WSF and IPC Agreement

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Snowboard Federation (WSF) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to co-operate during the 2010-2011 season to further develop the sport of Para-Snowboard.

The MoU covers several areas around management, competition co-ordination, development and certification of officials and classifiers as well as media and communications.
The MoU also contemplates the possibility to extend this co-operation until the 2013-2014 season.

Here below a sum up of the history of the sport. Updates on the progress and the development of Para-Snowboard will be provided regularly.


Para-Snowboard, previously referred to as Adaptive Snowboard, refers to a modified version of the sport, with changes in equipment, rules, and technical specifications that enable persons with physical disabilities to participate in both recreational and competitive activities.

Para-Snowboard events are held for men and women riders with physical disabilities such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, or visual impairments. Riders compete based on their functional ability, allowing riders with different disabilities to compete against each other.

Competition Format

Para-Snowboard competitions are run as a time trial (also known as “sling shot”) format on a Snowboard cross (SBX) course. The sling-shot format consists of each rider performing three timed runs, with only one rider on the course at a time. Results are based on the rider’s two fastest timed runs, combined to give them their final placing. The course set up is the same as for able-bodied SBX competitions at the regional series level.

A sling-shot SBX format provides a combination of both race and freestyle elements, while challenging the riders regardless of their disability. The event format is also conducive to the internationally recognized Para-Snowboard Classification System.

The ideal Para-SBX slope will allow for the construction of all or some of the following terrain features:
• Banks (crescent shaped)
• Doubled banks
• Rollers
• Offset rollers (single, double, triple, etc.)
• Minor jumps

Other terrain features can be built, but safety considerations and the riding level of the riders must always be respected. If the competition includes riders in the Visually Impaired Sport Class, for safety purposes an alternate route must be created by placing a second set of gates going around potentially dangerous features.


The following major international Para-Snowboard competitions were sanctioned by the World Snowboard Federation:

• 2007 Invitational Competition in Canada
• 2008 World Cup in Canada
• 2008 World Championships in U.S.A.
• 2009 Invitational Competition in Italy
• 2009 World Championships in New Zealand
• 2010 World Cups in Canada and U.S.A

Status of the Sport

Riders are competing at an international level from the following countries:

• Australia
• Canada
• France
• Great Britain
• Italy
• Netherlands
• New Zealand
• Spain
• United States of America

For more information regarding the sport of Para-Snowboard please contact

World Snowboard Federation
Danny Buntain, Para-Snowboard Chairperson

International Paralympic Committee
Eric Angstadt, Winter Sports Manager

Author: silvia