Unbelievable World Records: Snowboarding Edition

Snow­board­ing (or ‘snurf­ing’, as it was orig­i­nal­ly known) has been a pop­u­lar win­ter activ­i­ty for more than 40 years. And dur­ing that time, some tru­ly aston­ish­ing records have been set. Here are some of the sport’s most mind-blow­ing achieve­ments. 

High­est Air
Dur­ing a qual­i­fy­ing round for the 2007 Arc­tic Chal­lenge in Oslo, Nor­we­gian mad­man Ter­je Håkon­sen – who made a name for him­self on the 1990s freestyle cir­cuit – sailed 9.8 meters (32.2 feet) into the air off the quar­ter-pipe and land­ed a back­side 360. If Håkonsen’s name sounds famil­iar, it might be due to his fea­tured appear­ance in First Descent, an excel­lent snow­board­ing doc that also starred Shaun White and Travis Rice.

Longest Table­top Jump                                                                                                                   In 2005, Mads Jon­s­son (anoth­er Nor­we­gian record-hold­er) set the record for the world’s longest jump – but that doesn’t even begin to describe the awe­some­ness of his feat. After he spent three weeks con­struct­ing a mas­sive 131-foot table­top in the back­coun­try of Hemsedal and rehearsed the maneu­ver for two hours, Jon­s­son cat­a­pult­ed him­self 57 meters (187 feet) down the hill – and per­formed a per­fect 180 indy – before land­ing the jump and secur­ing his place in the record books (prob­a­bly for­ev­er). 

Fastest Descent
Though speed large­ly depends on the ter­rain and ici­ness of the snow, the aver­age snow­board­er trav­els between 25 and 35 miles per hour. Then there’s Aus­tralian Dar­ren Pow­ell, who defied the laws of kinet­ic ener­gy and record­ed a top speed of 126.4 miles per hour (202 kilo­me­ters per hour) at Les Arcs Resort in 1999. Powell’s achieve­ment topped the pre­vi­ous record of 121.7 miles per hour (196 kilo­me­ters per hour) – which, inci­den­tal­ly, was also set by Pow­ell. 

Longest Rail Slide
In 2009, a Spaniard named Ale­jan­dro Ben­i­to per­formed a 67.9-meter (223-foot) rail slide – a world record many called unbeat­able at the time. Then, just two years lat­er, a British teenag­er named Calum Paton best­ed Ben­i­to with a 78-meter (256-foot) grind at Sno!Zone, an indoor facil­i­ty in the Eng­lish town of Mil­ton Keynes.

Most Ver­ti­cal Feet in 24 hours
In 1998, snow­board­er Tam­my McMinn and her part­ner-in-crime, ski­er Jen­nifer Hugh­es, set the ver­ti­cal heli records in their respec­tive sports. How far did they go? Accord­ing to Guin­ness, both ladies trav­eled rough­ly 93,124 meters (305,525 feet) in the span of 24 hours, smash­ing the exist­ing men’s and women’s records in the process. McMinn and Hugh­es set this impos­si­ble-sound­ing record by descend­ing the same run 101 times.

Largest Trick Relay
How’d you like to set a world record with a few dozen of your clos­est snow­board­ing bud­dies? That’s basi­cal­ly what hap­pened a few weeks ago at Chill Fac­tore, an indoor facil­i­ty in Man­ches­ter, when 60 child and adult rid­ers simul­ta­ne­ous­ly attempt­ed to land an Indie grab. Six par­tic­i­pants were dis­qual­i­fied since judges only count­ed those who suc­cess­ful­ly land­ed the jump – but 54 suc­cess­ful indies was more than enough to sur­pass the exist­ing world record for largest trick relay.

We leave you with video footage of Ulrik Badertch­er, the first snow­board­er to record a 1620 mute grab. Don’t for­get – records like these are made to be bro­ken.