Ice Sports

20 Best Snowboarders Of All Time Who Carved History

By Biraj Khanal / 21 December 2023 03:17 AM

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From carving fresh powder on remote mountains to mind-blowing big air tricks, snowboarding has evolved into a spectacle of adrenaline and athleticism. 

This sport has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1960s.

But who are the riders who have truly pushed the boundaries and left an indelible mark on snowboarding history?

We'll be looking at the pioneers who shaped the sport, the competition icons who dominated the podiums, and the freestyle innovators who keep on breaking new ground.

1. Shaun White

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Shaun White is considered the best male snowboarder of all time. His name is legendary and is renowned for his incredible talent and achievements.

His 2010 performance, where he landed back-to-back 1080s (three full rotations in the air!), was etched in snowboarding history.

White's influence on snowboarding is undeniable. He has inspired generations of riders with his technical prowess, competitive drive, and infectious passion.

Here's a glimpse into his impressive career:

  • Triple Gold Medalist: Three-time Olympic gold medalist in the halfpipe event, conquering the slopes in 2006, 2010, and 2018.
  • Five-Time Olympian: Throughout his career, White participated in a total of five Winter Olympics.

  • Most Gold Medals: Holds the record for the most X Games gold medals in snowboarding, a testament to his exceptional skill and competitive spirit.

2. Chloe Kim

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Chloe Kim is another legend in the making and is the first athlete to dominate in the Olympics, Worlds, Youth Olympics, and X-games.

Kim is a powerful role model for young girls and athletes everywhere, proving that dedication and hard work can lead to incredible achievement.

She has already secured two Olympic gold medals in the women's halfpipe, winning at both the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics. 

At 17 in 2018, she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal, etching her name in history.

Kim is also a six-time X Games gold medalist, showcasing her dominance across various snowboarding disciplines.

Her riding style is known for its elegance and flow, combined with technical mastery and audacious aerial maneuvers.

3. Travis Rice

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Travis Rice is a true legend, renowned for his fearless approach to big-mountain riding and his stunning cinematic snowboarding film.

Rice dominated the sport winning over 30 Grand Slam titles and four X-game medals before retiring from active competition.

Considered one of the professional snowboarders, he is listed in the 13th position among the most influential snowboarders of the last two decades. 

His snowboarding films are cinematic masterpieces, blending breathtaking visuals with innovative riding in nature.

They've won numerous awards and inspired countless snowboarders to explore the backcountry.

4. Anna Gasser

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Anna Gasser is a name synonymous with big air and mind-blowing tricks in the snowboarding world.

She stands tall as a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the women's big air event in both the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics.

Anna landed the first-ever backside triple cork 1260 in competition, a jaw-dropping maneuver that left the snowboarding world awestruck.

She has won over a total of 20 titles in her career and is the first to land backside double cork 1080 mute in a competition. 

Beyond the Olympics, Gasser is a six-time X Games gold medalist in big air and slopestyle, showcasing her consistency across several disciplines. 

Her riding style is a blend of power and finesse. She executes her tricks with incredible precision and flow, making even the most technical maneuvers look effortless.

5. Gigi Ruf

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Gigi Ruf is a true legend in the snowboarding world and is known for his unique style, creativity, and longevity in the sport. 

He seamlessly connects turns and tricks with effortless grace, making even the most technical lines look effortless.

His signature "crab hand" grabs add a touch of individuality and style to his riding.

Rüf's career spans over two decades, a testament to his dedication and passion for the sport.

While Rüf has achieved success in competitions, his impact extends far beyond podiums.

He's known for his iconic film segments, starring in "Destroyer" and "Under Black Flag," which showcase his raw talent and love for snowboarding.

6. Lindsey Jacobellis

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Lindsay Jacobellis is known for her epic highs and thrilling comebacks in the snowboarding world. 

She won the Olympic gold in snowboard cross at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Her dominance extends beyond the Olympics. Jacobellis has clinched six world championships in snowboard cross, showcasing her unparalleled skill and consistency across different terrains.

