As a sport, we snowboarders aren’t that obsessed with breaking records.Look at ski racers or athletes: those guys never stop setting records.
Maybe the reason we don’t care is because breaking records is usually really difficult, and takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Whereas snowboarding is easy, and not really about hard work and sacrifice at all? It seems the more fun something is, the harder it is to care about breaking records. And snowboarding is really, really fun.
Still, there are a few world records to be had: some fun, some not so fun, and some just plain insanity. Here they are, rated from 'Fun' to 'Insanity'.
Rating: Fun, if you’re a crazy Viking.
In 2005, Norwegian Mads Jonsson set the record for the longest jump on a snowboard when he boosted a 57m (187’) Frontside 360 in Hemsedal, Norway. The jump was so huge, Mads was the only rider to take it on: after stomping a backside 180 followed by the record-breaking (perfect) front three, he broke his wrist trying a backside 7. His season was over, but the glory would live forever.
Highest speed on a snowboard
Rating: Insanity & beyond!
This year, Frenchman Edmond Plawczyk broke the world record for fastest speed ever recorded on a snowboard, with a speed of 203kph (126mph). That’s crazy fast. In most sports, the ‘fastest guy ever’ gets instant fame and legend status, but not snowboarding: Edmond’s YouTube video currently has less than 2,000 views.
Rating: Fun, if you’re a crazy Viking – pt2
In 2007, Norwegian Terje Håkonsen, set the record for the highest air, jumping 9.8m above The Arctic Challenge quarter pipe with a backside 360. And yes, a backside three on a quarter does mean he rode out backwards. After slightly over-rotating a straight backside air (these things happen when you’re half a metre higher than anyone’s ever gone before), Terje lived up to his nickname and landed this monster of an air like a cat.
Most vertical snowboarded in 24 hours
Rating: Way too much of a good thing
In 1998, Canadian Tammy McMinn set the record for the most vertical feet snowboarded in 24 hours while heliboarding in Atlin, Canada, riding down a slope 101 times and totaling to an amount of 93,124m (305,535ft). Which sounds like 10 laps of fun… followed by 91 laps of pure thigh burn hell.
The way cooler version of this record unofficially belongs to Johan Olofsson, who in 1996 set the record for most vertical snowboarded in 35 seconds… yep, another crazy Viking.
Youngest medal winner
Rating: Fun? Like, OMG!
In 2014, aged 13, American Chloe Kim became the youngest athlete ever to win an X Games medal, with her Superpipe silver. Then in 2015, aged 14, Chloe became the youngest Winter X Games gold medalist. Check back in 15 years or so to see if she beats Kelly Clark’s record of five X Games gold medals and medalist in three Winter Olympics!
Most world records
Rating: Fun, yet lonely at the top
When it comes to holding multiple world records, it all comes down to Señor Blanco – Shaun White has more records than nicknames, and that’s saying something:
- Highest air in the Superpipe – 7m (23 ft) – Winter X Games 2010
- Highest Olympic Halfpipe score – 48.4 points – Vancouver 2010
- Highest ever (perfect 100) X Games score: 2012
- X Games record for gold medals and highest overall medal count – 16 inc. 11 golds
- First and only athlete to win X Games Gold in Winter (HP) and Summer (Vert) in 2011
Then there’s all the NBD’s… First snowboarder to land back-to-back double corks, double McTwist 1260 at the Red Bull Project X… let’s face it, the Flying Tomato dominated like no other.
Longest slide on a rail
Rating: Fun and… massively frustrating
This is a recent one – on June 10, 2015 in Dachstein, Austria, the Nitro Snowboards crew built an 84m (177ft) rail, and team rider Basti Rittig locked into the longest 50-50 slide in history (watch it here).
As far as breaking a snowboarding world record goes, this has to be the most achievable – all you need is snow, a very long rail, and the balance of a cat… or the stubbornness of a mule. Good luck!