U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding

Team USA athletes Mike Shea (left), Evan Strong (center), and Keith Gabel (right) pose for a photo.

How to Get Started

Interested in joining the competitive Adaptive Snowboard community? Below are a few steps to get you started no matter your experience level. 

Whether you’ve snowboarded before or not, a club team/program can help to transition from a recreational level of riding to competition, as well as act as a guide to help navigate getting licensed and classified.  Find your preferred club here!

Domestic events can be a more relaxed and affordable way to dip your toes into the competitive waters. Depending on what level of competition you would like to attend, different licenses are required. 


If you are new or wanting to get some more miles on your board, the World Para Snowboard North American Cup (NORAM) and National races are great entry level races to start with in addition to any USASA race.


For license specific information please click the links below.

  • USASA offers an snowboard adaptive membership along with a handful of regional events which are great events to get started without having to travel far. There isn't a classification piece to competing within the adaptive category of USASA races. Results do not apply to World Para Snowboard / WPSB World Ranking.  
  • World Para Snowboard (WPSB) offers an International license for adaptive athletes in events such as Boardercross and Bank SL. Athletes will be placed in specific categories depending on one’s impairment. You will need a USASA license along with a valid passport, headshot, and medical paperwork to receive your IPC license.  An athlete will have (1) year to obtain the WPSB international classification from the first race he/she competes in. Results achieved through out that period without a confirmed classification will not be recalculated.
  • USSA offers F.I.S (Federation of International Skiing) level races that tend to be geared towards able bodied racers which can be a great addition for any professional adaptive athlete.
There is no age limit as to when an athlete can make the U.S. Paralympics Snowboard National Team. However, World Para Snowboard events do have age requirements, for the 2018/19 season World Para Snowboard requires that in order to race a World Cup you must be born in 2004, Continental Cups and Nationals 2005. Please reference section 304.9 in the WPSB Rules and Regulations for any further questions. Events such as the World Para Snowboard World Championships along with the Paralympic Games have different age requirements as well; for example, the upcoming 2019 World Championships in Pyha, Finland an athlete must be born in 2001 in order to compete along with specific point requirements. For more information please click here.
International Paralympic Committee requires specific parameters of impairment in order for athletes to be classified into their competitive class.  International classification will allow you to compete for (1) year from the first race you compete before you have to obtain the WPSB international classification. For general impairment guidelines and an overview of the three sport classes within Para Snowboard please click here.
  • Please click here to download the required medical diagnostics forms to start the process.
  • Submit a copy of your Medical Diagnostics Form to NPCUSAclassification@usopc.org or faxed to the attention of USOPC Classification Manager at 719-866-2029. Your doctor must fill out the paperwork and attach supporting documentation.
  • Upon receiving all the required information, the USOPC Classification Manager will be able to work with the IPC to schedule your classification appointment. All classifications does have a race component for on-snow observation of each athlete.
  • Schedule of classification events are listed here.

Which events are you qualified for?

  • USASA – Open to all participants with a USASA license.  
  • WPSB Nationals & NorAm - Open to all participants with an IPC Snowboard license.  
  • WPSB World Cup – Please see specific WC criteria here.
  • World Para Snowboard World Championships and/or Paralympic Games – IPC Criteria will be posted here and specific USA Team criteria will be found here.

Only Snowboards can be used in competitions. The snowboard tail must have no sharp edges. Bindings must be fixed diagonally on the long axis of the board. The boots cannot overlap each other. Plate Systems that connect both bindings are not allowed in SBX. A full run down of all pieces of equipment can be found here: WPSB Equipment Rules.


For any adaptive piece of equipment (for example: prosthetic foot or wedge) needs to be submitted for review by the IPC (1) month prior to his or her fist event. Click here for further detail and the Adaptive Equipment Form.