Snow Boarding- By Lamorna Harpin

Top Ten Facts You Should Know
From Brandon Arnold
You've heard of it. You've seen it on TV. Maybe you've even given it a try. Now it's time to gain a basic understanding of snowboarding.
Here are the Top 10 Snowboarding Facts you need to know.

Top 10 Snowboarding Facts:
1. Snowboarding originated in the U.S. in the 1960's. Early boards were very rudimentary in design compared to the models available today. More recent designs reflect the variety of riding styles that have emerged within the sport. (Read more about snowboarding's history here.)
2. There are two primary styles of snowboarding: 1) freestyle/freeride and 2) alpine/carving. Each style requires its own specialized set of equipment.
3. Snowboarding competitions have been taking place for approximately 20 years, and include events such as the halfpipe, boardercross, slopestyle and parallel giant slalom.
4. In 2000, snowboarding was the fastest-growing sport in the US (followed by skateboarding) with the number of people who went snowboarding rising to a total of just over 7.2 million participants.
5. Snowboarding made its Olympics debut in Nagano, Japan in 1998. It returned to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City with 2 events, the halfpipe and parallel giant slalom.
6. One of snowboarding's early pioneers, Jake Burton Carpenter, started Burton Snowboards in the late 70s. Today, Burton is the largest manufacturer of snowboards, gear and snowboard clothing in the world.
7. Although snowboarding takes place alongside skiing at ski resorts, it is a totally different sport than skiing with its own equipment and a unique sensation that can't really be compared to skiing.
8. There are still four ski resorts in the United States that don't allow snowboarding!
9. Snowboarding helped spark a revolution in the ski industry by inspiring ski manufacturer's to make shorter, more maneuverable skis with deeper sidecuts.
10. It's fun!

History of Snowboarding
From Brandon Arnold

The pure arc of a snowboard turn can make riders feel like part of a hundred-year-old tradition. However, most of us have watched snowboarding spring up before our very eyes, and the early origins of this young sport can only be traced back as far as the 1960's.
Sherman Poppen is most often credited with inventing the snowboard in 1965. As the story goes, Poppen fixed two skis together for his daughter to "surf" down the snowy hill outside their Michigan home. Combining the words "snow" and "surf", the new invention became the Snurfer, and went into production the following year.
Over the next decade, early pioneers like Jake Burton, Demetrije Milovich and Tom Sims created more specialized and refined board designs.
By the early 80's a handful of snowboard brands were on the market, including Burton, Winterstick, Sims, Barfoot, Avalanche and Gnu.
The snowboard craze hit a crescendo in the mid-eighties, sweeping through ski resorts across the US. Along with it came an early "bad boy" image, based largely on the fact that adolescent males (who acted exactly like adolescent males on skis) comprised the majority of snowboarders at the time. A rebel reputation was established and is still prevalent today, despite snowboarding's vast appeal to men and women of all ages.
Some ski resorts banned snowboarding during this early phase but have since come to accept the wildly popular and still growing winter sport. A few resorts are still holding out against all odds, but it seems unlikely that their skier-only policies will last. In the year 2000, snowboarding was the fastest-growing sport in the US (followed by skateboarding) with the number of people who went snowboarding increasing 51.2 percent from the previous year to a total of just over 7.2 million participants. Downhill skiing grew by just six percent, with a total of 14.7 million participants. (Stats are from the fourteenth annual American Sports Data Superstudy of Sports Participation.)
The sport of snowboarding continues to carve its own unique path. Throughout the 80's and 90's, competitions and events such as halfpipe and boardercross became international staples. In 1998, snowboarding debuted in the Olympics in Nagano, Japan with a giant slalom and halfpipe competition, and will return to the Olympics in 2008 in Torino, Italy with the addition of snowboard cross.
In a short 40-year history, snowboarding has cemented itself into the hearts and minds of enthusiasts around the world. According to, snowboarders currently make up 25% of all winter sport participants, and that number is sure to continue to rise.

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