Believe it or not, but snowboarding actually uses carving techniques just like skiing does. I know that may seem odd give that snowboarding uses an entirely different device to move than skiing does, but it is true. Here are some obvious similarities between skiing and snowboarding in case you were thinking that there really weren’t any similarities.
- Snow: Yes, they are both winter sports and happen on the mountains. Snow is absolutely required in order to achieve either of these.
- Gear: Skiing and snowboarding both require the same gear. You need jackets, boots, pants, goggles, and hats. Of course the board and skis are different, so the boots are a little different because they are not strapped in the same. And the gloves are different, because in skiing you need to be able to grip the poles, but in snowboarding you need to be able to drag your hands in the snow to help yourself turn.
- Techniques: There are a lot of similar techniques between the two sports. Carving is one of those techniques. If you think about it, the physics behind the two are exactly the same, but the method of movement is slightly different because of the different equipment.
There are a few different events that snowboarders compete in.
- Parallel slalom
- Parallel giant slalom
Skiing does not have the ability to do things like you can on a snowboard, because snowboarding is like a weird ski/skateboard hybrid. So the snowboard needs to be moved in a certain way, like skiing, in order to move through snow, but due to its interesting design, it also behaves like a skateboard does.
While I think that most people think of snowboarding as something that was really born in the 1990s, it has been around a little longer than that. It was really started, in the modern sense of things, because really, people have been working out ways to move through the snow as long as there have been people living in the snow, snowboarding was really started in the mid-1960s.
An engineer from Michigan, names Sherman Popper, created a toy for his daughters by combining two skis together and putting a rope on one end so he could help control it when they stood on the board. Kind of like a sled you could stand on. It was actually called the “snurfer” combining snow and surfer. I think we can all agree that the word snowboard is way better. Once friends and friends of friends saw how awesome the snurfer was, Poppen licensed the idea to have them manufactured and actually sold a million of them by 1975, which is definitely not bad in the world of the pre-internet and for a device that people hadn’t seen before. While it was still marketed as a toy in the beginning, the snurfer showed potential in other senses.
By the early 1970s, Michigan was hosting snurfing competitions which brought people from all over the country to both observe and compete. Tom Sim, who was a skateboarding enthusiast, became an early pioneer of snurfing himself. He had also constructed his own board in the 1960s, though he was a child and did not have the ability that Poppen did. But he started making boards commercially in the mid-1970s and by 1998, the sport had attracted so much attention that was able to become an official Olympic sport.
There were also some pioneers, like Jake Burton Carpenter, who were avid surfers that got into the snurfing craze. Carpenter actually wowed the observers of the original snurfing competition by showing off his surfing moves on the snow. He also started his own company to make the boards, but his were wood and flexible.
All of these men had their part in inventing snowboarding and bringing it to the amazing and extensively popular sport that it is today.