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Snowboarding History

Snowboarding is a sport common in the mountainous regions where the sportspersons descend slopes covered in the snow using boards attached to their feet. The game appears risky and intriguing in equal measures (Hardy and Felice 59).

Snowboarding is a modification of the surfboard designed by Sherman Poppen, who was an engineer. In the beginning, the engineer created the surfboards to keep his daughters safe as they glided downhill using a rope. He and his wife would control the surfboard using the cables as a safety measure to keep the children safe. In 1966, he sold half a million boards after the snuffers became famous through the friends of their daughters. In 1968, Michigan ski resort held the first snuffing challenge, which saw contenders from all over the world. In the competition, a skateboard fanatic by the name Tom Sims created the first snowboard by gluing a carpet on the upper side of the board and an aluminum sheet at the bottom.

Advancements in Snowboarding

The carpet maximized the comfort of the feet while the iron sheet reduced friction between the board and the ice for more comfortable gliding (Teter 189). In mid-1970, he produced more products and used the local magazine to market them. More advancement came in 1977 with the introduction of bindings to hold the user to the board. In 1980, Two Russians namely Alexei Melnikov and Aleksey Ostatnigrosh altered the original design by adding a bungee cord at the back for more control. The first competition for snowboards happened in 1979 by a new entrant, a carpenter by the name Jake Burton (Lurie and Jimmy 2). Although it was a snuffing competition, his original design of the snowboard led to the introduction of a new category for modified snuffers. The final plan was a collective effort from Tom Sims, Dimitrije Milovich, and Mike Olson, who ensures the availability of the new design in the market and development of the sport.

Growth and Internationalization of Snowboarding

One of the biggest challenges to the invention was the absence of snow for the competitions. Therefore, the sportspersons had to travel for long distances looking for the best conditions that could support the game. In the subsequent years, cities such as "Colorado, Woodstock, and California held significant competitions" on the sport in 1981, 1982 and 1983 respectively (Atkinson 391). Due to the favorable weather conditions in Austria, the country hosted the first snowboard world cup transforming the game from local entertainment to an international event leading to the introduction of rules and regulations to make the sport professional and neutral all over the world. Snowboarding started as a simple family affair and turned into an international game after almost three decades. However, it is important to note that a lack of snow in most parts of the world made it impossible for all countries to adopt the game (Thorpe 63).

Personal Snowboarding Experience

Snowboarding Memoir

In the last winter, snowboarding was at the top of my priorities. My intrigue on the sports emanated from the great control exhibited by the players while descending the steep slopes at a very high speed. Therefore, I developed the interest to take part in the game. At first, fear got the better part of me. Every time I thought of taking part in the sport, I imagined how hard I would fall at the base of the hill in case my snowboard lost control or failed to stop. However, I decided to take the bold step and face my fears. During the summer, I traveled to Colorado with my parents and waited for the big day as I watched numerous documentaries on learning to snowboard (Jones and Thomas 9). Any information I acquired gave me additional confidence to try out the sport.

On a material day, my mom refused to come and witness my first trial. However, my skating abilities guaranteed me of enough stability. My biggest challenge was maintaining the "balance and coordination" high speed and stopping the snowboard appropriately (Thorpe 51). The safety officers in the park directed me to a sloppy area of the hill with a lower gradient. Firstly, I was the heaviest coats available to keep me warm. Then I strapped the board on my feet and stood up slowly with the front of the board facing downhill. It seemed so easy watching others do it. However, the ease disappeared at the first attempt. The instructor advised me to strap one foot only for the other one to assist with stability and stopping the board by stepping down from the board (Ryan 33).

At first, I slid and fell within a few meters. However, the second attempt was more successful with a few meters. As my confidence grew, I started going for longer distances and steeper slopes. The most interesting aspect of the sport is that the ice provides a soft landing for the sportsmen. Therefore, the chances of injury are minimal. Higher risks are evident in "people who jump over cliffs" with bare rocks (Johnson et al. 176). However, I did not get to try that part of the sport for the love of my dear life. As I went back to the car, I was so happy and planning on how to narrate the whole story to my mum who did not witness the entire trial. In the future, I am going to improve my skills and take part in the Olympics. I will let the sky be my limit.

Works Cited

Atkinson, Michael. Battleground sports. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2009. Print.

Hardy, Peter, and Felice Hardy. Hardy's skiing & snowboarding guide 2009. London: Cadogan Guides, 2008. Print.

Johnson, Robert J., Paolo Zucco, and Jasper E. Shealy. Skiing trauma and safety. West Conshohocken, Pa: ASTM, 2000. Print.

Jones, P A., and Thomas V. Cech. Colorado water law for non-lawyers. Boulder, Colo: University Press of Colorado, 2009. Print.

Lurie, Jon, and Jimmy Clarke. Play-by-play snowboarding. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co, 2004. Print.

Ryan, Kevin. The illustrated guide to snowboarding. Indianapolis, IN: Masters Press, 1998. Print.

Teter, Hannah, and Tawnya Schultz. Mastering snowboarding. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2013. Print.

Thorpe, Holly. Snowboarding : the ultimate guide. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2012. Print.

November 13, 2023

Business Life Sports



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