An Olympic sport is born in VermontSnowboarding's history shows many influences, such as surfing, skateboarding, snurfing, and skiing. It's roots may even be traced back to the early 1920's. Then children built what would now be considered makeshift snowboards out of barrel staves and rode them sideways down a snowy hill. That was the beginning.
Vermont played a large part in the early days of snowboarding. It was the state in which the snurfer (snow-surfer) became the snowboard with the help of Jake Burton Carpenter and his garage workshop in Manchester, Vermont. Jake had a vision: to bring snowboarding to the world. He began shaping snowboards in the mid 70's out of wood, and fixing rubber straps on them for bindings. This vision apparently succeeded, for he is now the owner of Burton Snowboards , a forerunner in the snowboard industry. He has deeply influenced what snowboarding has become today.
Vermont was home to the first established snowboard competitions in the late 70's and early 80's: the National Races at Suicide Six in Pomfret, Vermont. Interest in this new sport later spawned The U.S. Open first held at Magic Mountain, the first renowned snowboard competition. The U.S. Open is now possibly the most well known snowboard event in the world, and is now held at Stratton Mountain Resort.
Vermont was also the first state in the nation to host a what is now known as a Snowboard Park. In the early 1980's the tiny Sonnenburg Ski Hill, in Barnard, Vermont, opened its arms to snowboarders, letting them have free reign over trails to build jumps and supplied them with a steady supply of hay bails and picnic tables to jump. This was during an era when few ski resorts accepted snowboarders, and was definitely a ground breaking move. Now Snowboard Parks are commonplace at most resorts worldwide.
The Growth of Snowboarding spurred ski area improvements Snowboarding makes up about 25 percent of business at ski resorts, and in 1997 alone, more than 3.5 million snowboarders were introduced to the slopes. Now that snowboarding has it made it to the Olympics, it is accepted worldwide into the mainstream populous. Vermont was well represented at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, as several natives competed in the games.
Today, Vermont is still home to Burton Snowboards, which manufactures two-thirds more snowboards than any other company in the world, and produce the most innovative technology available.
Many Vermont ski resorts are planning major improvements and building new snowboarding areas designed to meet the need of today's snowboarder.