By Keith Kingston
To say who actually invented the sport of snowboarding would be impossible because people have always loved to slide down asnow-covered hill. Soaring through the snow on some kind of seat or board is nothing new. The ways to enjoy the snow are numerous, and people have devised ways to turn garbage can lids and cardboard into‘snow boards’ to enjoy an afternoon frolic outdoors. The various ways to glide through snow have become more sophisticated and have evolved into using polished boards or skis in much the same manner as asurfboarder would ride a wave.
There have been many attempts at developing a modern snowboard. In 1965, the ‘Snurfer’ (a word play on ‘snow’ and ‘surfer’) was developed as a child’s toy. Two skiswere bound together and a rope was placed at the front end to afford control and stability. Over 500,000 ‘Snurfers’ were sold in 1966 but they were never seen as more than a child's plaything even thoughorganized competitions began to take place. The year 1969 brought a slightly more sophisticated snowboard based on the principles of skiing combined with surfboard styling.
The ‘Flying YellowBanana’ was developed in 1977. This was nothing more than a plastic shell covered with a top surface like that of a skateboard, but at the time it was considered a major advance in the little known sport ofsnowboarding. The first national snowboard race was held in the area outside Woodstock and was known as ‘The Suicide Six.’ The race consisted of a steep downhill run called The Face in which the maingoal was probably mere survival.
Snowboarding continued to increase in popularity over the next several years. In 1985 the first magazine dedicated specifically to snowboarding hit the news standswith huge success and furthered the popularity of this exciting sport. Hoards of fans began to organize regional events and pretty soon snowboarding events were held in all parts of the world. In...