Now in her late 30s, Jacobellis continues to compete at the highest level, inspiring both aspiring athletes and experienced competitors with her unwavering commitment.

Jacobellis' sponsors include Nike, Burton Snowboards, and Red Bull. 

7. Terje Haakonsen

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Terje Haakonsen is a Norwegian snowboarder who is considered to be one of the most innovative snowboarders of all time.

He helped to revolutionize snowboarding in the late 1990s and early 2000s and is known for his progressive riding style.

He won his first World Championship title in 1997 and went on to win three more World Championship titles throughout his career.

Haakonsen also won numerous X Games gold medals, including the first-ever gold medal in the superpipe event in 1999.

He was one of the first snowboarders to perform tricks such as the double cork and the triple cork, which are now staples of the sport.

8. Kelly Clark

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Kelly Clark is considered the true snowboarding icon and is renowned for her Olympic journey and dedication. 

She is known as the Halfpipe Queen with a gold in 2002 and a bronze medal in 2010 and 2014. 

Clark paved the way for future female snowboarders, achieving the first-ever women's Olympic halfpipe gold in 2002.

Her signature "Scarecrow" air, with a spread eagle, pose and inverted grab, became a game-changer in women's halfpipe.

Clark has participated in five Winter Olympics showing her dedication and longevity in the sport. 

She reigned supreme in the X Games, claiming seven gold medals and countless podium finishes.

9. Gretchen Bleiler

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Gretchen Bleiler is known for her incredible talent, Olympic achievements, and contributions to the sport beyond competition.

Gleaming on her mantle is a coveted Olympic silver medal from the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics in the halfpipe event.

She secured an impressive eight straight wins in the 2003 season, including the Winter X Games halfpipe, US Open, Grand Prix title, Vans Triple Crown title, and World Superpipe Championship.

Her signature "Bleiler Flip," a backside 540 with a grab, became a staple in female snowboarder repertoires. This feat solidified her position as one of the most successful female snowboarders of her era.

10. Torstein Horgmo

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Torstein Horgmo is a Norwegian professional snowboarder known for his progressive riding style. 

Horgmo also beat Shaun White and won gold in the slopestyle final at the 2009 Winter Dew Tour.

His signature "Method grab," a frontside air with bent knees and extended back, redefined freestyle riding.

Horgmo boasts three X Games gold medals in slopestyle, showcasing his ability to deliver on the biggest stage.

He's landed on the podium multiple times at the World Championships, proving his consistency and skill across different terrains and conditions.

Torstein has carved his way into snowboarding history with his unique blend of technical mastery and creative flair.

11. Mark McMorris

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Mark McMorris is one of the key snowboarding players in Olympic history with a remarkable feat. 

He has won three bronze medals in the Men's Slopestyle event, 21 X Games medals, and four U.S. Open Championship titles in his career. 

From Sochi 2014 to PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022, he consistently pushed the boundaries and delivered thrilling performances on the biggest stage.

McMorris excels in both Slopestyle and Big Air, showcasing his adaptability and mastery of different riding styles.

His riding is characterized by effortless flow, perfect timing, and smooth execution.

12. Todd Richards

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Todd Richards is a half-pipe veteran and a professional snowboarder from Paxton, Massachusetts.

He became a prominent figure in the "skate style" revolution of snowboarding in the 90s.

Richards was there at the very beginning of Olympic snowboarding, competing in the first-ever halfpipe event at the Nagano Olympics in 1998. 

Besides the Olympics, he clinched victories in the 1994 and 1997 U.S. Open halfpipe tournaments, etching his name as a top contender.

Richards won the slopestyle title at the X Games in 1997, demonstrating his adaptability and versatility on the board.

His innovative runs and signature style depict the evolving complexity and artistry of freestyle snowboarding.

13. Torah Bright

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Torah Bright is an Australian professional snowboarder with a smile as golden as her Olympic medals.

Bright holds the honor of being Australia's first Olympic Champion on snowboarding, securing gold in the halfpipe at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and in the snowboard cross at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

At the X Games, she earned 12 medals throughout her career, including two golds in halfpipe and two golds in snowboard cross.

