Photo of a snowboarder in the air

Para-Snowboard athletes compete in a time trial version of the Snowboardcross (SBX) Event. This format consists of each rider performing two or three timed runs, with only one rider on the course at a time. The course set up is similar to able-bodied snowboardcross events, with modifications to terrain features.

The format combines both race and freestyle elements, while challenging the athletes regardless of their disability. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the governing body for Para-Snowboard.  The IPC is responsible for creating the rules and regulations for a safe and fair playing field for the athletes.

The ideal SBX slope will allow for the construction of all or some of the following terrain features:

  • Banked turns (berms)
  • Rollers (roller sections and/or offset rollers)
  • Jumps (including tabletops and Wu-tangs)

Other terrain features can be built, but safety considerations and the riding level of the athletes must always be respected.

* All features must conform to IPC Alpine Skiing Rules and Regulations, which can be found at


Currently the IPC has two categories that athletes can complete under; upper limb and lower limb classes. Only the lower limb athletes are eligible to compete in the 2014 Paralympic Games.


Due to the limited data and research collected in the sport, there is currently no classification system in place. Classification is a system used to give athletes a factor (percentage of time) that represents the level of impartment, giving the athletes a more even playing field. The IPC has stated that it is dedicated to creating a classification and factoring system in the next couple years, which should be implemented before 2018 Games.

The development of a Snowboarding program for persons with intellectual disabilities will continue to be reviewed, but will focus on the opportunity for growth within a Special Olympics context.


Since 2006, Canada Snowboard has been developing the world’s first comprehensive program for competitive snowboarding for athletes with a disability. The Canadian Para-Snowboard Program consists of athlete development camps, Para-Snowboard competitions, training opportunities for coaches, and training materials for coaches and officials. Canada Snowboard also developed the world’s first Para-Snowboard National Team.

In 2008, Canada Snowboard hosted the first ever Para-Snowboard World Cup in Whistler, British Columbia. This international event made history by introducing classification for the first time in the history of the sport.

In 2012 it was announced that Para-Snowboard (lower limb impairment) would be included in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games.  
(Source: Canada Snowboard)


For more information on events, clinics, and coaching workshops, to offer your assistance in developing Para-Snowboard, or to join our Para-Snowboard e-mail list, please contact the Sport Development Manager, Natasha Burgess, at or 902-209-3732.