Snowboarding has come a long way since its invention by Sherman Poppen in 1965. Inspired by surfing and skateboarding, the game reached its peak popularity in 1998 when it was introduced in the Olympics. However,statistical analysis of equipment sales indicates that the sport’s interest among the mass audience is gradually decreasing over the years. With more than 7.2 million enthusiasts and international championships held all over the world, the game is constantly evolving from its premier inventions dating back to 1965. Let’s look at some facts about the game that grew from its humble beginnings into a worldwide phenomenon in less than 5 decades.
- Since its early introductions and due to its growing popularity among skiers, snowboarding enthusiasts often faced a rebellion from skiing enthusiasts. In their early days, the two subcultures significantly contrasted each other in several ways ranging from their talking style and game style to their dressing and communities. As the snowboarding culture was an easy transition from surfing and skateboarding, it received quick adoption among new enthusiasts. Over time the significant rise in snowboarders reduced the typical stereotype leading to a demographic change.
- Up until 20 years ago, the rivalry among skiers and snowboarders was so significant that snowboarding enthusiasts could hardly find resorts that supported them. However, now there are hardly any skiing resorts that don’t have snowboarders.
- Before selecting a snowboard, you need to decide the type of snowboarding you would be doing. There are mainly 3 types of snowboards namely: freeride, freestyle and racing. The structural composition and shape of each of these is unique to a type of snowboarding technique. Freeride however is the most popular among the three.
- According to numerous reports, snowboarders now make up more than 30% of all revenues in the skiing industry. This particularly includes the revenues of skiing resorts and equipment.
- Over the years, more than 10 snowboarding styles have evolved among the enthusiasts, most of which have also been introduced into national and international competitions. Some of the most common ones include Jibbing, Freeriding, Freestyle, Alpine Snowboarding, Slopestyle, Half-Pipe, Big Air, etc.
- Medical reports suggest that more than 2/3rd of all injuries during snowboarding occur in the upper body and remaining in the lower body. However, the injury rate is about 4-6 per thousand snowboarders per day. This is twice the injury rate for alpine skiing.
- Medical reports also suggest that most snowboarding injuries are sprains to the wrists that may sometimes become severe in the form of sprains. Cumulatively there are around 100,000 wrist fractures among snowboarders every year. Statistics also indicate that most of these injuries are more likely to occur among non-trained and first time snowboarders without professional instructors.
The significant rise of the game has constantly found new enthusiasts from all corners of the skiing industry. But the game is still in its early stages as new styles and tricks are being introduced every now and then. However very few of these game forms stayed back and became popular over time. The United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association and the International Ski Federation are the two major governing bodies for snowboarding who not only set the game rules but also host championships and promote the sport worldwide.