Snowboarding has become so popular and common, that it is hard to imagine winter holidays without it. We all love enjoying the spectacular views of snowy mountains, the powder so delightedly shredding under a snowboard. We know that hitting the slopes is an Olympic discipline. But how much do we know besides that? Be sure, we will wonder you with the facts you 100% have never heard of. Keep reading it will be interesting.
Antarctica is Explored by Snowboarders
When Alps seem no more exciting, expert snowboarders seek mad solutions in a thirst for adrenaline and fun. And Antarctica is really an ideal place to hit the slopes with seals and penguins. By the way, penguins slide on their belly right into the water, like torpedoes. But this is not recommended for snowboarders. Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth.
Be ready to face an average temperature of -25°C to -45°C in summer and from -60°C to -70°C in winter. It takes a lot of time and money to get there, but it is worth it. A snowboarding expedition will make an unforgettable impression.
The continent has some pretty decent elevations and mountains of 550-800m with untouched slopes. There are agencies organizing expeditions regularly. So, if you think you can handle to snowboard in the most extreme environment, book a ticket and go!
Snowboard was Nothing More Than Two Skis Strapped Together
The modern snowboarding history starts in the 1960s when an American inventor Sherman Poppen made a toy for his daughters. He simply fastened together a pair of skis. That was simple but sometimes simplicity leads to success. Poppen’s wife named his invention a snurfer (a combination of the words “snow” and “surfer”). The plank had no binding. A rope, attached to the front of the glider, ensured balancing.
Soon, this invention spread across the USA, improved and earned worldwide acceptance.
However, historians claim the true history of a snowboard traces back to the 15th century. The wooden plank was used by Turkish people to move faster on the snow. They lived in an isolated village in the mountains. Their glider was in a form of a rectangular flat plate and had a rope attached to the front for balancing.
Snowboarders Come into Conflict with Skiers
Yes, there was a real conflict between snowboarders and skiers. It was of a really grand scale and so disturbing that scientists made tons of research on this topic. The argument took place in 1980. Board riders flooded winter resorts muddying the water of a peaceful skier life.
It was a kind of territory wars, where conservatism fought against fresh innovation. The ski riders demonized snowboarding fans. Skis were believed to be more safe, noble, elegant and so on. There were, however, collisions between visitors, even accidents.
It Became an Olympic Sport not sooner than in 1998
The International Olympic Committee is quite conservative. Snowboarding appeared in 1960 and became Winter Olympic discipline only in 1998. Snowboarders, however, competed much earlier. The US started national championships in 1982 and switching to the very first international competition in 1986, boarders wormed their way to the most prestigious world sports contest. As you see, the whole way took 16 years.
Snowboarding Consists 30% of Winter Season Resort Revenues
According to statistics, snow resorts generate about 400 billion USD annually. Snowboarders make a large contribution to the winter sports industry. It is estimated that around 30% of the winter resorts incomes are generated by boarders. That is what comes to participation. The revenues from equipment sales reach 40%. That is a decent percentage despite that the large manufacturers like Burton Snowboards admit the sport has passed its peak.
Snowboarding is More Safe than Skiing
This is also true. Long-term research and statistics have proven that snowboarding is less severe I comparison with skiing. The surveys revealed that a single plank is by 33% less mortal. You may wonder since snowboarder’s feet are strapped and fixed in one position, and there is less motion control. But in fact, there are few reasons why your boards less deadly:
- A snowboard has a bigger contact area and thus higher friction while moving. You cannot reach the speed skiers usually go at.
- Board riders practice mostly in the park areas and on backcountry terrains. These circumstances contribute to the average lower speed.
- Most of the skiers’ deaths are caused by collisions with objects at high speed.
- Skiing turns around speed races and high velocity. Culture contributes to fatal accidents. People cannot make any rapid maneuvers when the situation requires it. Or, if they do so, it is still a high risk of collision, fall and uncontrollable drift which can lead to another crash.
The Activity was Banned at the Resorts until the 1980s
The conflict between the two groups was so intense that many resort owners prohibited the boarders from entering their skiing areas. The peak of the discrimination was from the 1970s to 1980s. In 1985, snowboarders were banned at nearly 90% of all winter resorts.
Consecutively, that caused protests and legal issues against skiers. But, fortunately, the visitors cooled down and accepted the new trend later. On the other hand, even now some US skiing area owners prohibit boarders. Among them are Alta and Deer Valley in Utah and Mad River Glen in Vermont.
The Highest Air Ever Achieved by Snowboarder was 32.2 Feet.
Snowboarders love jumps. Terje Håkonsen performed the highest officially recorded air. He reached an altitude of 9.8 meters above the quarter pipe. The record was set at The Arctic Challenge in Midtstuen in 2007. That largely influenced the sport, on the whole, awakening the boarder’s desire to set records again and again.
The Most Flips Turned by a Man in a Jump was 4
1440° flip in one jump seems impossible. No snowboarder could achieve this cosmic skill level except for Billy Morgan. The British athlete performed an unbelievable cork trick, making full four flips and 5 horizontal spins in 2014. A few sportsmen ended with severe injuries, trying to set this record before Billy.
Themed Video Games Peaked in the Late 1990s
Video gaming and snowboarding have similar development timelines. The sports peaked in the late 1990s. The video gaming industry made a huge step forward when 3D amusements were first created in 1992. This opened wide opportunities for game designers to put snow shredding into the digital environment. As the result, 23 amusements were released from 1994 to 1999.
All in all, snowboarding is the top winter activity for energetic people and it is really fascinating. It has a unique history with roots tracing back to hundreds of years ago. It has legendary champions and milestones. It traveled the pass-through challenges and dramas with all the commitment and dedication of its fans. And now is a mature sport with Olympic medals and unbelievable records under its belt.