Snowboating (Snowkayaking)

Snowboating, also called as snowkayaking, is a winter sport in which athletes use a kayak to descend down a slope covered with snow. The sport was until recently practiced only at a recreational level, mostly in the backcountry, and occasionally in a few ski resorts. It was only in 2002, after the first race was conducted in Austria, snowboating turned into a competitive sport. The sport is practiced in most countries where other winter sports are popular.

The course used for competitions are natural downhill courses that are suitable for free movement of the kayak and the rider. Depending on the style that athletes prefer, either creekboats or playboats can be used for snowboating. Besides the kayaks and paddles, dry-suits, helmets, and other safety equipment is used.

In competitions, races are conducted in a format similar to that used for other direct racing winter sports, where four racers compete in each round and the first two to finish move on to the next round until only four racers are left for the final round in which the winners are decided.

The sport has slowly but steadily gained some acceptance and popularity around the world which led to the creation of an annual World Championships event for snowboating beginning 2007.

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