Ultimate Guide: Types of snowboarding

Freeriding is riding at your own pace on any terrain without any restrictions other than the mountain itself. Freeriders commonly incorporate freestyle elements into their rides by utilising natural features.This riding style is often associated with conquering massive peaks, but it is not exclusively limited to that. However, this style of riding is constrained by the availability of mountain access and is endangered by potential hazards such as avalanches and crevasses when attempting to ride in remote locations. Riders to watch – Jeremy Jones (USA), Travis Rice (USA)

Freestyle is riding in terrain parks, backcountry, or urban environments where riders perform tricks. This widely-used term describes any riding style that involves the execution of tricks. Freestyle riding remains a highly popular form of snowboarding, with the continuous development of new features and tricks adding to its appeal. The potential for freestyle riding is limited only by the imagination and creativity of the snowboarder, offering endless possibilities for innovation and growth in the sport. Riders to watch – Valentino Guseli (AUS), Tess Coady (AUS), Matt Cox (AUS)

Urban snowboarding uses pre-existing features such as handrails, ledges, parking structures, walls, and more. This style of riding offers an alternative playground for snowboarders beyond the traditional resort experience. In recent years, street riding has experienced a surge in popularity as riders have adapted their skills to suit the unique challenges of urban environments. This form of snowboarding is particularly accessible to younger riders and continues to grow in popularity. Riders to watch – Craig McMorris (CAN) 

Half Pipe
Snowboard halfpipe involves performing tricks while riding through a large U-shaped snow feature at high speeds and gained popularity from its inclusion in the last four Winter Olympic Games. Inspired by skateboard vert riding, the sport has come a long way from its early days of riding natural gullies. Today’s halfpipes are massive productions that incorporate specialised snow machines and precise shaping techniques where riders are able to achieve greater speeds, go higher, and invent new tricks, continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible in snowboard halfpipe. Riders to watch – Scotty James (Aus), Shaun White (USA)

Boardercross / Racing
This side of snowboarding includes races such as slalom, giant slalom and boardercross. Boardercross is an adaptation of BMX riding where four riders race down a course of jumps and berms. Slalom racing is a timed race through a series of gates. This niche side of the sport persists mainly in association with similar ski races in the Winter Olympic Games. Riders to watch – Josie Baff (AUS), Charlotte Banks (GBR), Martin Noerl (GER)