Snowboarding combines elements of surfing, skateboarding, and skiing. It made its Olympic debut at the 1998 Nagano Games.
Snowboarding was developed in the United States in the 1960s as people across the country began to seek out new winter activities. Over the next decade, various pioneers boosted the production of boards and the sport began to gain crossover appeal. Surfers and skateboarders became involved, and by 1980, snowboarding was a nationwide activity.
In the late 1970s snowboarders started to “invade” traditional ski resorts, but faced opposition from skiers who tried to exclude the snowboarders from “their” mountains. By the 1990s, however, almost all ski resorts had accepted snowboarding, and the resorts have found the snowboarders to be an excellent source of new revenue.
Competition was the next logical step. The United States held its first national championships in 1982 and hosted the first World Championships in 1983. The International Snowboarding Federation (ISF) formed seven years later and the International Ski Federation (FIS) introduced snowboarding as a FIS discipline in 1994. This helped pave the way for snowboarding’s inclusion in the Olympic Winter Games.
Men’s and women’s snowboarding made their Olympic debuts at the Nagano Games in 1998 with giant slalom and halfpipe competitions. The discipline proved an instant success and returned to Salt Lake City four years later with parallel giant slalom and halfpipe competitions. In Turin, snowboard cross also made its debut. In this event four riders race across a course studded with jumps, bumps and huge turns.