Boardercross, also known as “snowboardcross”, has been very popular with experienced snowboarders for several years and is also exciting to watch. This form of downhill skiing offers maximum fun for all those who want an action-packed ride down the piste and is also a spectacular competitive sport. SnowTrex shows you what it’s all about.
For advanced snowboarders, there is hardly a more exciting form of downhill skiing than boardercross, also known as SBX or BoarderX. This is a mixture of obstacle course and downhill race in which several snowboarders ride through a limited track with freestyle elements. The specially prepared tracks in the ski resorts are not only used for training, but also for serious battles for victory: the sport has been an Olympic discipline since 2006.
Action-packed challenge in the ski area
If you’re a snowboarder looking for a challenge, the best way to go beyond the “normal” pistes is on a boardercross course. Boardercross is a form of downhill skiing in which several boarders compete simultaneously in terms of skill and speed. You don’t have to be a professional to try out the sport: There are often beginner cross courses in ski resorts that can be skied by anyone thanks to a simple skiing line. This means that even less experienced skiers can whizz over the waves and through the steep bends.
For those who are more advanced and know their way around, there are more difficult tracks where you can put your speed, riding skills and ability to perform tricks on obstacles to the test. There are small jumps, humps and tunnels along the way that you have to skilfully drive around or over. The aim is to overtake your opponents, who start at the same time as you. Incidentally, boardercross courses are also used by skiers, the ski crossers. The same rules apply to them as to snowboarders. Both variants, skicross and boardercross, are not only a special form of fun on the piste in the ski area, but also an action-packed competitive sport.
Boardercross as a competitive sport
In boardercross, four or six snowboarders compete at the same time and ride against each other on a course littered with jumps, bends, dips, drops and gates. The pros show off all their trickery to master the obstacles faster and more gallantly than their competitors. As there are virtually no restrictions, the risk of injury is not insignificant. Riders therefore wear adequate body protection in the form of protectors and a motocross-style helmet with chin guard.
Snowboardcross is a discipline at the Snowboard World Cup, at the Ski and Snowboard World Championships and, since 2006, at the Winter Olympics. There is also the Snowboardcross World Cup and the FIS Ski and Snowboardcross European Cup.
Popular boardercross courses
Les 2 Alpes in France is a paradise for snowboarders. The countless freeride options and the huge fun park speak for themselves. Of course, boardercross is also a must, with two fun courses here. One course is very freestyle-heavy with lots of jumps and rails, while the other is a family cross with more moderate elements. The huge ski resort of Les Trois Vallées is another favourite destination for boardercrossers in France. It is teeming with cross-country trails: In the Family Park in Courchevel, the snow park and boardercross are laid out together so that beginners can take the easy wave run and advanced skiers can switch to the kickers and rails next door. The BK Park in Les Menuires also has two courses for rookies and pros at an altitude of 2,500 metres at the La Becca chairlift. In the Val Thorens course, boardercrossers cover over 350 metres in altitude over a length of 1.4 km, taking in whoops, tables, jumps and elevated curves.
In Livigno, Italy, two boardercross lines are particularly colourful. In the Carosello ski resort, the Boarder Zoo is a fun park with boardercross for families. The child-friendly cross course features life-size animal silhouettes on the piste. Right next door, at the Carosello Snowpark, the Boarder Banzai awaits, where there are even large foam obstacles to ride through and skill tests. The course also has many steep turns, bumps and steep gradients.
In the Skicircus of Saalbach-Hinterglemm, a modern ski and boardercross awaits on the Bernkogel. It was ingeniously designed and built by boardercross pro Mario Fuchs. Professional snowboarders like to come here to train and official competitions are also held here. The KPark is located in the Olympia Skiworld Innsbruck, more precisely in Kühtai at the Alpenrosenlift. Here, too, the boardercross with the usual setup is a must. The course is located above the superpipe (which incidentally has a height of 7.2 metres), where snowboard cross events are also held from time to time. Right next to the Innsbruck ski region is the Stubai Valley with its popular family glacier. Here, the BIG Family Boardercross at the Murmelbahn invites all children and their parents to enjoy a varied course with wave tracks and steep turns.
Switzerland is no slouch when it comes to boardercross either. One example is the boardercross in the Toggenburg ski resort in the canton of St. Gallen. From the start ramp, the course covers around 700 metres through crescent-shaped banked turns, double and triple waves, step-ups, corner jumps and RS turns. This line is groomed daily, but the operators only recommend it for advanced skiers. Laax also has a beginners’ park with kids’ cross at Crap Sogn Gion (2,252 m) and a full-blown boardercross in the Ils Plauns Snowpark.