Snowboarder jumping with a white snowboard and the mountains in the background


In the hopes of an abundant snow year in the ski areas, do some fun preparation to get your adrenaline pumping and your gear up for the next ski resort visit! Even though this sport is relatively new, in Ratoong we want to introduce you to the snowboarding history which in fact, is very rich and curious.

Starting as “snurfing“. Snowboarding was invented in the ’60s.

What? Snurfing? – yes, you heard that right. Sherman Poppen, an engineer from Muskegon, Michigan, tied two skis together and attached a steering rope to them for stability. When his spouse saw him, she called it snurfing, a combination of skiing and surfing. Funny right?

Snowboarding was banned at resorts, until the early ’80s.

Snowboarding took some time to become as known as it is today since it was prohibited in resorts until the early 1980s. Skiing has traditionally been associated with an older demographic, whereas snowboarding was once thought to be dangerous and a teen fad. The Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont opened its slopes to snowboarding in 1983-1984, after a long time, which seemed to be a smart move that put Vermont ahead of the game as a destination. You can also help other snowboarders choose the right resort for them by rating your last visited resorts here.

Snowboarding became an Olympic sport.

Nowadays, snowboarding is no longer considered an unofficial sport, and it was officially accepted into the Olympic Winter Games in 1998, and there are over five professional competitions held in the United States each year. Furthermore, in 2014, the sport was featured in the Winter Paralympics.

The first gold medal in snowboarding almost went up in smoke.

Ross Rebagliati of Canada won the first Olympic gold medal in snowboarding. He was temporarily disqualified after winning because a blood test revealed he had marijuana in his system. Unexpectedly, the decision was overturned and the gold medal was returned to him because marijuana was not on the list of prohibited substances at the time. So when we say that the medal “almost went up in smoke” we really mean it!

Something that is not very obvious in snowboarding is the safety recommendations. Keep these helpful safety tips in mind as you get ready, so you can have a safe and enjoyable season on the slopes.

No matter how skilled you are, you should always wear a helmet.

Wearing a safety-approved helmet reduces your chances of suffering a head injury significantly. With the right equipment, 7700 injuries and deaths could be avoided each year. Helmets are cool and they also keep you warm, so next time you go skiing, think twice and consider getting high-quality gear. Check out our partner for top-class equipment.

Whether you are a veteran or a beginner, get in shape first.

Rookies should be in good physical shape to avoid serious injuries before starting to learn. That goes for experienced boarders as well. Many accidents have occurred as a result of losing control, so professional instruction is recommended before tearing up the black diamond runs. 

While you are waiting for that first epic storm to layer the mountains in glorious white powder, get yourself comfortable and plan your next trip on RATOONG. Here you can also search “snowboarding-friendly” ski resorts.

As we can see, snowboarding has some very interesting fun facts, Did you already know the origins of snowboarding? Leave a comment and let us know!

Love always,

The Ratoong family.