The Chemistry of how Snowboarding Affects the Brain


In this you will learn how snowboarding affects the brain and what hormones (which are types of chemicals in the brain) are secreted. I chose this because I am very passionate about snowboarding. I may not be that talented at it but my mind tells me to keep getting up and trying again. This project showed me what partsa of the brain cause me to keeping getting back on my board even if my last fall was painful. Snowboarding has also taught me that you have to fight through the pain no matter how much you want to give up or how terrifying the lifts seem.Composition of ...The chemicals that are secreted in the brain when a person is snowboarding is typically Norepinephrine (C8H11NO3) which controls emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger, and pain, Dopamine (C8H11NO2) which creates the feeling of pleasure and happiness, and Adrenaline (C9H13NO3) which increases heart rate when stressed, excited, or strong emotions.

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Snowboarding causes the brain to secrete three main chemicals Norepinephrine, Dopamine, and Adrenaline. Which are made up of Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and oxygen.

Chemistry's Role

Chemistry is used when the Ribosome in the nucleus of a cell use DNA that has been coded into RNA to form amino acids. The amino acids are chemically linked together to form proteins. Some of these proteins are known as hormones that are triggered by neurons to send out information through neurotransmitters to locations of the brain and body. For snowboarding the neurotransmitters are sent out from the primary sensory cortex, (located in the parietal lobe of the cerebrum which is the superior part of the brain) in order to secrete hormones that trigger pain, anxiety, and pleasure.

Background Research

Snowboarding first came around in 1961 and was invented by three guys named Vern Wicklund, Harvey Burgeson, and Gunnar Burgeson. When snowboarding the brain goes through many stages and may cause a person to have many different types of emotions. These emotion are released by neurons, which are cells that transmit nerve impulses to another cell in the body.


The mental challenge of learning how to snowboard

Must have perseverance to snowboard

Be able to live with looking stupid and telling yourself to get back up after falling/wiping out

neurotransmitters which is a chemical released by neurons

Involved in motor control and release of various hormones

chemicals that enable neurotransmission

Transmits signals across chemical synapse from neuron to neuron

Transports a neuron's information by nerve impulses called action potential

Core of snowboards usually made of fiberglass around wood (beech, poplar, bamboo, and birch)

core is sometimes made of foam, aluminum, or honeycomb

base made of plastic (polyethylene) with wax that creates a hydrophobic surface

Edge a strip of metal that is able to produce friction so you can ride on ice

Motor system is involved with producing body movements

Activates muscles (except eye muscles)

Ventral horn in spinal cord contains motor neurons that activate muscle

Cerebellum in hindbrain calibrates timing and precision of movements

which is extremely important in snowboarding since you have to be precise in every single movement

Motivational system monitors current state of satisfaction of goals

such as when you fall you keep getting up and trying again

Motivational system is in the basal ganglia

Two olympic snowboarders fell on the first and second run but after they fell they learned how much snowboarding meant to them

After losing the first round they felt disappointed

Intense cardio workout (Aerobic)

Releases endorphins

neurochemicals that are responsible for feeling happy

Elevate mood and can reduce anxiety, lower stress and support mental health

Definition of what P-tex is and what it is commonly used for on a snowboard

Norepinephrine chemical makeup

Norepinephrine is a hormone that is released from the Locus Coeruleus in the pons area (Brain Stem)

Fight or flight response

Heart rate


Polyethylene compound

About the Author

Aryanna Arnold is a Junior at Billings Senior High School. She enjoys to snowboard with friends at Red Lodge Mountain in Red Lodge, Montana and Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Bozeman, Montana. Her favorite class is chemistry because she to learn how it affects daily tasks. Aryanna wants to study nursing and biochemistry at Montana State University in Bozeman.