Snowboarding is a very recent sport and is similar to Surfing, skateboarding, and Skiing.
Likewise, it is not surprising that the origin of snowboarding lies in these sports. Although it is hard to pinpoint the pioneer of Snowboarding, the History of Snowboarding tells us that it was initiated around the 1950s by a few surf and skate enthusiasts who used self-made boards to convey their skills to a new terrain: the snow.
At that time, due to the novelty of the Snowboards, those contraptions often resulted in many broken boards and a lot of bruises.
The first real Snowboard hit the market during the 1960’s in the form of Sherman Poppen’s Snurfer. It appeared like a weird crossover between a plywood sled and a skateboard deck.
The rope attached to the front tip of the snurfer (board) offered the rider some control, and the steel tacks poking through the upper deck held the rider’s feet in place.
During that time, Snowboarding appealed initially to a small group of surfers, skateboarders, and Backcountry enthusiasts. Brave souls who rode their own Snowboard contraptions were highly frowned upon by majority of skiers. They were not even allowed to ride the regular slopes used in Skiing. Consequently, Snowboarding started Off-Piste.
As Snowboarding became more popular in the 70’s and 80’s, true Snowboarding pioneers such as Dimitrije Milovich, an East Coast surfer, and Jake Burton Carpenter came up with new snowboard designs, materials and machineries that had slowly developed into the Snowboard, Snowboard Bindings, and other Snowboard Equipment we know nowadays.
In 1983, less than 10 percent of United States ski areas allowed Snowboarding. But by 1997, few resorts excluded it.
Today, Snowboarding is now as accepted as Skiing in most Ski Resorts Worldwide and its popularity and fan base is growing at such a pace that the number of skiers in the US has declined by 25%. The number of snowboarders has increased by 77%, making Snowboarding the fastest growing winter sport in the US. Today, more than 3.4 million people Snowboard.
This number comprises about 20% of the visitors to US ski resorts. Also, the number of people who snowboard is predicted to overtake Skiing by 2015.
These are some of the highlights in the Snowboarding History. Included is the evolution of the equipment, such as the freeride snowboards and flow bindings. It can be said that the sport has undergone a lot of changes and developments, making it a fun and enjoyable winter sport activity that millions of people enjoy doing every year.