The history of snowboarding isn't as long as the history of skiing. When it comes to snowboarding facts, you might be interested to know that the sport can trace its origins back to the 1920s. This is farther back than you might have anticipated, as the sport has only really taken off in recent decades. In 1929, a Utah man by the name of M.J. Burchett created what many believe to be one of the first snowboards. Burchett cut a plywood plank into a rideable board and used both horse reins and clotheslines to secure his feet.
The history of snowboarding may or may have not started with M.J. Burchett. There is some debate as to who the true inventor of the sport is. That being said, Burchett has gotten a lot of respect for his early efforts to pioneer snowboarding. When it comes to fun facts about snowboarding, you might be interested to know that Utah considered putting an image of Burchett and his snowboard on the 25-cent coin commemorating the state.
As for the more modern history of snowboarding, it begins with a man from Muskegon, Michigan. That man is Sherman Poppen. Poppen was an engineer looking for a new toy to give to his daughter when he invented what would become known as the "snurfer." For those who are interested in fun facts about snowboarding, it is worth noting that Poppen's original snurfer was made by fastening two skis together and attaching a rope at the front. Poppen subsequently made improvements to his original design, and so popular was the resulting product that he sold nearly a million of them. In the 1970s, the first snurfing competitions were organized, and among the competitors in some of the competitions was a youngster named Jack Burton Carpenter.
Better known as Jack Burton, Jack Burton Carpenter is among the most recognizable pioneers in the history of snowboarding. As far as interesting snowboarding facts are concerned, it is worth noting that the company that he founded, Burton, is the leading snowboard equipment company in the industry. Burton grew up in New York and moved to Vermont when he got inspired to try to sell snowboards. It was the late 70s, and Burton was trying to improve upon the snurfer. Around the same time, an American surfing enthusiast by the name of Dimitrije Milovich was inventing his own version of the snowboard. He called his invention the "Winterstick." Articles about the Winterstick were featured in various publications, which really helped to attract attention to the burgeoning snowboard industry. The sport has come a long way in a short amount of time since the Winterstick days. Snowboarders can now be found at virtually every ski resort across the country, including top snowboarding resorts such as California's Mammoth Mountain and Montana's Big Sky.
In the 1980s, the snowboarding industry continued to grow, and new designs came out left and right. Another thing worth noting when it comes to fun facts about snowboarding is the fact that the first National Snowboard race took place in 1982. One year later, the first World Championship half pipe competition only helped to fuel the sports rise. It was in the 1980s that snowboarding started to get recognized as an official sport. This had a lot to do with the World Cup of snowboarding being held in Austria in 1985. That same year, Breckenridge also hosted a big time Championship, and just six years later, Vail became the first resort to establish a snowboard park. It wasn't until 1994 that the International Snowboard Association was founded, however. This organization regulates various contests around the globe and has certainly played a significant role in developing the sport.
The history of snowboarding truly starts to see the sport gaining acceptance in the 1990s and 2000s. It took a bit of time for the world's ski areas to warm up to the idea of having snowboarders on their slopes, though these days, the amount of revenue that the sport generates has helped to make it very acceptable. One of the more interesting snowboarding facts relates to just how few ski resorts remain ski only resorts. In the US, the ski only resorts are Mad River Glen, Deer Valley, and Alta. Mad River Glen can be found in Vermont, while both Deer Valley and Alta are found in Utah.