Adaptive Snowboarding is a relatively new sport. People living with disabilities have been snowboarding for years. Unfortunately organized snowboarding for people living with a disability hasn’t existed to the level of other winter sports. In large part because snowboarding is a newer sport. Tyler realized this a couple years after his spinal cord injury and met with the Disabled Ski Program in Whistler and suggested they offer snowboarding. The program officials agreed and Tyler became involved in the development of what has become the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program (WASP). Later that year, Tyler made a presentation at the AGM of the Canadian Snowboard Federation (CSF) in favor of Adaptive Snowboarding and the development thereof. The board made a motion to make Adaptive Snowboarding part of their mandate and from then on the CSF have developed a National Team, Hosted the First Ever World Cup and are leaders in the World for the development of Adaptive Snowboarding.
The development of Adaptive Snowboarding is slow and arduous throughout the World without the inclusion in the Winter Paralympic Games. People from around the World living with a disability have been snowboarding for years and the first true international competition was likely in 2005 at the USASA National Championships. Since then, Riders, their Nations and the World Snowboard Federation (WSF) have developed a model for competition at an international level. This is a “Sling-Shot Boarder Cross” which in short is the riders going through a Snowboard Cross Course one-at-a-time in a time trail circumstance with the best time of three runs determining the winter after percentage factoring where appropriate to determine a level playing field.
It should be noted that Adaptive Snowboarding is a recognized sport by Sport Canada, yet until it becomes a Paralympic Sport it will lack the funding needed to truly develop the sport around the world. As a grass-roots movement and through the help of certain Nations, Snowboard Federations and Guidance by the International Paralympic Committee, we hope to have the sport developed to a level of participation and professionalism to be included in the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.
Tyler is the 2009 World Adaptive Snowboarding World Champion held in Cadrona, New Zealand; the 2009 Canadian National Champion held at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, Canada and he won the first ever World Cup in Adaptive Snowboarding in 2008 on the same Mountain where he had his Spinal Cord Injury Paralyzing him for life; Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler, Canada. Tyler is very active in the sport community for Adaptive Snowboarding and has been competing internationally since 2005. Please do not hesitate to email him if you have any questions or would like to know more about Adaptive Snowboarding.