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Term Paper - 1 What started as a toy for twelve year olds...

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What started as a toy for twelve year olds would grow to become the fastest growing sport in North America. 1 Snowboarding is an influential winter sport that has its roots in a tobogganing. From the beginning of snowboarding with the Snurfer in 1966 to the acceptance of snowboarding into the Olympic Winter Games in 1994 by the International Olympic Committee, snowboarding has become a huge deal in North America. It created a lifestyle, a culture, and one of Canada’s favourite winter sports. Snowboarding overcame the branding of a fad, and had to earn the right to be allowed onto the hills of ski resorts across North America, and to be legitimized as a sport, rather then a pastime. There have been many influential people in snowboarding, and they have helped bring snowboarding into the spotlight. They include people who started companies, magazines, and the professional riders who made everything look easy. These people brought credibility to snowboarding, and worked for it to be accepted to the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. With the Olympics came big business, looking to gain customers by being 1 Susanna Howe, (Sick) A Cultural History of Snowboarding (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1998) 156. 1
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related to snowboarding, and the commercialization of snowboarding. With this, the image of a snowboarder has changed dramatically, from hormonal teenaged boys, to everyone in the family. Snowboarding is now a family sport, embraced by many people who were once skiers, the very people who tried to stop snowboarding from coming to their ski resorts. The roots of snowboarding are immense, and there are many accounts of people standing on sleds, with accounts dating back to the 1920s, but it was a child’s toy that first brought the idea to the masses. On Christmas morning in 1965, Sherman Poppen looked at a snow- covered hill and saw a wave, and remembered his daughters past attempts at standing on her sled to go down the hill. He hastily strapped two skis together and tied a string to the nose, and created what would become known as a Snurfer. In 1966, Poppen licensed the concept to Brunswick Bowling, a toy manufacturer, to manufacture Snurfers. In the next eleven years, over five hundred thousand 2
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Snurfers were sold. It was viewed as “the Hula Hoop of winter- time” 2 and simply as a gimmick. But what the Snurfer did was inspire people like Jake Burton, Demetrije Milovich, and Tom Sims. These men were the men whose backs snowboarding was built on, the men who would bring snowboarding to the public eye, and fight for the acceptance of snowboarding at ski resorts. Demetrije Milovich was a surfboard shaper who began creating snowboards in the 1970s. His designs were built for deep powder, and he was the first to use metal edges and swallowtail fish designs, both of which are popular among snowboards today. In 1972, he created the company Winterstick and was featured in magazines such as Newsweek and Playboy. Milovich eventually lost interest and left snowboarding in 1980, but his ideas
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course HIST 2773 taught by Professor Macdonald during the Spring '08 term at Acadia.

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Term Paper - 1 What started as a toy for twelve year olds...

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