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In His Own Words, Eddie Walls Tells the Story of Snowboarding

April 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

Who better to tell the history of snowboarding than ledgendary snowboarder Eddie Wall? Well, Air & Style thought the same and allowed Eddie, in his own words, to recount those pivotal moments that brought us here.

Words from Air & Style 

Do you know the history of snowboarding? Where it came from? How it all started? I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been snowboarding for over 25 years and dedicated my entire life to this ‘sport,’ but I don’t know much about the very beginning. I mean, I know of key figures like Jake Burton, Tom Sims, etc… but I know there must be others. I’m putting on my proverbial speedo and diving head first into a copious amount of information, the Mariana Trench of shredding, and when I come to the surface I am going to share my findings with you my friend. Because after all we are all in this together.

When it comes to inventing anything, there is rarely one single person who came up with the idea and gets the full credit. There are generally multiple people doing similar things all around the globe and different people get recognized for different accomplishments. Snowboarding is no different, but there are definitely a few key players.


On a winter day in Utah back in 1929 there are reports of a man MJ “Jack” Burchett securing his feet to a plank of wood with horse reins and a clothesline and going for a ride down a hill. This is known as one of the first acts of ‘snowboarding’ but it wasn’t until over 40 years later that the real foundation started to get formed.

In 1963 a young boy in eighth grade from New Jersey had an idea for a school project. Tom Sims glued some carpet to the top of a piece of plywood and attached aluminum sheeting to the bottom to create a “Ski Board” as he called it. He later went on to creating the popular brand Sims Snowboards in the 1970’s.

Around the same time in 1964 a man by the name of Sherman Poppen was living in Michigan and thought of ‘surfing’ on snow. He bolted two skis together which formed a plank of sorts to stand sideways on. He gave it to his daughter as a gift and it became a hit with the other kids in the neighborhood. One year later in 1965 the ‘snurfer’ (snow-surfer), named by his wife, was put into production and more than one million boards were sold over the next 10 years. It was just seen as a toy and soon its popularity faded away as so many fads do.

In 1970 surfboards were starting to become shorter and an East Coast surfer Dimitrije Milovich wanted to invent something similar for the winter seasons in up state New York. He experimented with a few ideas and then came up with a design and gave it the name of Winterstick which is known as the first official snowboard company.


During this same time (1970) there was also a snurfing enthusiast who had been perfecting his own boards as well, his name was Jake Burton. He was one of the first to perfect the idea of strapping his feet into the board and creating “bindings.” He tested out all sorts of different ideas until he finally started his company Burton Snowboards in Vermont in 1977. His first boards were $38 dollars which were considered to expensive. Which is funny, because if your were to still have one of those original Burton boards you could sell it to a collector today for more then $30,000.00!


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