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freestyle snowboarding
Snowboard terrain park action!

Like the origins of skiing, no one can really say when snowboarding began.

Did an ice age human ancestor step on a piece of tree bark and discover the thrill of sliding down a snowy hill?

It doesn't really matter who first put their feet on something solid to slide down a snowy mountain. They quickly discovered that with a bit of practice and balance you can surf on snow!

For most modern day enthusiasts, snowboarding history only dates back to the 1970's -- when a surfer dude decided to put wheels on a board to ride the concrete wave of a city street. From there, it was only a matter of time before the wheels came off and snowboarding was on -- as skateboarders made their way to a local powder-packed downhill trail.

In fact, if you already know how to skateboard you probably have all the moves necessary for learning to snowboard. And, while not as accessible as skateboarding (where all you need are wheels and a street), shreddin' down the slopes is gaining in popularity, especially over traditional skiing. Quick to pick up on the trend, ski resorts now offer runs and terrain for skiers and snowboarders alike.

also see -> Snowboarding Safety Tips & Tricks

At the terrain park

Around since the 1980's, snowboard terrain parks are now a featured part of many major ski resorts where snowboarders can expect to find a variety of a jumps, jibs, and half-pipes ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced.

Terrain parks have their roots in skateboard parks and have elements that are common to both. The main moves or "tricks" performed by skateboarders depend on the different features which may be completely made from snow (for jumping), or constructed from wood, metal, and/or light-weight polyethylene (for "jibbing").

snowboard nosegrab
Sequence photo of a snowboard "nosegrab" jump.

Common snowboarding slang & lingo

Like surfer slang, snowboarders have a language all their own to describe various conditions, tricks, moves and mishaps. Until you're ready to "tear it up" down the slopes like a pro, here are only a few slang terms and catchphrases to get you started at sounding like a real "shredder":

bail - failing to successfully complete a trick
- turning
catching air - jumping from the snow into the air
snowboard diagramcut -
a hard turn
face plant - falling face-first into the snow
fakie - snowboarding backwards
garage sale - a bad fall in which hat, helmet, and other gear fly off haphazardly (also "yard sale")
gnar - rough terrain ("gnarly")
grab - a jump trick in which the snowboarder grabs either the front (see photo) or back of the snowboard while airborne
jib - any trick or maneuver performed in a terrain park
planker - a skier
pow - fresh snow (powder)
- snowboarding down the slopes
stomp - to successfully "nail" a move
tearin' it up - having a great day on the slopes

Snowboarding on the Web:

Around the Web, discover the thrill of learning to snowboard, and catch up on where the latest action is at resorts in the U.S. and worldwide ... - Great graphics welcome you to a great site. Photos, snowboarding gear and reviews, snow conditions and weather info, articles, how tos and much more... - Sweet, simple design and top resources,.along with a kickin' forum and live chat ... - Just what it says - focusing on the world of snowboarding and they do mean the world. Events, articles and other information that you'll appreciate. Check the reviews of the top 10 resorts if you're a wanderer.

History of Snowboarding - English language site based in Germany has good information and the forum is active. Frames make the navigation easy, if a bit odd, but the great content more than makes up for the less than stellar design.

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