and skiing, snowboarding is a relatively new sport. It was
influenced by surfing, skateboarding and skiing. It is
difficult to determine the pioneer of snowboarding. It is believed
to originally have begun around 1950 by a few surf and ski
enthusiasts. They decided to take their skills to a new level
and new terrain -- snow.
enthusiasts create self made boards -- results many
1963 a young man, Tom Sims, made a snowboard out of plywood
in his eighth grade shop class. He called his new
invention a ski board. He later formed his own snowboard
company, Sims Snowboards, which had a big impact on
the world of snowboarding in the early years.
real board is known as the Snurfer and it hit the market in
1965. It's creator was Sherman Poppen. It was a
combination of a a plywood sled and a skateboard deck.
two skis together and
attached a rope to the front tip of the snurfer to give the
rider some control, help with balance and steer. In
addition, steel tacks were put on the upper deck
to hold the rider's feet in place.
time, Snowboarding was not even allowed on regular
slopes and was widely frowned upon by the majority of
skiers. It really appealed to a small group of
surfers, skateboarders, and backcountry enthusiasts.
In the mid 70's, as
snowboarding became more popular, snowboarding pioneers such
as Dimitrije Milovich,
an East Coast surfer, and Jake
Burton, a carpenter from Manchester, Vermont, came up with
new board designs, materials and machineries.
1970--Inspired by sliding on
cafeteria trays in upstate New York, Dimitrije
Milovich starts developing snowboards. His board was based
on the design and feel of a surfboard, but worked the same
way as skis
1971--According to Milovich, he is
granted a patent for his snowboard design so he could sell
the idea to ski companies. The patent didn't expire
until1988 and Milovich declines from enforcing the patent
with other companies.
In 1972, Milovich,
started a company called the Winterstick.
Winterstick are written up in the March issue of Newsweek
and have a two-page photo spread in Powder, giving
snowboarding some early national exposure.
Initially, Burton began shaping
snowboards out of wood and fixing rubber strips on them for
bindings to help control the board. Eventually he
started making his snowboards out of fiberglass.
apparently succeeded, for he is now the owner of Burton
Snowboards , a forerunner in the snowboard industry. He has
deeply influenced what snowboarding has become today.
Vermont was very instrumental in
the development of this sport. The
first established national Snowboard races were in Vermont,
in the late 70's and early 80's. This eventually led
to the US Open
in Vermont which is now possibly the most well known
snowboard event in the world.
In the 1980's
they started adding steel edges to the sides of the
snowboard. It was also during this time that bindings with
high backs, to help control when snowboarding on hard packed
snow, was invented. In 1983 less that 10 percent of the ski
areas in the United States allowed Snowboarding.
In 1983, the
first World Championship halfpipe competition was held at
Soda Springs, California.
This gave the
emerging stars of this new sport the chance to show off
their skills. Freestyle riding on the slopes and in the new
halfpipe events created a buzz worldwide.
Vermont was the first state in the
nation to host a Snowboard Park. At a time when few ski
areas accepted snowboarders, the Sonnenburg Ski Hill, in
Barnard Vermont allowed snowboarders, to have free reign of
a trail to build jumps and supplied them with a steady
supply of hay bails and a few picnic tables to jump. This
was definitely a ground breaking move. Today these parks are
commonplace at most resorts worldwide.
In 1985, the
first World Cup was held in Zürs, Austria.
The first magazine exclusively
about snowboarding, known as Absolutely Radical,
appears in March. Six
months later the name is changed to International Snowboard
In 1988, Ocean
Pacific an veteran surf company, develops their own line of
winter clothing. Other surf companies soon follow and
capitalize on the crossover between the two sports.
1990s - 2000s
Breckenridge Ski Corp. in 1990, announces plans to house the
Snowboarding Hall Of Fame.
In 1994 the
International Snowboard Association (ISA) was founded to
provide universal contest regulations.
In 1995 ESPN
introduced the X-Games, which showcased extreme sports.
In 1997 the Winter X Games debuted in Big Bear Lake,
Today, snowboarding is as accepted as skiing in most
ski resorts around the world.
popularity and fan base is
growing dramatically. The number of snowboarders has
increased by 77%, making it the fastest growing winter sport
in the US.
In 1996, there
were about two million snowboarders.
Today, more than 3.4 million
people snowboard, which comprises about 20% of the visitors
to US ski resorts.
High profile snowboarding
events such as the Olympics, Winter X-Games, and the
US Open are broadcasted worldwide.
snowboarding had a more extensive audience and commercial