History of Snowboarding

1986--Europeans begin to organize their own regional events, such as the Swiss Championships in St. Moritz.

1986--The Swiss winner of some of those European races, Jose Fernandes, comes to America with an asymmetrical board, the forerunner to asym production models popular in the early 90s. The board is made by his sponsor, Hooger Booger.

1986--The World Snowboarding Championships, or The World's, as it has became known, relocates from Soda Springs to Breckenridge, Colorado. The March event draws big money from Swatch and gets some of the most national recognition to date. Probably the most ground breaking is done when Fran Richards, Paul Alden and Dave Alden convince the Breckenridge management that the halfpipe is not a high-speed event.

1986--During this winter, Stratton Mountain in Vermont becomes the first resort to offer organized snowboarding instruction.

1986--Sims Snowboards is licensed by Vision in December.

1986 -- Copper Mountain hosts it first snowboard competition.

1986--The US Open was gaining popularity faster than anyone expected. Over 200 competitors showed up for pre-qualifiers. Andy Coghlan won both the slalom and downhill events, adding to his growing list of Open titles. The new Burton Cruiser killed it on the slopes.

1986-'87 Season--With a lace-up, ski-boot inner bladder, Burton produces what will become the standard design for soft-boot snowboarding.

1987--Chuck Barfoot and his company introduce the first twin-tip freestyle shape with an identical nose and tail. The board is designed by Canadians Neil Daffern, Ken and Dave Achenbach.

1987--Europeans host their own World Championships in January at Livigno, Italy and St. Moritz, Switzerland. This event is not to be confused with the other World Championships, held at Breckenridge, Colorado later the same year.

1987--The day after the 2nd Breckenridge World's in March, Paul Alden and a collection of riders and manufacturers form the North American Snowboard Association (N.A.S.A.) The acronym is later changed to N.A.S.B.A. because N.A.S.A is already taken. The association's main goal is to work with the Snowboard European Association (S.E.A.) to create a unified World Cup tour.

1987--A host of early snowboarders, including Dave Alden, pen the first PSIA manual for snowboard instructors.

1987--Transworld SNOWboarding Magazine publishes first issue in the fall.

1987--In September, Wrigley's chewing gum utilizes snowboarding in a national commercial. Craig Kelly, Bert LaMar, Tom Burt, and Jim Zellers appear in an aerial romp filmed by Greg Stump.

1988--Time Magazine, in its January 1988 issue by calling snowboarding the "Worst New Sport"

1988--Veteran surf company Ocean Pacific warms up to snowboarding by developing their own line of winter clothing. Other surf companies soon follow and capitalize on the crossover between the two sports.

1988--Further action sport involvement comes when surf and skate manufacturer G&S enters the market. By 1990, G&S exits the snowboard market.

1988--While the two major snowboard manufacturers, Burton and Sims, battle over Craig Kelly in court, he is ordered by a federal judge not to ride any products bearing any logo other than Sims. Kelly then starts riding blackboards with no logo. The restraining order is later reversed in court and Kelly signs a long-term deal with Burton.

1988-- Former amateur surf promoter Chuck Allen incorporates the United States Amateur Snowboarding Association (USASA) in July with a $500 donation fromTransworld SNOWboarding Magazine. USASA is the first governing body exclusively for competitive amateur snowboarding.

1988--The halfpipe made its debut at the U.S. Open and was immediately deemed the standard for all other competitive halfpipes to follow. Craig Kelly captured the ‘Overall’ title. An ice storm turned the hill into concrete the night before the event began.

1989--Just in time for the coming winter, most of the major ski resorts that had previously resisted snowboarding succumb, such as Squaw Valley, California; Mammoth Mountain, California; Vail, Colorado; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Snowbird,Utah.

1989--OP continues to delve into the snowboarding market by expanding their popular OP Pro of Surfing to include the OP Pro of Snowboarding. The contest is held at June Mountain, California.

