Twenty years ago, you would rarely see snowboarders at a ski resort. In fact, snowboarders were prohibited at ski areas, such as Aspen, Taos, Deer Valley, Alta, Mad River Glen and others. Fast forward to the twenty-first century. Many skiers-only resorts, such as Aspen and Taos, now allow snowboarding. The sport is here to stay.
History of Snowboarding
Snowboarding was the brainchild of a chemical gas engineer named Sherman Poppen. Inspired by surfing and skateboarding, Poppen built a "snurfer," by binding two skis together and putting a rope at the end. Little did he know that this children's toy would be one day revolutionize the snow sport industry.
Enter Jake Burton
Although the snurfer was essentially a kid's toy, Poppen held snurfing competitions throughout the country. Jake Burton competed in one of these events, and became fascinated with the snurfer's possibilities. In 1977, he moved to Londonderry, Vermont, where he created the first laminated, hardwood board. Burton also added bindings, which the snurfer did not have. Apparently, the bindings made a big difference. Burton entered another snurfing competition, and beat the other competitors by a long shot.
In the year 2000, snowboarding was the fastest growing sport in the United States.
Average Age and Gender of a Snowboarder
Although it was once in the almost exclusive domain of boys under age 20, according to recent statistics, 17.3 percent of snowboarders are between the ages of seven- and 11-years-old, and one out of four riders is between the age of 25- and 44-years-old. Additionally, females make up 23 percent of the snowboarding population.
Snowboarding became an Olympic sport in 1994.
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.