History of Snowboarding

The first Snowboard-like-invention was built in 1929 by M.J. ‘Jack’ Burchett. He cut out a plank of plywood and secured his feet with a length of clothesline and horse reins. Thus the first ‘Snowboard’ was invented.

Before the next step forward was taken, the Snowboard had to sit for over 30 years. In 1963 Tom Sims, a student in eighth grade, constructed what he called a ‘Ski Board’ for a class project. Two years later Sherman Poppen invented ‘The Snurfer’ as a toy for his kids . He made The Snurfer by bolting two skis together. Later on he organized competitions with the Snurfer.

The real change was made in 1970 when Dimitrije Milovich got an idea after sliding on cafeteria trays. Milovich, who was a surfer on the east coast, started developing snowboards based on the feel of surfing and the mechanics of sking. In 1975 Milovich and his ‘Snowboard’, called the ‘Winterstick’ , got a write-up in the March edition of ‘Newsweek’. Inspired by Malcovich, Jake Burton moves to Londonverry, Vermont and starts making Snowboards with steam bent wood and fiberglass.

In 1977 Mike Olsen builds his first snowboard in his highschool woodshop. He kept experimenting with snowboards until he dropped out of college in 1984 to form ‘Gnu’. Once an article about the new snowboards were published in Powder Magazine, attention was brought to this new freestyle movement.

The first real ski technology for snowboards was introduced by Burton and Winterstick in 1980. Their new prototype had a P-Tex base. In 1982 the first international snowboard race was held in Suicide Six, outside of Woodstock, Vermont. The goal of the race seemed to be survival. The race consisted of a steep icy kamikaze downhill run, called ‘The Face’.

In 1985 only 39, of the approximatly 600 ski resorts allowed snowboards. That same year the first snowboarding magazine comes out, it’s titled Absolute Radica l. Later on the name is changed into International Snowboarding Magazine. In 1986 Regis Rolland, a French snowboarder, stars in ‘Apocalypse Snow’. This launches a European snowboard generation that gets the ball rolling. They organize their own regional events, such as the Swiss Championships in St. Moritz.

Snowboarding becomes a more acceptable and popular sport.