60 years ago, no one had ever heard of snowboarding. Now it can be see all over TV, integrated with pop culture (E.g. The X Games, Air and Style, etc). Snowboarding has rapidly risen to being one of the most popular sports in the world. According to TIME Magazine, during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeonChang, snowboarding was the most viewed set of events in many western countries including the United Kingdom, Iceland, and Australia. And that’s not to say snowboarding is not popular here in America too. On the contrary, in the year 2016, 5.3 million Americans went snowboarding. Furthermore, the snowboard equipment sales industry has consistently been worth over $400 million per year since 2006. Clearly, snowboarding is popular, and if you talk to anyone who’s passionate about the sport, it is easy to see why. Snowboarding is the perfect way to enjoy oneself on a Winter’s day. However, the rapid rise in popularity leads one to the questions. What is “snowboarding”? Is it simply just a sport, or is there more there? Upon close examination of its history, one realizes that snowboarding is more than an athletic experience, it is also cultural experience that has historically been a medium for counter-cultures, and moreover as it has gained mainstream popularity, snowboarding has retained its ability to allow people to freely express themselves. It is for these reasons that snowboarding has become so explosively popular.
In 1965 a father named Sherman Poppen attached two skis together for his daughters to ride on, his wife dubbed the invention the "Snurfer". This simple invention is regarded as the first modern snowboard. One year later, Poppen licensed the idea to the Brunswick corporation who sold over a million units in the following decade. Although primitive, and somewhat comical looking in hindsight the snurfer is a vital piece of snowboarding history.