Board Sports: Everything you Need to Know

25th November 2019
Board sports require this element in order to practice them, but they can vary a lot in surfaces and rules.

As their name implies, board sports are those that require a board in order to practice them. In this article, we’ll analyze each one so that you can get to know them thoroughly.

Which sports are board sports?

The first board sport is surf and people have been practicing it for over five centuries. With the passage of time, other sports and scenarios have come into the picture. Some of the ones that stand out are:

1. Snowboarding

The name gives it all away. To do snowboarding, we need snow and a snowboard. This extreme winter sport consists of sliding down a sloping mountain on top of the board.

A person doing board sports in the snow

Snowboarding originates from the United States and began as a ‘version’ of skiing. The first competition took place during the seventies. There are several modalities nowadays: freestyle, off-piste, parallel slalom, racing and snowshoeing.

2. Windsurfing

In this case, what you need is a board, a sail and wind! Windsurf is practiced on water, mainly in the sea. It’s up to the sailmaker’s expertise to change the direction and position of the board.

A man windsurfing

There are six windsurf competition variants: waves, freestyle, slalom, regatta, indoor and superX. This last one is the most modern and exciting modality to watch or practice.

3. Longboarding

This is another version of board sports, but it’s on wheels. People usually practice it on inclined surfaces such as streets and roads. Longboard originated in the sixties, and it’s a very popular sport in big cities. The board measures up to 2 m long and 30 cm wide.

A girl riding a longboard downhill

There are different modalities to practice: carving-freeride, downhill, cruising, freestyle, slalom, pool, dancing, and free ride. And of course, there are different stunts and tricks that make longboarding incredibly fun.

4. Sandboarding, the hot version of popular board sports

To practice this sport, as the name entails, we need sand. More precisely, we need dunes. The boards are similar to those used for snowboarding. It’s undoubtedly a fascinating discipline, but dangerous at the same time.

A mand sandboarding in the middle of the dessert

The origins of sandboarding trace back to Brazil and Europe, as an alternative to skiing outside of the winter season. In actuality, the best places to practice this sport are mainly in South America.

5. Surf, the oldest of board sports

As we mentioned earlier, as far as we know, surfing is the first board sport to exist. People have been practicing it for at least five centuries in the Polynesian Islands. When James Cook first came to Hawaii in 1778, he found natives on top of boards riding the waves for fun. People have also found some surfing vestiges in the north of Peru.

Two people surfing in the Polynesian sea

The sport as we know it today, developed in California during the fifties and sixties. There are three types of surf depending on the length of the board: short (up to 2.1 m), medium (up to 2.75 m) and long.

6. Kitesurfing

It’s a variation of the previous sport. Kitesurfing consists of grabbing a set of ropes and being dragged by a traction kite on top of a surfboard. The surfer (who is wearing a harness) must have great balance to avoid falling over.

A girl doing kitesurf

There are different types of kites to practice this sport: delta (for beginners), bow (flat), C type (semicircular), hybrid (a mix of the previous types) and foil (same as a paraglider).

7. Skateboarding

Everyone knows it as skate. It’s a sport that consists of sliding on top of a skateboard and performing different tricks, figures, and spins in the air. The skateboard is a concave wooden board with steep kick tails and four wheels.

The state of California appears again on this list, as the state where skateboarding was invented. It was in the sixties during the time when extreme sports were trending. An option for those who didn’t want to surf was to skate, taking advantage of the steep streets in San Francisco!

To wrap up this article, we can’t forget about two other board sports: mountainboarding (sliding down a mountain on top of a wheeled board) and wakeboarding (aquatic skiing on a board, sliding with the help of a motorboat). They’re all very exciting!

  • Fontrodona, M. 2018. ¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre skate, cruiser y longboard? Red Bull. https://www.redbull.com/es-es/diferencias-tabla-skate-cruiser-longboard
  • ¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre skate, cruiser y longboard? 2019. Diario El Litoral.  https://www.ellitoral.com/index.php/id_um/207248-viento-agua-y-riesgo-el-kitesurf-no-puede-coexistir-con-los-banistas-reunion-en-el-concejo-para-regular-un-deporte-extremo-que-suma-adeptos-area-metropolitana.html
  • Sandboard, conjugando turismo y deporte en las dunas del Huancar. 2019. El Tribuno. https://www.eltribuno.com/jujuy/nota/2019-9-1-0-0-0-sandboard-conjugando-turismo-y-deporte-en-las-dunas-del-huancar