1989--October. Rob Morrow leaves his Sims sponsorship and with business help from his uncle starts Morrow Snowboards in Salem, Oregon.

1989--The first National Collegiate Championships are held in December at Stratton Mountain, Vermont. Soon, college teams and clubs sprout like weeds throughout the country.

1990--Jake Carpenter buys the patent for the "skiboard" from its designer Bob Webber. Burton's lawyers send out a letter asking for three percent of everyone's total sales, Jake makes it look like he is being squeezed by some outside force into paying the royalties as well. The industry eventually finds out that Burton is behind both letters and dares Jake to enforce the patent. Jake doesn't and claims he bought the patent to keep Brunswick from buying and ruining the industry. Nothing happens.

1990--The USASA holds their premiere national championships in February, at Snow Valley, California. The worst snow storm of the decade hits just before the event and closes all roads to Big Bear. Amateur snowboarders from all over the country are left stranded. A rescue caravan of locals led by USASA president Chuck Allen sneaks the competitors past the police barricades and gets them to the contest on time.

1990--In June, Breckenridge Ski Corp. announces plans to house the Snowboarding Hall Of Fame, with artifacts from the sport's not-so-distant past.

1990--Santa Cruz Skateboards owner Rich Novak starts producing a line of snowboards. Other skate companies like H-Street decide to test the waters with their own board and clothing designs.

1990--Vail Ski Resort tries a new approach by developing an in-bounds obstacle area called a "snowboard park." The area is intended to cater to a growing snowboard market and other resorts quickly follow suit.

1990-- The International Snowboard Federation forms after the collapse of the National Association of Professional Snowboarders. Headed by Ted Martin, Kazuo Ogura, and Christian Savioz. The idea is to be a sanctioning body for international competition.

1990--Terje Haakonsen made his debut in the U.S. Open Halfpipe on a Micro Air. He was up against tough competition including Craig Kelly, Shaun Palmer and Jeff Brushie. Craig Kelly won the halfpipe title again for the second year in a row.

1991--By now, the pro surfer/pro skater crossover to snowboarding is prevalent.Skaters Steve Caballero and Lance Mountain have been riding since the early 80s at least, Tony Hawk, Kevin Staab, and Joe Johnson have been riding for years. Surf standouts like Gary Elkerton, Mike Parsons, and Noah Budroe bite the snowboarding bait, and most other pro surfers ride regularly, have tried it, or at least have developed an opinion or two about it.

1991-- The 1991 Victoria World Cup Japan is held at Rusutsu Resort on Japan's north island. With over one-million dollars spent on the contest it was the richest contest so far.

1991--After a lengthy court dispute over the Sims name, Tom Sims wins back the licensing rights from Vision in February. Vision begins production under its own name and Tom resumes making a new Sims line.

1991--The Op Wintersurf contest held in February pits pro surfers and snowboarders against each other in a surf contest at Huntington Beach and a snowboard obstacle course/race at Bear Mountain. Top international pro surfer Gary Elkerton scores the win, proving it's a lot harder to learn how to surf than snowboard.

1991--The rider and crowd size doubled at the US Open. Janna Meyen beats out reigning champ Tina Basich in the Women’s Halfpipe. With bigger pipe walls, lots of riders threw down inverts for the first time in a competition.

1991--Halfpipe building reached the machine age when Doug Waugh, a farm-machinery mechanic from Colorado unveiled his Pipe Dragon.

1991--A pro rider is arrested for allegedly waving a gun around during a halfpipe event at Copper Mountain, thereby ending the event. Many of us thought Copper would never have a halfpipe again.

1991--USASA Nationals held at Mt. Hood Oregon

1992-- The United States Ski Association decides to finally become involved with snowboarding. With back room political help from Paul Alden the USSA tries to merge with the USASA. Negotiations fail between the two groups.

1992-- Ken Achenbach and some friends produce a baseless soft binding called "Simply Filth." Most in the industry shrug it off as another of Ken Achenbach's wild ideas.

