Colorado Snowboard Archive

The Beginnings of Snowboarding

Riding boards sideways down snowy hills didn’t just originate with the Snurfer and Jake Burton. People have loved to “snow surf” since long before the 1960s. But how old is snowboarding, anyway? Well, the short answer is: no one really knows.  

Snurfer Success

 On Christmas morning, 1965, an invention was born that would inspire an entire generation of snow sports enthusiasts.

1960's Experimentation

While Sherman Poppen and the Snurfer were starting to enjoy popularity with kids nationwide in the 1960s, there were also others who had similar ideas and began experimenting with the idea of snowboarding

1970's A game changer for snowboarding

By the 1970s, future snowboard icons and legends were beginning to explore the sport further, adjusting techniques and even creating custom equipment. 

Burton pushing snowboarding to forefront

Many kids in the 1960s grew up riding a Snurfer in the winter months – after all, Sherman Poppen’s invention sold thousands of boards – including Jake Burton.

Tom Sims: From skateboards to snowboards

Meanwhile, Tom Sims, who maintains that he invented snowboarding after creating a “skiboard” in 1963, moved to California in 1970, running a skateboarding shop in Santa Barbara.

Dimitrije Milovich & Winterstick: From cafeteria trays to snowboards

Countless children of all generations have improvised techniques to coast down hills, even standing up to make the experience that much more thrilling. But not many have used that as an inspiration to create a snowboarding company.

Technology, competitions encourage snowboarding growth

The 1980s may conjure up images of Cabbage Patch Dolls, MTV and Pac-Man, the U.S. men’s ice hockey team’s “miracle” at the 1980 Olympics – and also snowboarding, which exploded onto the scene of winter sports during the eighties.

Snowboarding's first competition

In April of 1981, a small Colorado resort called Ski Cooper, located near the historic mining town of Leadville, hosted the very first snowboarding contest.

Ski Cooper spawns snowboarding competitions

After Ski Cooper hosted snowboarding’s first competition in 1981, the King of the Mountain contest was held at Berthoud Pass for the following two years.

Snowboard instruction manual, regulating associations and World Cup tour formed

As one of the first ski areas to allow snowboarders, Berthoud Pass was a haven for the snowboarding scene in the 1980s.

Smaller Colorado snowboard companies

As one of the first places to embrace snowboarding, Colorado has a long history with the sport and its innovators.

Snowboarding goes big

Armed with consistent equipment, techniques, ski area acceptance and the establishment of several large regulatory organizations and companies, snowboarding entered the 1990s, well-equipped for worldwide acceptance.

Snowboarding features & technology have come a long way

As snowboarding gained popularity and acceptance throughout the 1980s, construction and equipment features changed to accommodate and encourage potential snowboarders – and ski areas – to join the sport’s growing numbers.

Snowboarding opens up to women

Snowboarding has been a male-dominated sport from the very beginning, with mostly men helping to establish the sport early on. It took time and effort for women to carve out their own well-deserved area in snowboarding, but the entire industry has slowly been changing for female boarders.

Snowboarding Enters Winter Olympics

When snowboarding finally entered the Winter Olympics in 1998, it was after years of efforts and numerous obstacles – but the battles were not over.

Snowbarding at Winter X Games

The Winter X Games are a huge annual event, attracting thousands of competitors, spectators and members of the press to Aspen each year. But the beginnings of this now- popular competition grew out of humble roots, much like snowboarding.

Snowboarding legend Craig Kelly

Equipment, products, focus of snowboarding changed forever by pro rider.