Snowboarding is a type of sport that is carried for recreational and competitive purposes. It is played by descending off a steep surface covered with snow while standing on a snowboard attached to the snowboarder’s feet.
Snowboarding may not be as popular as football or basketball but it is still a great sport to play and watch. It is even played in the Winter Olympic Games and Winter Paralympic Games.
In this article, I’ll share interesting facts about snowboarding that you need to know. Without wasting much of our time, let’s get right into it.
Facts About Snowboarding
Here are 22 interesting facts about snowboarding that you definitely need to know.
- It is inspired by four other sports
When Snowboarding was developed, the inspiration came from four other popular sports: skateboarding, surfing, skiing, and sledding. Seeing how snowboarding is played, you’d definitely see elements from these other sports.
- It was first known as snurfing
When snowboarding was first invented, it was named “snurfing” which is a combination of “snow” and “surfing”. The inventor’s wife said it looked like surfing on snow.
- It first came in the 1960s
Snowboarding was invented in the 1960s by an engineer named Sherman Poppen. And, it was his wife who called it “snurfing”.
- It had its first Championships 20 years later
In 1982, 20 years after the 1960s, the first National Snowboarding Championship was held.
- It is not that safe
Contrary to what you may think, snowboarding is actually not that safe, in fact, it is way more risky than skiing. On average, the chances of a snowboarder getting injured are 50% to 70% more than a skier. The snow slopes are also 3 times more likely to cause death to snowboarders than skiers.
- The most expensive snowboard sold
The most expensive snowboard to be sold was priced at $31,313.13, and it was sold on eBay on July 1, 2014. The snowboard was the 1977 Burton Experimental Prototype, so it is normal for something this classic to go for that price.
- Injuries are a common occurrence
In the Winter Olympics, 27.4% of all athletes participating in snowboarding get some sort of injury. 1 in every 4 snowboarders is forced to walk off with an injury. Some common snowboarding injuries are sprains and fractures.
- Snowboarding is not that simple
Over the past 40 years, there has been an introduction of more than 10 styles for snowboarding. They have also been incorporated into national and international competitions. Some popular snowboarding styles are freestyle, freeride, and racing.
- Most snowboarders are men
According to research, about two-thirds of snowboarders are male. It looks male-dominated but don’t let that stop you if you’re a girl or a woman.
- It is also a good exercise
As well as being an interesting sport, snowboarding is also a good exercise for one to take part in. Over 450 calories are lost from snowboarding for 1 hour. If you live in a snowy region, you can add this fun sport to your exercise list.
- There are many contests to take part in
Snowboarding has over 5 major competitions for anyone to take part in if they want to test their skills against the best. Some of the major competitions are the Winter X Games, Shakedown, the US Open of Snowboarding, X-Trail Jam, the Burton Global Open Series, etc.
- Its first Olympics appearance
Snowboarding was first incorporated into the Winter Olympics Games in the 1998 edition in Nagano, Japan.
- The first Olympic gold in Snowboarding
Ross Rebagliati was the first-ever athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in snowboarding. However, he was temporarily disqualified for marijuana usage but the decision was later reversed. To celebrate the gold medal, he smoked a joint, a pure comic!
- US dominates snowboarding
Since the introduction of snowboarding to the Olympics, the US has dominated the sport as the North American country has gone home with 31 medals. 14 of them are gold which is also a record.
- The biggest rotation ever performed on a snowboard
The biggest rotation ever performed on a snowboard was a quad jump, tagged the Backside Quad 1980°. It was performed in 2017 by Yuki Kadano, a snowboarder from Japan.
- Over 90 million viewers
Over the years, snowboarding has had more than 90 million viewers across all of its major events. In some cases, the viewership is actually way more than this estimate.
- It is the king of winter sports
According to research, more than 30% of the revenue that all winter sports generate is from snowboarding which is an incredible feat.
- The first snowboarding resort
Snowboarding was at first banned from resorts but the first snowboarding resort to be opened was the Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont. It was opened up for snowboarding between 1983 to 1984, and it still runs to this day, being a popular spot for snowboarders.
- Highest speed achieved on a snowboard
Well, if you’re thinking of high-speed sports, snowboarding is not going to be top of anyone’s mind. However, snowboarding has achieved a crazy high speed. On May 2, 1999, Darren Powell achieved 125 miles per hour while snowboarding off the side of a mountain.
- Longest jump on a snowboard
After seeing the highest speed achieved on a snowboard, it is also normal to know the longest jump achieved.
This record is held by Mads Johnson, a Norwegian snowboarder who completed a 57-meter jump in 2005.
- The largest snowboard
The largest snowboard has a length of 10 meters and a width of 2.14 meters and it can accommodate 20 people. It is fun but I can’t think of how hard it’ll be for 20 people to correctly drive a snowboard.
- Age is not a limiting factor in snowboarding
Over the years, it has been proven by different people that age is not a limiting factor in snowboarding.
A 17-year-old Red Gerard won the gold medal in Pyeongchang for snowboarding, holding the record for the youngest Olympic snowboarding medallist. Also, Aspen Haight, a 14-month-old baby was taught how to snowboard by her parents.
We’ve gotten to the end of the list of snowboarding facts that most people including snowboarders do not know about. Which of the above fun facts about snowboarding is your favorite?
In the next section I’ll be answering some of the most popular and frequently asked questions about snowboarding that has got people puzzled.
FAQs About Snowboarding
When was snowboarding invented?
Snowboarding was invented in the year 1965. Then it was initially called snurfing before it eventually got renamed to snowboarding.
When was snowboard invented?
The snowboard used in the event of snowboarding was invented in the year 1965, same year the sport was invented.
What is snowboarding?
Snowboarding is a type of sport played by descending off a steep surface covered with snow while standing on a snowboard attached to the snowboarder’s feet.
How long has snowboarding been around?
Snowboarding has been around since 1965, so it has been around for about 58 years as at the year 2023.