1992-- The US Open just kept getting bigger and better. Terje exploded onto the scene and took the Men’s Halfpipe with control and amplitude, beating out Brushie, who was on his new Burton pro model. Tricia Byrnes won the Women’s Halfpipe, edging out reigning champ Janna Meyen.

1992--USASA Nationals held at Stratton, Vermont

1993-- January. The International Snowboard Federation holds its first official Snowboard World Championships in Ischgl, Austria. American's Kevin Delaney and Michele Taggart win the combined titles.

1993-- Snowboarding's third wave of snowboard manufacturers spring up and in the fall of 1993 there are over 50 different companies marketing snowboards to the consuming public.

1993-- One of the companies is Type A run by Plan B owner Mike Ternasky. It is seen as the first of the third wave/hardcore skateboard companies to enter the snowboard market.

1993-- Closely on Type A's heels comes Blunt, a snowboard magazine created in Vista, California by Ken Block of Droors clothing and Circus Distribution. The magazine is slick, nasty, and quickly gains the attention of the snowboarding industry for it's use of video grabs and full color graphics. Some disparagingly refer to it as "Big Brother's little bro."

1993-- The Federation Ski International (FIS), the international organizational body for skiing and Olympic skiing votes to recognize snowboarding at their June meeting. Plans for several events in 1994 and a full-fledged World Cup Tour in 1995. The snowboard industry is wary of this bureaucratic giant. Many feel this kind of organization will be bad for the sport.

1993-- Snowboarder TV goes on the air of ESPN with host G.T. (Greg Tomlinson).The show features great riding, music and very little talking. It is well received.

1993-- Following on the success of 411 a skateboard video magazine produced by Paul Schmitt, TransWorld Publications creates TransWorld Snowboarding Video Magazine by Mike McIntire (Mack Dawg).

1993-- Federation Internationale du Ski (FIS), which governs international skiing, began conducting a World Cup series snowboard events

1993--USASA Nationals held at Vail, Colorado

1994--At the Lillihammer, Norway Olympics it is hoped that snowboarding would be performed as a "cultural exhibition," by the host country Norway. The FIS gets wind of the performance and forces it's cancellation. Many believe it will not be until 1998 that the Olympics give medals for snowboarding.

1994-- January. At a national Burton Sales meeting at Sugarbush, Vermont Jake Burton Carpenter collides with a skier and breaks his tibia and fibulaand is forced to walk about in a cast and brace for several months.

1994-- The first Amateur World Championships are held in Slovenia.

1994-- At the SIA Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada every one of the big snowboard companies introduces a baseless binding and touts it as the newest thing to hit snowboarding. At the same show Burton and Snow Pro display step in hardboot bindings to slightly less fanfare.

1994-- Spring. Two organizations hold amateur national championships. The USSA holds theirs at June Mountain, California. And the USASA holds theirs at Sierra at Tahoe, California. Both claim to have the "official" national team.

1994--Matt Goodwill wins the King of the Hill competition in Valdez, Alaska.It is his second extreme world championship title. Julie Zell was crowned Queen of the Hill.

1994-- May, 6. Ride Snowboards becomes the first snowboard company to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. They sell out the original 500,000 units in the first two weeks and another 75,000 units are released. In the sale Ride offers one unit (two shares and one warrant) for US$10. By the middle of June 1995 the share price reached $28, or six times it's original worth.

1994--Spring. Volant Skis enters the snowboard market by purchasing the financially floundering company Aggression from owner Ron Romaine.

1994--June. At their national congress in Rio De Janeiro, the FIS membership votes to include snowboarding as a discipline in their jurisdiction. The ISF is not happy.

1994--July. ISF President Ted Martin writes a letter asking the IOC to recognize the ISF as the governing body of international snowboarding. In a three sentence reply, the ISF is told to talk to the FIS about getting ISF athletes in the Olympics because "FIS governs that discipline."

