Slalom is just one of the many ways that man has invent­ed to answer the ques­tion: who is still bet­ter, faster, more agile

There­fore, slalom is a sport dis­ci­pline for skiers, rollerbladers, and snow­board­ers. In slalom, they com­pete at the Olympic Games, Cups and World Cham­pi­onships, nation­al cham­pi­onships of almost all coun­tries on the plan­et. So what is it? Win­ter is com­ing soon and we hope for good weath­er, snow and tell you about slalom as one of the sports snow­board­ing.

Sports snow­board­ing

Snow­board­ing has recent­ly been rec­og­nized as one of the fastest grow­ing sports in the world. We have already talked about its main vari­eties in the arti­cle “Snow­board­ing”. And now let’s focus on pro­fes­sion­al snow­board­ing. As a sport, snow­board­ing includes such dis­ci­plines as:

  • Par­al­lel Slalom (PSL)
  • Par­al­lel giant slalom (PGS)
  • Snow­board­cross (SBX) or Board­er­cross
  • Half-pipe (HP)
  • Big Air (BA)
  • Slopestyle (SS)

The last 3 dis­ci­plines are relat­ed to freestyle and are eval­u­at­ed. They are won by ath­letes who have scored the max­i­mum num­ber of points for per­form­ing tricks in the pipe, ski jump­ing or pass­ing the track.


In board­er­cross or snow­board­cross, speed is com­bined with the abil­i­ty to turn and jump from bumps. The track with a height dif­fer­ence of 100–240 m and a slope of up to 18 degrees con­sists of many turns, shafts, jumps, etc. The length of the track can be up to 2000 m, and the width — up to 30 m. 4–6 par­tic­i­pants take part in the board­er­cross at the same time, so it is right­ful­ly con­sid­ered one of the most spec­tac­u­lar slalom dis­ci­plines. Yes, we were not mis­tak­en, the board­er­cross can real­ly be con­sid­ered as a kind of slalom, because the one who comes to the fin­ish line first wins.


But in slalom, unlike boud­er­cross, one (in sin­gle) or two ath­letes (in par­al­lel) slalom take part in the race. In addi­tion to the slalom itself, there are also giant slalom, par­al­lel giant slalom and super-giant slalom, which are quite dif­fer­ent from each oth­er both in the track and in the tech­nique of pass­ing it. The main prin­ci­ple of slalom is to come to the fin­ish line first, faster than oth­er oppo­nents, while observ­ing all the rules for pass­ing the track. All track para­me­ters, equip­ment, pas­sage fea­tures and eval­u­a­tion of ath­letes at the Olympic Games are deter­mined by the rules of the Inter­na­tion­al Ski Fed­er­a­tion (FIS), which the IOC has rec­og­nized as the offi­cial gov­ern­ing body of snow­board­ing. In addi­tion to the Olympic Games, the FIS holds a World Cham­pi­onship every 2 years and every year a mul­ti-stage snow­board­ing World Cup.

Sin­gle and par­al­lel slalom

In par­al­lel slalom, 2 ath­letes take part simul­ta­ne­ous­ly on two adja­cent tracks. At the same time, they try to make the tracks as sim­i­lar as pos­si­ble to each oth­er in terms of ter­rain, loca­tion of the gates, etc. The length of the track in slalom is usu­al­ly 450–500 m with a height dif­fer­ence of 80 to 100 m, while ath­letes over­come from 20 to 30 gates. Ath­letes in par­al­lel slalom start at the same time, so the time is record­ed to thou­sandths of a sec­ond. After the first pas­sage of the track, the slalom par­tic­i­pants change places. To win in pairs, you need to have the best time on the sum of two descents. In the sin­gle slalom, the ath­letes are giv­en only one attempt to win.

Giant slalom or giant slalom

Par­al­lel giant slalom (PGS) is a part of the Olympic Games. The length of the route is 800‑1000 m, the height dif­fer­ence is 150–300 m, the width of the route is at least 20 m. The num­ber of gates on the route is at least 20, but the dis­tance between them must be at least 20 m; gate width — from 4 to 8 m. The num­ber of turns should be equal to 11–15% of the height dif­fer­ence.

Super-giant slalom

The fastest of all types of slalom. Super giant slalom is char­ac­ter­ized by a longer course and few­er gates. As a result, ath­letes devel­op a high speed of descent and show high snow­board­ing tech­nique at speed. The speed of snow­board­ers in it reach­es up to 100 km / h, and skiers even show speeds of up to 140 km / h.

Short and twisty slalom cours­es with a high den­si­ty of gates require great tech­ni­cal skill from snow­board­ers, while giant slalom requires the abil­i­ty to over­come gates at high speed. There­fore, par­tic­i­pat­ing in dif­fer­ent types of slalom, ath­letes must cor­rect­ly think over the tac­tics of the com­pe­ti­tion and take into account all the small­est fea­tures of the ter­rain, route, wind, snow cov­er, etc. Slalom is not only a com­pe­ti­tion in speed and tech­nique, but also a test of tac­ti­cal think­ing, emo­tion­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal sta­bil­i­ty of an ath­lete.

Author: Vladimir Seli­v­anov

Arti­cle pro­tect­ed by copy­right and relat­ed rights. When using and reprint­ing the mate­r­i­al, an active link to the healthy lifestyle por­tal is required!


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