Facts About Snowboarding
Compared to the origin of most other sports, snowboarding has quite a strange history. Most other popular sports have their earliest origins going back perhaps 300 or more years. Some go back much farther than that and are thousands of years old! Snowboarding on the other hand is a very recent addition to popular sports. At first it wasn’t popular at all in fact and it was even ridiculed.
So what went on exactly in the history of snowboarding?
The snowboards that you see today have their origins just 50 years ago. The first incarnation wasn’t really a snowboard at all as such, it was 2 skis held together side-by-side by a piece of wood nailed on top. It’s creator, Sherman Poppen, created this novel contraption for his daughters for Christmas. Since the end product looked like a surfboard for use on the snow it earned the name of: snurfer
At the time, most people would probably have considered this new invention as a bit of fun, perhaps a joke. Interestingly however a great many people liked the idea and soon thousands of people were able to buy the snurfer from sports retailers.
It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that the modern snowboard started to emerge. If you’ve been around snowboards for a while then you’ll certainly have heard the manufacturer called Burton. It was Jake Burton Carpenter who founded Burton Snowboards and it was he who produced the first modern snowboards. His first models were perhaps fairly crude but we have to thank him today for choosing to move in to the line of work he chose.
Around 1983 and the immediate years following, snowboarders were looked down upon by the skiing communities. The ski slopes actively barred snowboards from their ski slopes on the grounds that they were dangerous and the riders were loud, foul-mouthed people.
Snowboarding was finally allowed to be a recognized (and dignified) sport soon after 1987. Why then? Because the Professional Ski Instructors of America (a respectable skiing instructors association), decided to publish a training manual for snowboarders to learn snowboarding. The instructors soon had masses of people wanting to learn this new and exciting sport and the once-forbidden ski slopes were now profiting from this new sport too.
In my own opinion, the most amazing thing about the development, ignorance and then huge acceptance of snowboarding is the very short time that all this took place!
Today snowboarding is a recognized Olympic sport – not bad considering that just 50 years ago the equipment was just 2 skis nailed on to a piece of wood.
It’s a great history and the sporting world would be a very different world without snowboards and the people who make up the snowboarding community at large.