How it Works
It’s one of the newest events in the extensive history of the Winter Games, but it’s also one of the most popular. Snowboarding made its first appearance in the 1998 Games with just two events. Now, the competition boasts five disciplines, including the X Games staple Big Air for the first time ever.
Some events focus on technical ability in making quick turns and controlling the board on a downhill slope. Others emphasize the more extreme aspects of the sport, rewarding athletes for style and flair. The high-flying stunts and dangerous tricks are obviously a huge crowd-pleaser at the games, and the athletes tend to be some of the most recognizable.
Of course, winning two Olympic gold medals, consistently dominating the halfpipe, and garnering the nickname “The Flying Tomato” brings plenty of recognition to the sport. Yes, Shaun White will be going for his third Olympic gold in the halfpipe in PyeongChang. But there will be much more snowboarding to enjoy.
Olympic Snowboard Events
Here’s a breakdown of all of the events and a schedule.
This event combines the downhill and half-pipe elements of the sport. Competitors travel down a slope complete with large jumps where they can show off their style (hence the name) with big air, grabs, and tricks. Like the half-pipe, athletes are judged on their style and technical execution, with the person receiving the highest overall score in the final round declared the winner.
- Men’s qualifying: Feb. 9, 8:00 p.m. EST
- Men’s final: Feb. 10, 8:00 p.m. EST (NBCSN)
- Women’s qualifying: Feb. 10, 11:30 p.m. EST (NBCSN)
- Women’s final: Feb. 11, 8:00 p.m. EST (NBC)
The other original snowboarding Olympic event is also probably the most recognizable. Competitors perform dizzying rotations, grabs, and flips along a half-cylinder covered with ice. Judges then score their runs as they advance through rounds, with the competitor with the highest score in the finals named the gold medalist.
- Men’s qualifying: Feb. 12, 11:00 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Men’s final: Feb. 13, 8:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Women’s qualifying: Feb. 11, 11:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Women’s final: Feb. 12, 8:00 p.m. EST (NBC)
One of the most underrated thrilling events at the Games, snowboard cross places racers head-to-head on a downhill course filled with jumps, bumps, and turns to test their technical ability and speed. It’s action-packed, fast-paced, and creates exceptional drama, particularly in a final when six competitors race for three medals. This event, while not as flashy as other disciplines at the Games, is a must-watch.
- Men’s seeding runs: Feb. 14, 9:00 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Men’s quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals: Feb. 14, 11:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Women’s seeding runs: Feb. 15, 8:00 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Women’s quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals: Feb. 15, 10:15 p.m .EST (NBC)
Parallel Giant Slalom
One of the two original snowboarding Olympic events, this discipline tests the downhill board control of competitors. Each must make several runs through a winding, downhill course, complete with colored gates. The athletes must ensure to go around or through all the gates, lest they receive a time penalty.
The competitors with the top 16 times are then placed into a bracket and must go head-to-head down the course simultaneously. They do this twice, switching sides to ensure fairness, and their times are combined to determine the winner. This continues until an overall champion is determined.
- Men’s qualifying: Feb. 21, 10:00 p.m. EST (NBCSN)
- Men’s elimination races and finals: Feb. 23, 10:00 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Women’s qualifying: Feb. 21, 10:00 p.m. EST (NBCSN)
- Women’s elimination races and finals: Feb. 23, 10:00 p.m. EST (NBC)
An X-Games and international staple, big air will undoubtedly be a hit in its Olympic debut. Competitors embark on a 49-meter slope and perform the most dazzling stunt possible after flying off the slope’s only jump. Following the qualifying round, each athlete will have three runs to impress the judges, with the person obtaining the highest combined score declared the winner.
- Men’s qualifying: Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Men’s final: Feb. 23, 8:00 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Women’s qualifying: Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
- Women’s final: Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
How to Watch
You’ll be able to live stream more than 1,800 hours of Olympic coverage online, including figure skating competitions. Official TV listings have yet to be released, but because of the immense popularity of snowboarding and its timing coordinating with NBC’s prime-time coverage, you can be almost certain plenty of snowboarding will be available for viewing in prime-time, even with the games happening across the world in South Korea.
For Cord-Cutters, here’s a list of services that allow you to stream the Olympics directly to your TV screen. The 2018 Olympic Games are on NBC. Here are the streaming services that carry NBC::
For more details about these services and details about the Olympic Games, visit our main 2018 Winter Olympics page.