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retro vermont


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The contest draws media coverage from the likes of Snowboard Sports Illustrated, NBC Today, and Good Morning America. Vermont played a large part in the early days of snowboarding. It was the state in which the snurfer (snow-surfer) became the snowboard with the help of Jake Burton Carpenter and his garage workshop in Manchester, Vt. Jake had a vision: to bring snowboarding to the world. He began shaping snowboards in the mid 70's out of wood, and fixing rubber straps on them for bindings.

This vision apparently succeeded, for he is now the owner of Burton Snowboards , a forerunner in the snowboard industry. He has deeply influenced what snowboarding has become today. Some sports which have overlap in skills to snowboarding include: skurfing, skateboarding, surfing, water skiing and certainly snow skiing. Avalanche Snowboards founded in South Lake Tahoe by Chris Sanders and Earl Zellers. They made three boards the first year and named them Huey, Dewey, Louie. The boards had Formica bases and top sheets, and a mohogany doorskin core. Vermont was home to the first established snowboard competitions in the late 70's and early 80's: the National Races at Suicide Six in Pomfret, Vt. Interest in this new sport later spawned The U.S. Open first held at Magic Mountain, the first renowned snowboard competition.

The U.S. Open is now possibly the most well known snowboard event in the world, and is now held at Stratton Mountain Resort. Jake Burton Carpenter puts on the National Snowboarding Championships in the spring at Snow Valley, Vermont. Tom Sims then goes home and holds the inaugural World Snowboarding Championships at Soda Springs Ski Bowl in the Lake Tahoe area. This is the first contest to have a halfpipe event. Jake Burton, Andy Coghlan, and the Burton team members threatened to boycott the event because they felt halfpipe had nothing to do with snowboarding and should not be considered in the overall.

Extreme snowboarding involves making your own way from the top of a mountain to the bottom using only your snowboard. In the process spectacular jumps and free falls are often undertaken. 15 - 20 metre drops are not unusual. To get to the top of the mountain the pros usually get a lift from a helicopter, while the not so fortunate have been known to cross country ski up to the top with their snow board strapped to their back.

Vermont was also the first state in the nation to host a what is now known as a Snowboard Park. In the early 1980's the tiny Sonnenburg Ski Hill, in Barnard Vermont opened it's arms to snowboarders, letting them have free reign of a trail to build jumps and supplied them with a steady supply of hay bails and a few picnic tables to jump. This was in an era when few ski areas accepted snowboarders, and was definitely a ground breaking move. Now Snowboard Parks are commonplace at most resorts worldwide.

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Don't forget Dimitrije Milovich who was there before Jake took a saw and started thinking of it... Also Dimitrije's shape is still almost the same to what the modern Swallowtail is, and it is still in production at Winterstick's...I guess he started in 1972, they had edges yes, before he removed them!


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Guest Pre School Rider

Uh,nope,the Open,nor the Nationals were ever held at Magic. The Nationals were held at Suicide Six in South Pomfret Vt.,and then moved to Snow Valley in Peru,Vt..After that,it moved on to Stratton as "The Open" in 1985. I know because I was there,as a Racer. BTW,the first snowboards on the market were Tom Sims' boards,followed a whole Month later by Dimitri and Winterstick.Even Skeeters,Weber,Flite and A-Team beat ol' Burton to making boards by 1977. ---- "The Truth in History gets rewritten by the Victors"

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  • 1 year later...
Guest winterstick.org

Well wherever we go we can always find disputes about snowboarding's true history. I'll have to back up Nils and tell you that Dimitrije's production actually came before Sims/Barfoot and Burton. Not only did he start his swallowtails in 1972 when he moved to utah but he had a production of Winterstick boards for sale in the winter of 1974, maybe even earlier. Talk is cheap, so here's some proof. Newsweek magazine first quarter 1975.

I've seen a scan of two people standing on little boards with no bindings or straps and it was titled "Sno-Surfing" which dates back to 1964 (don't forget snurfers as well)... But as for the companies that actually had production of non novelty boards Winterstick was the first to lead the big 3.

It's also important to give equal credit to Chuck Barfoot as Sims gets. He was the shaper and made the first boards put out by "Sims/Barfoot Designs" before the company was changed to "Sims Snowboards"


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  • 2 years later...

BTW,the first snowboards on the market were Tom Sims' boards,followed a whole Month later by Dimitri and Winterstick.Even Skeeters,Weber,Flite and A-Team beat ol' Burton to making boards by 1977. ---- "The Truth in History gets rewritten by the Victors"

As noted by Winterstick.org, Winterstick's appearance on the market predates Sims by a few years.

In fact, I've yet to see any hard evidence that any snowboard manufacturer other than Winterstick had a product on the market in 1977.

If anyone can provide documentation that proves otherwise, I would be very interested in seeing it.


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