1994-- August 1, Kemper Snowboards is purchased by California Pro in-line skates for US$1 million. The new owners move the headquarters to Greenville, South Carolina.

1994--August. Burton Snowboards releases the first CD-ROM interactive catalog. Taking snowboarding into the computer age.

1994--September. Avalanche Snowboards sells 80 percent of it's 15 year old company to businessman Robert Edwards for an undisclosed amount. Edwards worked previously with Anthony Industries, the parent corporation of K2 Skis.

1995--January. The Sacramento, California-based Heckler Magazine becomes first snowboard magazine to publish on the Internet's World Wide Web( No one knows if this means anything.

1995-- The Big Air contest made its debut at the US Open. Terje triumphantly returned and won the Men’s Halfpipe for a third time. Victoria Jealouse appeared on the scene and won the Women’s Super G.

1995--USASA Nationals held at Giants Ridge, MN

1996-- April 26. Ride Inc., announces that its Preston Binding Company subsidiary, together with Mark A. Raines and Gregory A. Deeney, has sued Switch Manufacturing Company for patent infringement claiming that Switches Autolock binding is too similar to the Raines binding because it attaches side to side.

1996--October 1. Tom Sims ends relationship with DNR/Sportsystem and files a suit in the Santa Barbara County Court for a restraining order to stop DNR from using the Sims brand name.

1996--USASA Nationals held at Mt. Snow, Vermont

1997--2.5 million, the number of people in the United States who snowboard increased.

1997--USASA Nationals held at Bear Mountain & Snow Summit, CA

1998--Snowboarding was a full Olympic sport at the Nagano Olympics

1998 -- Boardercross competition made its debut at the US Open

1998--Resorts more than one in three visitors is a snowboarder.

1998--Tina Basich takes 1st at the Winter X Games  Women's Big Air Competition throwing a backside 720

1998--Canadian Ross Rebagliati's Olympic Gold Medal is taken away

1998--Canadian Ross Rebagliati's Olympic Gold Medal is given back (We'll Never Know for Sure)

1998--USASA Nationals held in Telluride, Colorado

1999--USASA Nationals held in Telluride, Colorado

1999--Norwegian snowboarding legend Terje Haakonsen, establishes The Arctic Challenge.  Held every April in Tromsø and Stamsund, Norway – 250 miles inside the Arctic Circle

1999--Barret Christy wins Winter X Women's Big Air, Tara Dakides, Womens Slopestyle, Maelle Ricker Womens Boardercross, Michele Taggart, Womens Halfpipe.  Peter Line wins Mens Slopestyle, Jimi Scott Mens Halfpipe, Kevin Sansalone Mens Big Air and Shaun Palmer Mens Boardercross.

2000--USASA Nationals held at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

2000--Winter X Games moves to Mount Snow, Vermont.  Shaun Palmer wins Skier X, Kevin Jones Mens Slopestyle, Drew Neilson Mens Boardercross, Peter Line Mens Big Air, Todd Richards Mens SuperPipe, S. Brun Kjeldass Womens Superpipe, Leslee Olson Womens Boardercross, Tara Dakides Womens Slopestyle and Womens Big Air

2000--The new millennium brought the first Superpipe to the U.S. Open – a 300-foot long monster with 15-foot walls.

2001--USASA Nationals held at Mammoth Mountain, California, 989 attened.

2001--Winter X Games moves to Aspen. Jussi Oksanen Wins Mens Big Air, Kevin Jones Mens Slopestyle, Danny Kass Mens Halfpipe,  Scott Gaffney Mens Boardercross, Dave Dowd takes 11th, Shaun Palmer & Hiroomi Takizawa, Mens UltraCross, Tara Dakides Womens Big Air, Jamie MacLeod Womens Slopestyle, Shannon Dunn Womens Halfpipe, Line Oestvold Womens Boardercross

2002--Park City Utah hosts the 2002 Olympics

2002-- Americans Sweep Olympic Mens Halfpipe. American snowboarders discovered an Olympic gold mine in that long channel of snow known as a halfpipe.


