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The Origin of Snowboarding : Who needs metal when you've got a rope and a stick ?


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In the late 70s in the Chicago area we spent winters sledding and wishing we could make turns like on a skateboard (and summers imagining little concrete features were waves). Winter 1978 I think I spotted an unusually small toboggan in the hardware store. Scraped up the $$ and threw on a fin made from a tin can (we thought about metal edges like we knew skis had but put that beyond our means) and things they sold at the time for skateboards to hold your feet ("Air Shooms", mushroom-shaped; that was before the no-hands air was invented!) (we knew from trying to skate in the winter that grip tape ices up fast). Boots: I tried hiking boots but settled on Addidas Kareem Abdul Jabbar high-tops.

I almost posted this in the "who needs highbacks" thread but resisted... who needs straps?

The rope helped "float" and allowed more twist. The board (we didn't know what to call it, snow-skateboard?) turned out to be quite maneuverable in soft snow.

That winter or the next there was so much snow that 10 foot + walls would be formed along streets from the snowplow. When it snowed again we would "drop in" from these onto the street, like on a half-pipe. We always imagined getting to the other side with enough speed to ride up and get air and come back, but never realized that.


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