Bright qualified for all three snowboarding disciplines (halfpipe, slopestyle, and snowboard cross) at the 2014 Olympics, becoming the first athlete to do so.

Her consistent podium finishes solidified her status as a global snowboarding icon.

14. Jamie Anderson

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Jamie Anderson is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and has won twenty-five total medals, making her one of the most successful female snowboarders in history.

She became the first-ever Olympic Champion in the discipline and the only female snowboarder to win back-to-back gold medals.

Jamie is the most decorated slopestyle boarder at the Winter X Games is well-versed in big air and has also distinguished herself as the slopestyle queen.

Anderson also has won the two World Championship titles in Slopestyle in 2013 and 2015, showing her dominance across several terrains.

She boasts seven gold medals, six in Slopestyle and one in Big Air, further solidifying her presence as one of the most decorated athletes.

15. Max Parrot

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Max Parrot is the reigning slopestyle Champion and Canadian snowboarding sensation. 

He stands atop the podium with his gold in slopestyle from the 2022 Beijing Olympics, etching his name as one of the most dominant riders. 

In 2018, he bravely battled and overcame Hodgkin lymphoma, returning to competition in 2019 and securing a silver medal in Slopestyle at the Pyeongchang Olympics

The X Games are no stranger to Max's talent. He boasts an impressive collection of six medals (two gold, two silver, and two bronze).

From his signature Backside Triple Cork to his mastery of inventive grabs and variations, Max is a pioneer in freestyle snowboarding.

16. Jeremy Jones

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Jeremy Jones is considered to be one of the pioneers of modern-day freestyle snowboarding.

He is considered the greatest mountain snowboarder of all time with his expeditions to untamed peaks like Alasks's spines and the Himalayas.

Known for his innovative riding style and calculated risks, Jones has redefined the possibilities of freeriding, inspiring countless riders to explore the backcountry with respect and awareness.

Jeremy is the founder of the famous company, Jones Snowboards - he is also well-known for his snowboarding and climbing films.

He further revolutionized big mountain riding with his development and promotion of split boards, making backcountry exploration more accessible and sustainable.

17. Hannah Teter

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Hannah Teter is a World Junior half-pipe Champion and is known for her optimistic personality. 

She was the American gold medalist in the halfpipe at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Her flawless run, including her signature "Scarecrow" air, etched her name in snowboarding history.

Teter secured a silver medal in the halfpipe at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, showcasing her consistency and ability to perform on the biggest stage.

She was a skilled all-around rider and even made the US Olympic team in snowboard cross for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

She defied expectations, achieved Olympic glory, and continues to make a positive impact through her foundation, environmental activism, and entrepreneurial ventures.

18. Daniel Franck

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Daniel Franck is a two-time Olympian and was second during his first appearance at the Olympics in 1998. 

Franck won the silver medal in the halfpipe at the 1998 Nagano Olympics with his signature tricks like Frankflip. 

He was in the ninth position during the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.

He won his first international Championship gold at the European Championships in 1995. 

In the 1999–2000 season, he won the World Championships, European Championships, and the World Cup overall, a record that still stands today.

Franck, has earned 16 World Cup wins, 11 Championship medals, and more than 40 international podiums in his career.

19. Daniel Kass

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Daniel Kass is a professional American snowboarder and has won two Olympic silver medals in the half-pipe event. 

His signature "Method Grab" and other technical tricks brought him within striking distance of gold. 

Besides the Olympics, Kass is also aa three-time X Games gold medalist. 

20. Jeff Brushie

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Jeff Brushie is a professional snowboarder from the United States.

He won a World Cup Championship in 1991 and was a pioneer in popularizing freestyle snowboarding.

He was also a part of the official Burton team in the early 1990s.

With his unmistakable „boned out“ technique, Brushie paved the way for a lot of the styles that we see today.

His first pro model, the 1993 Brushie 157 (the trout board), is one of the most legendary pro models Burton has ever done.

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