The History of Snowboarding

By: Maddie Poppish

It started with a surfer that was looking for something new. Now, it’s a winter sport sensation around the world.

My name is Maddie Poppish, and I am here to take you through the history of snowboarding. It wasn’t the idea of snowboarding that occurred first; it was the snowboard itself. I’m the 1960’s, a man and surfer named Sherman Poppen designed and built a snow surfboard called the Snurfer. After going into commercial production, over a million Snurfers were sold by 1975. Around 1972, another surfer, Dimitrije Mochvich, started experimenting with iron edges and invented Windstick, a company that still produces snowboards today.

Unfortunately, snowboards were not allowed on the slopes; irritated managers would ask the snowboarders to leave. But, in 1977, Milovich got written confirmation that snowboards were, in fact, allowed on the slopes. This was a major step in the growth and popularity of snowboarding. Three men, Tom Sims, Mike Olson, and Jake Carpenter Burton (founder of Burton Snowboards) began to produce snowboards that very same year, but all of their snowboards were different; Sims created aluminum-bottom snowboards made of wood planks; Burton built off of Snurfers; Olson used planks of pine.

As the industry moved through the 1980’s, the design focus shifted from the actual board to designing bindings to make snowboarding easier. Today, bindings are key to controlling your snowboard.

Snowboarding soon found its way into some of the best competitions in the world. The 2014 Olympics showcased 12 new competitions for snowboarders. Today, snowboarders are seen at every ski resort and the best compete in the Olympics, the X Games, and more! And to think it all started with something called a Snurfer…

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