Freestyle Snowshoe Boulder Jumping




About: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open and let me know how it goes. cheers, -Joe

This instructable will explain the sport of Freestyle Snowshoe Boulder Jumping (FSBJ).

The sport requires only snowshoes, snow and boulders.

We'll cover the origin, activity, judging criteria and safety.

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Step 1: Origins

The sport of Freestyle Snowshoe Boulder Jumping originated in the early 00's in the Colorado Rockies, either at Brainard Lake or Bear Lake.

For years the sport has been enjoyed by people of all ages, colors, races, ethnicity and genders.

Step 2: Equipment

You need snowshoes.

To actually have fun, you also need:
-Gators, this keeps the snow out of your boots when you fall in deep snow.
-Regular snow gear like pants, gloves, boots.
-Gators, really without gators this sucks.
-You might want to carry a backpack with extra gloves, water, food, a map, and a camera.

Also I think you need a Horny Toad Iceman Fleece long sleeve shirt. It will not only keep you dry, but you'll look taller, skinnier, and more attractive to the opposite sex.

Step 3: The Approach

The best Freestyle Snowshoe Boulder Jumping is off the beaten path.

Our two Freestyle Snowshoe Boulder Jumping ladies below are displaying the tools of the trade on the way to the hidden boulders in the woods.

Step 4: The Concept

The sport is simple, you find some big boulders, with a good bit of snow at the bottom. Jump off of them.

The best boulders have a good pile of snow on the top to make it even higher and more fun to jump off of.

You need to make sure there is a nice good landing too.

Step 5: Safety

Before we get in to the best kind of FSBJ'ing we need to talk safety.

You need to check out the landing, this is very important.

There can be hidden sticks, boulders, thin snow.

But the best landing is one that has not been jumped on before... You can test snow depth with a stick, pole, etc.

Step 6: Safety 2: Snow Depth

You may think that there is enough snow... so you go jumping.

The snow may be hard as it's late season and compacted, or windblown and icy.

As seen in this pic, it looks like there is enough snow, but it was hard packed and sore knees were had by all the next day.

Step 7: Style

This boulder is completely covered in snow and the cornice is the only give away.

While fun to jump off of, not the best boulder for FSBJ. You would not achieve high scores.

Step 8: Bad Style

This is not even a boulder, good for training, but not for any scores in competitive FSBJ.

Step 9: Style Through Training.

When no boulders are available training can be done on man made features.

As you see the heel grab was achieved here/ His training will pay off.

Step 10: Style Through Training Cont.

As you can see in this pic, training on trees can be done. But be sure to check the tree for safety first.

Step 11: Style

If your boulder is not very tall, you can make up for it with outward motion. A key element of FSBJ is how far from the boulder you throw yourself out.

Step 12: The Slide

In this first pic the FSBJ player is really just sliding off the boulder.

In the second pic, our female FSBJ player is jumping away from the rock. The judges on the ground would award higher points.

Step 13: Aesthetics

Aesthetics are key to awarding points in FSBJ, but also they help with your own satisfaction if you are out training for FSBJ. The boulder here scores high on aesthetics.

Step 14: Aesthetics Cont

This scores no points for aesthetics and it clearly shows the jumper is a wuss.

However it does show that FSBJ is a sport that can be enjoyed during the day as well as the night.

Step 15: Good Boulder, Good Jump

This shows a great boulder, great height, nice snow cornice, and decent distance from the boulder considering how far out the boulder bulges from the top.

Step 16: Head to Head

Freestyle Snowshoe Boulder Jumping can be a head to head competition.

Step 17: Have Fun

Don't forget that even though Freestyle Boulder Snowshoe Jumping is a competitive sport, it can be enjoyed as a non competition activity.

A happy Freestyle Boulder Snowshoe Jumper is seen below.

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    12 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    i just thought of something that would make this batter. get a crappy snowboard and cut it in half. unbolt the bindings, and orient them so they point towards the ends of the pieces of the board instead of toward the sides. now you have snow+shoes+sliders+awesome FBSJ footwear!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    haha I haven't snowboarded in forever. too lazy these days


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I am not suprised a Coloradan thought this up. We do some pretty nutty things when the snow gets deep, not the least of which is go jump off of boulders. Have you heard of cyclocross? Them boys have lost it! Back to FSBJ, I need to do this next winter. This winter would have been perfect, with record snowfall and all, but I was too busy Freestyle Tree Hitting and Mogul Burying, in which you attempt to snowboard moguls, fall, ragdoll 30 feet, and bury yourself in the mogul by sheer force alone. Then you get out, get back to the piste, and hit a tree.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah a big part of me doing this/snowshoeing was a result of me being the words worst skier. -Joe


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Some snowshoes work better for this than others. My MSR Denali snowshoes have a "True Hinge" which causes them to go almost vertical as soon as you jump off of something. This makes sticking a landing (and not breaking the hinge) very difficult. Regular snowshoe hinges (that use straps instead of a pin) work better. I would also like to add that when you start doing stuff like this you expose yourself to quite a bit more danger. Frozen water over boulders (small waterfalls) can be well hidden and very dangerous. Jumping from a boulder onto a slope seems fun but is also a great way to trigger an avalanche. Jumping into deep powder can cause puncture wounds from deadfall under the snow. Not that any of this should deter anyone from trying it, just make sure you step up your awareness of the terrain appropriately.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Sounds fun, I haven't been snowshoeing in forever. I went snowshoeing in the Tetons, years ago. Next time ill try it.


    11 years ago on Step 1

    i did this a brainard lake durring a snowshoe hike. very fun


    11 years ago on Introduction

    haha I used to do this on the way back from the pub when i lived in switzerland lots of fun


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. Snowshoes are fairly cheap. The more expensive ones just have better bindings, but you don't really need them. If you want a deal on snowshoes the best time is during the spring when the ski rental shops will sell their rental stock, usually for less than $20. -Joe