The first modern twist of snowboarding was snurfer, a word composed of two other words – snow (“snow”) and surf, invented and produced by Sherman Poppen for his daughter in 1965 in Muskegon, Michigan. He glued two skis together into one. The very next year, the production of a surfer as a child’s toy was started. It was very close to a skateboard deck by design, only without wheels. The surfer had no bindings, and in order to hold on to the shell, the skater had to hold on to the rope tied to the nose; in addition, the instruction recommended to use non-slip shoes for skiing. Throughout the 1970s and 80s the popularity of the sport increased and a number of outstanding enthusiasts such as Dimitri Milovich, Jake Burton (founder of BurtonSnowboards), Tom Sims (founder of SimsSnowboards) and Mike Olson (founder of MervinManufacturing) contributed greatly to the improvement of the equipment, which defined the modern kind of snowboarding.
Dimitri Milovich, a surfer from the east coast of the U.S., inspired by the descent from the mountain on a coffee tray, in 1972 founded Winterstick company for the production of snowboards, which after 3 years was mentioned in the magazine Newsweek. The Winterstick boards inherited the construction principles from surf and skiing. In the spring of 1976, two skateboarders from Wales, John Roberts and Pete Matthews, made a plywood board with ski bindings for skiing on a ski slope with an artificial surface in their school camp in Ogmore Bai Cee, Wales, UK. However, further development was hampered by the fact that Matthews was seriously injured and access to the slope was denied. The projectile invented by John and Pete was much shorter than modern snowboarding; the sliding part of the board was rounded from all sides, making it less manoeuvrable.
The first snowboards did not have good handling, which led to the ban on their use in many ski resorts of the time. For this reason, for many years there was a mutual dislike between skiers and snowboarders. By 1985, only 7% of resorts in the U.S. allowed snowboarders on their slopes, about the same number in Europe. However, how the equipment and skiing techniques were improved, this figure was increasing. By 1990, most major resorts had developed a separate snowboard slope. Today, about 97% of North American and European resorts allow snowboarding, and about half of them build parks and half-pipe.
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