Boardercross is a snowboard competition in which a four to six snowboarders race down a course. Boardercross courses are typically quite narrow and include cambered turns, various types of jumps, berms, rollers, drops, steep and flat sections designed to challenge the riders' ability to stay in control while maintaining maximum speed. It is not uncommon for racers to collide with each other mid-race.
The sport of Boardercross was invented in 1991 by Steven Rechtschaffner when he and partner Greg Stump had run out of ideas for segments for a TV show they were producing called Greg Stump’s World of Extremes for FoxTV. The concept for this sort of race had been in Rechtschaffner’s head for years, but he had originally seen it as something to do on skis, but thought that sharp poles in close proximity would be too dangerous. Given the need to come up with a last segment, Rechtschaffner, now a passionate snowboarder pitched the idea to Stump who loved it and Blackcomb Mt. who put up prize money and snowcat time in order to build the 1st ever course. John Graham, who was Stump’s Business Manager at the time was credited with coming up with the name Boardercross. After being seen on the Fox TV show and re-aired on MTV Sports, other people started putting on Boardercross events in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Rechtschaffner travelled to many of these events in order to help others learn how to build the Boardercross courses. Much of the growth of the sport came when Eric Kalacis, who had been a freestyle skiers years previous with Rechtschaffner and Stump began producing the Kokanee Kross series of Boardercross events and Swatch World Boardercross tour. Rechtschaffner had trademarked the name Boardercross primarily as a way to make sure that when people put on the event that they did it in a positive way that was safe, exciting and respectful to the world of snowboarding. For these same reasons he denied the ski sanctioning body F.I.S. the rights to use the Boardercross name as he did not believe that a ski sanctioning body should be in charge of snowboarding events. That’s why Boardercross is referred to as “Snowboard Cross” in the Olympics, although most of the racers still refer to it as Boardercross. In the year 2000 Rechtschaffner channeled the spirit of Boardercross in a series of hit video games he produced for Electronic Arts called SSX that sold over 8 million copies over the following years. In 2006 Boardercross, referred to as Snowboard Cross by the F.I.S. became an official Olympic event at the Torino Olympic Games.
Early releases in the EA Sports SSX (Snowboard Supercross) series of video games were loosely based on boardercross. Sonic Riders, a Sonic the Hedgehog series racing game in which SEGA characters race on hoverboards, is partly inspired by boardercross.
- Snowboarding at the 2006 Winter Olympics
- Snowboarding at the 2010 Winter Olympics
- Snowboarding at the 2014 Winter Olympics – Men's snowboard cross
- Snowboarding at the 2014 Winter Olympics – Women's snowboard cross
- "Boardercross Competition". Retrieved 13 November 2014.