Sherman Poppen Inventor of Snurfer That Forefather of Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a winter Olympic and Paralympics sport. It involves going down the snow-covered slope while standing perpendicular to the snowboard attached to the feet of the rider.

The Development of snowboarding is originated from skateboarding, skiing, sledding and surfing.

It is believed that the roots of snowboarding are from the United States and developed in the 1960s to 1970s and become the winter Olympic sport in 1998 at the Nagano Olympics in Japan. It can be differentiated from skiing as skiing requires two skis and two poles.

Sherman Poppen

To start snowboarding, itrequires special clothing like snowboarding gear which includes a snowboarding jacket, best beginner snowboard bootsand trousers.

It requires extra accessories to make it safer and enjoyable like  helmets, goggles, face masks etc.

There was an American man named Sherman Poppen known as the ‘grandfather of snowboarding’ who invented a toy for his daughter by fastening two skis together and attaching a rope to one side to control the board.

Sherman Poppen was born in Muskegon on March 25, 1930. His father was a lawyer and city‘s attorney and his mother was a homemaker.

The design of Sherman Poppen became so popular that he started his own company, Brunswick Corporation in 1966. He was an engineer in Muskegon and the snurfer invented by him was the precursor to the modern snowboard.

Sherman Poppen Inventor of Snurfer

Sherman added a new creation in his snurfer by purchasing the used water ski, drilled a hole in the top, and added a tether to support the driver. The wood used to make Snurfer in Brunswick was the same wood used for bowling lanes.

He filed a patent application in early 1966 in which he declared it as a new sport that incorporated “surfboarding, skateboarding and slalom water skiing”.

Poppen’s wife Nancy was about to give birth to their third daughter when he invented snurfer, so Julie was credited for the whole invention. Louise was the second wife of Poppen.

He spent most of his time on earth as a skier and he won the transworld snowboarding business “tranny” lifetime achievement award in Banff, Alberta in 1995.

The development of snowboard as follows:

In the LATE '70'S

In the LATE 70S-1970s Snowboarding

As snowboarding was becoming famous people are trying different ways of developing snowboard. There was a person, Jake Burton Carpenter who was accepted as a father of bindings and modern snowboard.

In 1979 he participated in snurfing championship and used his own set of homemade bindings. He won the first-ever snowboarding world championship.

THE ‘80’S

THE 80S-1980s Snowboarding

During this decade snowboarding competition held around the country in places like Woodstock, VT. The Jeff Grell made the high back bindings that we know today. During this year snowboards were able to ride on hard pack for the first time.

Metal edges were added to the boards in 1985 and they are marketed as carving boards.

Snowboarding got so popular by the end of the '80s so that colleges were offering snowboarding as a club sport.

THE ‘90’S

THE 90S-1990s snowboarding

This age is known as snowboarding golden age because, by 1993, 50 different brands were producing and selling snowboards to the general public.

“Ride” was the first company to go public in 1994. Different kinds of boards are designed to fit any kind of riding style and terrain.


2000S AND BEYOND-2000s Snowboarding

Snowboarding is now a regular Olympic sport and players like Shaun White dominate the X-Games. It was seen that kids prefer skiing over snowboarding.


From the above information, it was clear that Sherman Poppen was the one who introduced snowboarding. Various changes took place in the design of snowboards over the years.

Now, being the trendsetter, these fun-filled activities are successful in attracting most people with its adventurous touch!

Most of us just love the idea of staying cozy and warm during winters. But, if taken this chilling, freezing ambiance the other way around, we can make our winters cherish even more!

Instead of wrapping yourself up and lousing on your couch, you can make your valuable time put into use by giving a try and practicing these amazing, snow-friendly activities.

Worried About Coronavirus! Check Out: Coronavirus Impact On Snow Sports.

Last updated on October 8th, 2022 at 09:51 pm

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