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Many of us think about taking a winter sports holiday at this time of year. With the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics nearly upon us, we asked whether snowboarding has now equalled in popularity to skiing or has it seen it’s day?
Skis and snowshoes were first invented to cross wetlands and marshes in the winter when they froze over more than twenty two thousand years ago. It wasn’t until around 1760 that the Norwegian army held skill competitions that involved skiing down slopes and various other obstacles. This was the precursor to Olympic Sports when the first national race took place in 1860 in Oslo. From then on we have seen skiing evolve as both a winter sports in competitions and also as popular winter sports activity holiday.
Snowboarding does have a history that spans back a couple of centuries, but it did not hit the slopes until the 1960’s. In 1965 Sherman Poppen cross-braced two skis together and started what was then labelled “snurfing.” As we entered the seventies the snowboard evolved but was referred to as snow surfing.
The 1980’s saw the rise of what became known as snowboarding, but it wasn’t until 1984 that some ski resorts allowed snowboarders. Skiers didn’t welcome snowboarders as most were young and rebellious in both style and etiquette. It wasn’t until 1998 that snowboarding make its debut at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Today most resorts allow snowboarders on the slopes which account for approximately 28% of the visitors to The U.S. slopes. Surprisingly three resorts still ban snowboarding entirely. Alta in Utah, Deer Valley also in Utah and Mad River Glen in Vermont. Who’d have thought?
What winter sports do you regularly partake in?