Ken Jones Ski Mart Blog

A Brief History of Snowboarding from Our Snowboard Shop in Manchester, NH

Posted by Administrator on 9/30/2014

Snowboard shop in Manchester NH from Ken Jones Ski MartOK, snowboarding is an Olympic sport, Burton Snowboards is a household name, Shaun White is imitated by millions of children all across the globe, endless video games, magazines, movies, and big name corporate sponsors are dedicated to snowboarding – it’s safe to say that snowboarding isn’t going anywhere any time soon. And, when something becomes as huge as snowboarding is, knowing a bit about its origins is always interesting. Like most notable moments in history, Burton Snowboards started in a garage; and our snowboard shop in Manchester, NH couldn’t be more grateful.

In 1977, Jake Burton toiled away in his Londonderry, Vermont garage. Adorned with a scuba mask for protection, Burton sanded, shaped, and applied polyurethane to what would become the first Burton snowboards.

Burton’s inspiration came from “The Snurfer,” the first marketed snowboard, which was invented in 1965 by Sherman Poppen in Maskegon, Michigan. After seeing one of his daughters standing atop her sled while cruising down a hill, Poppen raced into his shop. He bound two skis together, attached a rope to the nose that could be controlled by the rider and BOOM! the snowboard was born; in its infancy stage of course. Poppen’s wife named it the Snurfer and soon all of Poppen’s daughters’ friends wanted one of their own.

Snowboarding’s Adolescence

It wasn’t long before annual Snurfing competitions sprouted up. Then, in 1979, a young man named Jake Burton showed up to the National Snurfing Championship in Muskegon, Michigan, armed with one of his modified “snurfboards.” Because his board had a prototype binding to secure his feet to the board, he wasn’t allowed to compete in the Standard Division but, in the Open Division (reserved for modified boards), Burton came in first!

With this win fresh in his mind, Burton returned to Vermont to continue pushing Burton Snowboards. He endlessly campaigned for local ski resorts to open their lifts for snowboarders and, in 1982; the Suicide Six ski area in Pomfret, Vermont became the first mountain to invite snowboarders in. Later, Stratton Mountain, Jay Peak, and Stowe started to accommodate snowboarders. And once the resorts started to accept snowboarders, so did the public. Burton grew along with the sport and marketed his boards at the National Snowboarding Championships. Snowboarding couldn’t be stopped. It took to the mountains with a fevered pitch unheard of from traditional skiers and the rest, they say, is history.

If you’re interested in our snowboard shop in Manchester, NH, contact us at: 1-866-892-7607

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