If you have done some searches about the history of snowboarding, you would have most likely come across a lot of articles that had different claims to who was the inventor of snowboarding.
And to tell you the truth, they probably all have some correct facts about them, but with the amount of information provided in each article, you might feel a bit overwhelmed.
So I simplified everything and made it into a short concise history of snowboarding timeline.
But first, How often do you snowboard? Are you just beginning your journey? Let me know in the comments below and also check out First time snowboarding? You need to read this
History of Snowboarding
So, in all honesty, the history can be broken up into two separate types.
One is the day that a piece of wood was used to hit the slopes and two, the modern take on the snowboard. It’s up to you as an individual to decide whether a plank of wood had a close enough connection to the sport or not.
-A single plank with rope for balance was used to shred the mountains in Austria. This device was called the ruariser knappenroesser otherwise known as knappenross. There are tales of people using these boards in the 1800’s for races
-around the same time a ritprätt (also called the rittpritt), on which a rider could sit or stand, is supposed to have been used in the Swiss Alps during a similar timeframe
-In Turkey’s Kaçkar Mountains there is a remote village in which the people have been riding sideways on flat, rectangular, toboggan-like devices called the Lazboard for over 400 years. They use a rope near the front for balance and a stick in the rear hand to help with steering.
-An Austrian by the name of Toni Lenhardt rode a monogleider (“monoslider”) in the Alps, with contests being held in Bruck an der Mur around the 1914’s
-Supposedly a man by the name of M. J. “Jack” Burchett, took a piece of plywood or a barrel stave, secured his feet with clothesline and horse reins, and shredded down a mountain. But this one could be taken with a grain of salt. Just like many other stories and folklore that seems to have popped up over years.
-A patent for the Wicklund board was created by Gunnar, Harvey Burgeson, and Vern Wicklund, which closely resembled the Turkish board.
-A guy by the name of O. J. Lidberg’s 1948 filed a patent for the Glider Sled, which suggested the use of a stick for steering.
-Arthur Juntunen’s 1949 filed a patent for the Toboggan, which did not require the use of a stick for steering.
Modern Day History of Snowboarding
1965 Snurfing (contributed greatly to Modern Day Snowboarding)
A young surf freak by the name of Sherman Poppen who dreamt about surfing the magical pow of the Rockies designed a board which was called Snurfing by his wife.
He built his first prototype which consisted of tying together two 1,20m long plastic planks: otherwise, know as two kids skis. He attached a rope to enable him to steer.
The Snurfer is said to have had a major contribution to modern day snowboarding with more than a million being sold in 10 years.
Have you ever ridden a Snurfer? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.
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-Carl E. Hagen’s designed a Snow Board which looked like a toboggan but had their front and back edges turned up at sharp angles.
-Craig T. Christy’s designed a Snow Surface Rider which was a skateboard for the snow which included a rudder on the bottom and blocks on the deck so riders could brace their feet.
-Joel Salisbury’s designed a Snow Sled which looked like a small surfboard
-John Fulsom’s toboggan-like Snow Ski Board curved upward on the front and had rudders on the bottom.
-James L. Rippetoe’s designed a Slalom Snow Ski which was based on a water-ski design, with the front foot facing forward and the rear foot turned at a 45-degree angle to the length of the board.
-Victor T. Berta’s Snowboard had magnets to help keep boots in place
-Ronald Carreiro’s designed the Snow Surfboard looked similar to a small rounded wakeboard with a braking device.
-Dimitrije Milovich began developing snowboards for his company ‘Winterstick’ which is believed to be the first snowboarding company.His design included steel edges, laminated fiberglass, gravel on the board for traction and nylon straps. After a few years, the company went broke.
-Jake Burton released a Snurfer knockoff called the Burton Board and managed to sell only 6 units in the first season.
-Tom Sims also began selling Similar boards on the opposite side of the country and also found it difficult to sell the board in the first season
-First National Snow Surfing Championships were being held with 125 contestants making their way down the hills on Snurfers at speeds of up to 50 miles an hour. It wasn’t a prestigious event but it helped popularize the sport by broadcasting it to The Today Show and Good Morning America.
in 1985 Burton took over the even and held it in Vermont’ Straton Mountains. Since then it has grown quite significantly, with more than 30,000 people going to the event each year.
-the first resort to open up for snowboarding was Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont in 1983-84. Other resorts followed suit and by the 1990’s 476 resorts welcomed snowboarders on their slopes
-The first snowboarding magazine got published which was called the International Snowboard Magazine. It provided readers with real stories from the slopes.
Snowboarding becomes the fastest growing winter sport on the planet with more than 6 million people
The Pipe Dragon was built by Doug Waugh. This heavy piece of machinery was built specifically to create and maintain half pipes and since then has had a huge contribution to the snowboarding freestyle movement
Snowboarding movies became more and more popular as the sport grew, but one that stood out was by Johan Olofsson, where he shredded a 50-degree drop, 3000-foot slope in a mere 35 seconds. His achievement made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records and has turned him into an overnight legend
Men’s and women’s snowboarding made their Olympic debuts at the Nagano Games in 1998 with giant slalom and halfpipe competitions.
Shaun White completes a perfect season by entering and taking out 12 snowboarding contests among them all five Grand Prix Olympic Qualifiers, two Winter X Games events, and, of course, the gold medal in Torino.
So that is a majority of the History of Snowboarding put in a nice timeline for your reading pleasure. Below you can also watch a bit more about the history.
Did I miss anything, who do you think is the real inventor of modern-day snowboarding, make sure to comment below and like and share this post.
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