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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Who Invented Snowboarding?

By Jessy Faraday
It’s always great to hit the slopes! But did you ever consider who was the first person in history to ever feel the joy of snowboarding?  Of course, the roots of snowboarding are several centuries old. Though we’ve got snowboard storage racks today, we know for sure that the modern development of snowboards was originated before the 1960s.  I’ve gathered some facts about some of the inventors of the snowboard:

M.J. Jack Burchett

The first ever snowboard didn’t look like the one you have. Let’s go back to the times when it resembled a piece of wood! In 1929, Jack Burchett took a plank of some plywood, and used some horse reins and clothesline with it to secure his feet for climbing down the slopes. This was the very first, roughly-designed snowboard this pioneer snowboarder came up with.  This guy was stoked!

Sherman Poppen

Living in Muskegon, Michigan, and working as a chemical engineer, Sherman wanted to present his daughter with a new toy.  His wife named it, “the Snurfer.”  This amazing toy was designed by combining two skis with a rope at their nose so that the rider was able to hold the rope and keep the "board" stable.  This was a perfect snowboarding gift indeed. His daughter’s friends loved it, and yes, they wanted it too!  He licensed his snowboard design, and earned millions in 1966. He also organized various competitions that promoted this new snowboard.

Dimitrije Milovich

A fan of riding down the hills near his college, Dimitrije thought of combining his boards the way surfboards are made. In 1972, he established his company known as, “Winterstick,” and produced several snowboards that also gained popularity.  Though Dimitrije ended his snowboard company in 1980, snowboarding enthusiasts still remember him as one of the pioneers of modern snowboarding.

Tom Sims

As a winter sport lover, Tom had an obsession for skateboarding.  But then he built his first snowboard, loved it, and took it as his business. In 1977, he began to build snowboards with his friend, Chuck Barfoot.  This was the beginning of that snowboarding experience which is now enjoyed by snowboarders across the globe!

If you're a snowboarder, take a minute to give all these guys a thanks for inventing such a great invention.  And of course, there are many others who contributed to the development and evolution of snowboarding to take it to what it is today.  Who's your favorite snowboard pioneer?