A Quick History of Snowboarding

For Those Snowboarders Who Can Actually Concentrate On Something For More Than Five Seconds

History of Snowboarding for Snowboarding History BuffsMost sports enthusiasts are under the mistaken impression that the fine art of snowboarding is a recent development. Of course, most people who believe snowboarding is a fine art in the first place are snowboarders themselves who have suffered brain injuries due to not wearing a helmet.

We at the Snowboarding Historical Research Institute wish to correct that falsified thinking and present to you our Concise History of Snowboarding Timeline. We have kept the Timeline short due to our having short term memory and also because we do most of our thinking while high on pot and we cannot remember afterwards what brilliant realizations we came to afterwards. We cannot remember afterwards what brilliant realizations we came to afterwards–oh, wow! Deja Vu!

3,238 B.C.- The first recorded snowboarder was Og, who, shearing the smooth bark off a birch tree in the upper levels of the Aladaglar Mountains in what is present day Turkey, had a dim thought come into his mind that he could attach the frozen bark to his feet and ride down to his lair a few hundred feet lower. Og’s attempt was successful, except that he karmically plowed into the same tree that he had gotten the bark from, becoming the first fatality from snowboarding and successfully halting any further development of the sport for another 2,475 years.

762 B.C.- Norwegian vikings develop the art of moving across their frozen landscape on wooden apparatuses that were the forerunners to skis. Younger vikings, wanting to break tradition and tick off their parent sat the same time , invent a similar skill using a apparatus mounted to both feet instead of individual feet. The sports dies quickly as they are all kicked out of the house and told to “Get a job.”

579 A.D.- Kahanua Loboshea, champion surfer of the Hawaiian Island of Maui, gets the radical idea to try using his surfboard to come down the sacred mountain Haleakala which is always bedecked by snow. Unfortunately, Kahanua wore his typical scanty Hawaiian beach gear to the top of the mountain and was frozen solid before he got halfway down. Found 137 years later, he none the less becomes a part of the islands many legends, albeit a dumb one.

1965 A.D.- Sherman Poppin binds two skis together and adds a rope to the front to control it for his daughter and calls it “The Snurfer.” His daughter is still undergoing therapy for the trauma to this day.

1969 A.D.- Dimitrije Milovich gets the idea for making one of the first real snowboards from sliding down cafeteria trays in college. For this exploit he became the first (and not the last) snowboarder kicked out of school.

1977 A.D.- Jake Burton becomes the first major clothing outfitter for snowboarders when his mother accidentally spills mixed dyes into his winter pants and jacket laundry. This begins his big success in the “hippie enough to be cool, but not hippie enough to be non-materialistic” snowboarder cult. Unfortunately, the same day his mother also mistakes his snowboard for an ironing board thus ruining it, but at the same time kicking off the hot wax craze.

An interesting side note is that Burton’s parents almost killed off his big industry early when they kicked him out of the house for being a ‘snow bum slacker’ who would never amount to anything. Fortunately, Burton was able to crash with some of his buddies who supported his ideas and were able to borrow money from their relatives to buy his first creations.

His Winterstick in 1980 sets the trend for all future snowboards. The fact that one has to crouch like a Neanderthal to use it ends up attracting a lot of future snowboarders who are not sure of their place on the human evolutionary scale and find the knuckle dragging aspect of it appealing.

1982 A.D.- The first snowboarders, after much misgiving, are allowed to ski down the famed A-Basin resort. They manage to snow plow all the snow off the mountain down to the soil level. The angered ski crowd almost catch and lynch them, but the two successfully get away by setting another record of being the first (and not the last) snowboarders to go out of bounds on a slope. They are believed to be hiding out in Bolivia.

1991 A.D.- Johnny Malachite, carrying his snowboard horizontally across his shoulders as he gets off the lift on Copper Mountain, Colorado becomes the first (and not the last) snowboarder to be picked up by a strong mountain gust and pinwheeled off the mountain like a helicopter. Ski patrollers to this day are still looking for his body believed to be somewhere between Denver and Sacramento.

1993 A.D.- The craze of wearing your pants low ‘gangster style’ catches on with snowboarders. The number of ski patrollers treating leg fractures go up simultaneously as do humorous snowboarding videos with snowboarders pants at half mast on YouTube.

2016 A.D.- The popularity of snowboarding begins to decline as older people (i.e. those over 24) make up more and more of the demographic. The rebel appeal of the sport is badly diluted by 60 and 70 year olds ‘getting gnarly’ on the slope.

2020 A.D.- The sport of snowboarding is now overshadowed by a new snow sport called ‘Dogging’ in which participants go down hill on all fours with a short, ski like device attached to their shins and forearms. The sport is wildly popular with the young crowd and also with hospitals who see a dramatic increase in their bed occupancy as the sport catches on. Not surprisingly face plants are the most common form of injury.

2021A.D.- A new fad infests the dying art of snowboarding–downhillers determine it cool to wear suits and ties while boarding. The death knell for the underground image of the sport has sounded.

Roger Freed