Urban Snowboarding Contests

What is it?

Urban snowboarding contests are usually rail jams set up in resort base areas and sometimes in city urban areas. Setting up a rail set with adequate snow in a city center can pose quite a challenge for event organizers, but the result is high end entertainment for large crowds that such events attract.

What does the competition venue consist of?

Sharing roots with other events the location of these events make them stand apart. However, the contest venue of urban snowboarding contests do share many of the same components. You will find:

  • Either real or mock up stair sets with rails (some flat, some with kinks), ledges, boxes and other variations in the street style environment.
  • Fencing and closure to provide a safe distance between the riders and the crowd.
  • A Judging Panel
  • A starting area with a starter to organize riders and send them.
  • To keep with the Urban Beat, a DJ mixing up a soundtrack for the event
  • Sometimes, night events have wild lights, laser shows and fireworks

How do you win or lose?

The Judging panel will judge the riders based on skills, technical difficulty, execution, style and on sliding or using the feature completely, a.k.a. cleaning it.

Keys to competing well

Even here on the streets, the primary idea is to utilize the features offered in the venue to push skill progression and creatively express personal style through the sport. Ways an Urban rider can try to score well includes:

  • Variety of tricks - If you do the same trick or variations of the same trick over and over, anyone who is mixing it up and doing different kind of slides and presses will beat you.
  • Flow of execution – Be smooth, and make the difficult look easy. Enough said…
  • Technical Difficulty – Try to show basic stylish and advanced versions of tricks. Spin on, spin off, spin to press, frontside, backside, switch, changeups and changing rotation direction mid trick, etc…
  • Have fun

Most important events

This arena of urban snowboarding contests is still very young. Recently I have heard of urban events in Portland, Seattle, Bend, NYC, as well as in many mountain towns. We will see more of these events as they really do draw a fun crowd and create an entertaining scene.

Olympic Outlook?

Urban events may be a ways off from being in the Olympics.
The heart of Urban style is in the streets. It has a rebel nature and uniqueness that makes it hard to have structured specifics for a course. With the introduction of slopestyle in the Games in Sochi Russia in 2014, Urban is a step closer. For now though, I think Urban riding styles are just a but to wild and diverse for them to become an Olympic event.

But, that’s okay and the way it should be. I think many of the riders would probably want it that way. 

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