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second fastest growing sport, snowboarding has developed over the
past half century from makeshift, backyard discoveries to the Olympics.
Now secure in its own place among the worlds of surfing, skateboarding,
snurfing and skiing, snowboarding is recognized worldwide as a prominent
It is hard to say exactly when snowboarding first began, but its
roots have been traced as far back as the 1920s. Children rode barrel
staves down snowy hills, sideways. In the 1960s, snurfing began
in the backyard of a young girl whose father strapped two skis together
so that she could “surf” down their snow covered hill.
Vermont is the state that encouraged and fostered the sport of
snowboarding most noticeably. In the late 1970s, Vermont established
the first snowboarding competitions: the National Races at Suicide
Six, in Pomfret, Vt. The first renowned snowboard competition was
the U.S. Open held at magic Mountain. Today, the U.S. Open is probably
the most well-known snowboarding compeition, and is held at Stratton
The first trail in a ski resort was also developed in Vermont.
The first Snowboard Park was opened in the early 1980s at the tiny
Sonnenburg Ski hill. The resort gave snowboarding enthusiasts free
reign of a trail on which to build jumps with hay bails and picnic
tables. It is hard to believe, but at that time few ski areas allowed
snowboarding, and so this allotment of a specific Snowboard Park
was a breaking movement in the sports history.
In the 1998 Olympics at Nagano, Japan, Vermont snowboarding competitors
were prevalent in the games. And today Vermont remains the home
of Burton Snowboards, a manufacturer that sells more than two-thirds
of any other snowboarding company in the world. Anyone familiar
with snowboarding equipment, knows the reputation of this company.
If you are trying snowboarding for the first time, keep in mind
these helpful hints:
- Wear your general ski clothing. Waterproof
pants and gloves are a necessity.
- Stretch your legs, back and arms before you
- Always take a few lessons from a qualified
instructor, or at least an experienced snowboarder that you know
and trust. Ask them to ride with you and show you the basics.
- Set small goals. Make one turn at a
time—it will help build your confidence.
Learning to snowboard can either be a frustrating experience, or
quite an enjoyable one.
The luge as a winter activity first began in the Swiss Alps.
For the coldest climates, winter can last almost all year round.
In most places, though winter is a few months at the most, but that
can be a long time to be restricted to the indoors.