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History of Snowboarding

The history of snowboarding is a bit confusing, and difficult to understand. While the "pure arc of a snowboard turn can make riders feel like part of a hundred-year-old tradition", in reality, snowboarding is a young sport. Many have seen this young sport sprout up before our own eyes.

Snowboarding can be traced as far back as the early 1920's, when young boys constructed several makeshift snowboards out of wooden barrels. While snowboarding has significantly evolved since then, snowboarding still consists of the same principle. When the present-day snowboard was invented, it was not altogether a new concept. 10 years before Jake Carpenter sold the first snowboard, Sherman Poppen, a major surf-freak, invented the "snurfer", an invention made to "surf the snow".

A crude snowboard, the snurfer consisted of only two skis tied together. In 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter, founded Burton Boards, his personal snowboarding company. At first Burton Boards was off to a rough start, and two years after it was founded, Jake was $100,000 in debt, and still trying to make the perfect design for a snowboard. However, after Jake encouraged local mountains, and riders to accept the snowboard, it became an instant success.

By the '80s, there were several other snowboarding companies, besides Burton, including: Winterstick, Sims, Barfoot, Avalanche, and Gnu. The snowboarding rage was at an all-time high during the mid '80s. It raced throughout the nation, and many ski resorts were forced to accept this new "fad". Unfortunately, with this craze, along came the "bad-boy" image, which was established by teenagers, that comprised of most boarders at the time. As of today, many ski resorts have accepted snowboarding. However, there are still several mountains that will not accept snowboarding. With any luck, these mountains will be out of business in the years to come.

In the '80s and '90s, snowboard competitions and events, such as BoarderCross and Halfpipe. These competitions are still popular, and the giant slalom, and halfpipe were introduced to the Olympics in 1998. Despite its short history, snowboarding has become widely accepted. Snowboarding now makes up roughly 20% of a ski resorts visitors. Without a doubt, this number will continue to grow.

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