Snowboard cross (also Snowboarder X, SBX, Boardercross, Boarder-X or BX) is a snowboard competition in which a group of four snowboard racers start simultaneously atop an inclined course. The racers go over a series of features while trying to reach the finish line first. Snowboard cross became an Olympic sport in 2006, and was part of the Winter X Games from 1997-2012. At the X Games, the sport was called Snowboarder X.
The term boardercross is also used in the context of mountainboarding, referring to similar races on snow-less courses with similar features.
Snowboard cross courses are typically quite narrow and includes features made of snow including cambered turns, gap jumps, berms, drops, and steep and flat sections designed to challenge the riders' ability to stay in control. It is not uncommon for racers to collide with each other. Some observers have compared the sport to short track speed skating because of the amount of contact involved. The name and the riders' full-face helmets show the sport's influence by motocross.
The first ever Boardercross event was held in the spring of 1991 at Blackcomb Mt. in the Whistler-Blackcomb resort of British Columbia. Steve Rechtschaffner and Greg Stump staged the event, to film as the final episode of their "Greg Stump's World of Extremes" TV show that they were doing for FOX TV. The idea for the event, the format and rules came from Rechtschaffner, along with the designing and building of the course. Stump's business manager John Graham coined the term "Boarder Cross", which everyone adopted. Rechtschaffner then went on to help build courses for people across North America for the next few years, helping to spread the reach of the event. Later on, Erik Kalacis staged the first professional Boardercross series, called The Kokanee Cross, in Canada. Much later on, Rechtschaffner took inspiration from Boardercross to create the multi-million selling hit series of SSX video games for Electronic Arts.
The earlier releases in the EA SportsSSX (Snowboard Supercross) series of video games were loosely based on boardercross. The games are very much arcade-style video games, not a simulation game, focusing more on unrealistic tricks and larger-than-life courses.