The History of Snowboards. ALH
The History of Snowboards
12/20/2012 / ALH MONICA LEE
The snowboard: curved at the ends and almost straight in the middle.
Made for the snow but the origin of it stems from surfing. From its modest past, the snowboard has evolved into a part of culture throughout the years, as snowboarding has became a popular recreational and competitive activity. The boards themselves have seen a considerable amount of history and change during that time.
1960 – Known as the “snurfer,” the first real snowboard was as strange as it was effective. The first real snowboard hit shelves in 1960 and appeared as a strange crossover between a plywood sled and a skateboard deck. There was a rope that was tied to the front of the board to offer the rider some control, while steel tacks poked through the upper deck to hold a rider’s feet in place.
Similar to today’s society, the first snowboarders that rode their own contraption were highly frowned upon by a majority of skiers. They were not even allowed to ride the regular slopes skiers rode.
1970 – Snowboards were commercialized and the original board had become obsolete. Many fans of the sport began to engineer and evolve the board with different materials. Dimitrije Milovich began developing snowboards based on cafeteria trays and skis, with the rudimentary idea of how skis work, he added metal edges.
1971 – Milovich was granted a patent for his snowboard design, expiring in 1988, Milovich did not enforce the patent with other companies.
1972 – Bob Webber finally obtains a patent for his early “skiboard” design, which he later sells to Jake Burton Carpenter in 1990.
1975 – Milovich and Winterstick, the name of his snowboard, have a two-page photo spread in Poswer Magazine, giving snowboarding early national exposure.
1977 – Mike Olsen builds his first snowboard in jr. high wood shop and continued to modify it through high school and beyond until 1984, when he quit college to start Gnu.
– Jake Burton Carpenter moves to Vermont and begins designing prototypes, later on known as Burton Snowboards.
– Bob Webber designs the “yellow banana” polyethylene molded bottom.
– Tom Sims adds the Lonnie Toft skate deck making the first production “Skiboard” under the Sims name.
1978 – Chuck Barfoot develops a fiberglass prototype snowboard that was taken out for a test run in Utah. Barfoot later goes on to design boards with Tom Sims.