Snowboarding is a popular winter sport that involves sliding downhill on snow with a snowboard strapped to your feet. The sport is said to have been inspired by surfing and skateboarding, as an alternative to alpine skiing.
Many people have debated over when snowboarding was officially ‘invented’. The most popular story is that an American man named Sherman Poppen invented a toy for his daughters called the ‘snurfer’. He tied two skis together and attached a rope to one end to control the board.
The design became so popular that Sherman started his own company, Brunswick Corporation in 1966, and began selling his Snurfers across the United States.
Tom Sims was another early pioneer of snowboarding. He made his first snowboard in woodwork classes at school by gluing carpet to the top of a piece of wood and aluminium sheeting to the bottom. By the 1970s, he was making commercial snowboards to sell across the world.
In 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter, a fan of the snurfer, decided to attach his feet to his snurfer using bindings. He set up Burton Snowboards and went on to become the biggest snowboarding company in the world.
As the sport grew in popularity over the 1970s and 1980s, snowboard designs flourished and the sport became more accepted by the masses. 1982 marked the first USA National Snowboard race, held at Suicide Six resort in Vermont, USA. By 1985, snowboarding had its first World Cup event at Zurs, Austria.
It wasn’t until 1998, however, that snowboarding was finally accepted into the Olympic Games. Since then, the sport has become almost equal to skiing in popularity across mountains worldwide.