboarding rules.
It’s important to note that these will vary slightly depending on the competition.
What scored highly 5 years ago might score relatively modesty nowadays.
Plus, at the end of the day, whether they admit it or not, judges are gonna be swayed by general style/steeze!
Alternatively, book your trip to one of The 13 Best Snowboard Resorts In The World!