2002--It was the first time a man and a woman from the same nation won gold in snowboarding.

2002--1,139 riders attend the USASA Nationals held at Mammoth Mountain, California.

2002--A 2002 survey conducted by Leisure Trends stated that 32% of the total US population saw the Olympic Snowboarding Halfpipe competition. 92 million people watched the event – and that was only in the US.

2002--Winter X Games Returns to Aspen. Travis Rice wins Mens Slopestyle, Shaun White takes 2nd, JJ Thomas Mens Halfpipe, Shaun White 2nd, Philippe Conte Mens Boardercross, Seth Wescott / Lind Mens Ultra Cross, Dave Dowd / Takzawa take 8th, Tara Dakides Wins Womens Slopestyle, Kelly Clark Womens Halfpipe and Ine Poetzl Womens Boardercross

2002-- Paul Krahulec is appointed regional series director for the Copper Mountain Series

2003--USASA Nationals held in Sunday River, Maine, 1012 attended.

2003--The US Open held its first Rail Jam ever, won by Travis Rice. It was the first time the Open was ever broadcast live on television.

2003--Winter X Games still in Aspen. Shaun White wins Mens Slopestyle and Halfpipe, Ueli Kestenholz Mens Boardercross, Delerue / Zackrisson Mens Ultra Cross, Janna Meyen Wins Womens Slopestyle, Gretchen Bleiler Womens Halfpipe and Lindsey Jacobellis Womens Boardercross

2004--USASA Nationals held in Angel Fire, New Mexico 1118 attended.  The governor of the state says that "this is the biggest thing to happen to New Mexico since the bomb!"

2004--Winter X Games just keeps happening in Aspen. Shaun White wins Mens Slopestyle, Steve Fisher Mens Halfpipe, Ueli Kestenholz Mens Boardercross,  Nate Holland / Reggie Crist Mens Ultra Cross, Janna Meyen Wins Womens Slopestyle, Hannah Teter Womens Halfpipe and Lindsey Jacobellis Womens Boardercross

2005--Copper Mountain host the USASA Nationals, 1365 attended

2005--Winter X Games in Aspen again. Shaun White wins Mens Slopestyle, Antti Autti Mens Halfpipe, Xavier de le Rue Mens Boardercross, Marco Huser/Eric Andersson Mens Ultra Cross, Janna Meyen Wins Womens Slopestyle, Gretchen Bleiler Womens Halfpipe and Lindsey Jacobellis Womens Boardercross

2006--Boardercross added as a 3rd Olympic snowboard venue

2006--Winter X Games in Aspen, some Olympic athletes sit this one out, others don't and rule at both. Shaun White wins Mens Slopestyle and Mens Halfpipe, Nate Holland Mens Boardercross, Janna Meyen Wins Womens Slopestyle, Kelly Clark Womens Halfpipe and Maelle Ricker Womens Boardercross

2006--Americans win 7 Medals in 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin

2006--After her backside method grab, Lindsey Jacobellis didn't stick the landing. By the time she scrambled back up, Switzerland's Tanja Friedenwas speeding past her to claim the sport's first women's Olympic gold medal. Jacobellis had to settle for the silver.

2006--1,435 athletes attend the USASA Nationals held at NorthStar @ Lake Tahoe

2006--Only a handful of resorts that ban snowboarders remain: Alta and Deer Valley in Utah, Taos in New Mexico, and Mad River Glen in Vermont

2008--Burton organizes and over runs the resorts that still are in the dark ages, not allowing snowboarders. Alta and Deer Valley in Utah, Taos in New Mexico, and Mad River Glen in Vermont are schralped.

2008--Taos in New Mexico bends and becomes Snowboard friendly

2008--USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain through 2012

2008--Copper Series changes its name to the Rocky Mountain Snowboard and Freeskier Series


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