Originally the inspiration came from skateboarding, surfing, and skiing, the sport of snowboarding evolved in the United States back in the decades of the 1960s and 70s.
By Philip Sebastian Schilling
- 3 min read.
Photo by Felipe Giacometti / Unsplash
The History and Origins of Snowboarding
Snowboarding is an awesome sport that has become more and more popular in recent years. Originally the inspiration came from skateboarding, surfing, and skiing, the sport of snowboarding evolved in the United States back in the decades of the 1960s and 70s. Most people agree that the original snowboard was an invention that was manufactured in Utah in the 1970s.
As you can imagine, the extreme nature of the sport caught on fast. The popularity of this sport really grew quickly when a few pioneers made some innovative designs that have lasted up until now.
In the 1970s and 80s, a few men founded snowboarding companies that would produce some of the most innovative designs ever conceived for the sport. Jake Burton Carpenter is probably the most famous of all. He founded Burton Snowboards in Vermont. This is one of the most respected and widely used brands in the history of snowboarding. Jake Burton dreamed up special designs and new mechanisms that made it much easier to ride and lead to the rise of new tricks and techniques.
How did he make his way into the mainstream? Well, snowboarding was originally called snurfing, a reference to surfing and snow. The first World Snurfing Championship was held in 1979. Jake Burton Carpenter made the trip from Vermont with a custom snowboard that he had designed. It was quite different from the snurfer boards that other competitors were using.
After some protests about the different design, it was decided that he should be permitted to race with his model. Jake ended up winning and that race is now considered to be the birth of competitive snowboarding as we know it today. His designs caught on, and things have never been the same since.
The first National snowboarding race took place in 1982 in Vermont. After that, things began to really spread like wild fire. Tom Sims, founder of Sims Snowboards, took it upon himself to organize the first World Championship halfpipe competition in 1983. The sport continued to gain popularity, and the first World Cup of snowboarding was held in Austria in 1985.
Back in these times, snowboarding was not allowed at most ski resorts. If it was, it was only permitted on separate slopes. However, pioneers continued to push the envelope and advocate for the sport.
It was not long before snowboarders got the respect they deserved. Almost all ski resorts now allow snowboarders to use the same slopes as skiers. Events like the X Games and other snowboarding competitions are getting more media exposure than ever before, and the sport has nowhere to go but up.