Snowboarding was invented in the 1960s and started out as snurfing. Yes, you read that right. A fellow named Sherman Poppen, an engineer living in Muskegon, Michigan, strapped two skis together and added some rope for steering. His wife called it a snurfer, or snow surfing.1
Until the early 1980s, snowboarding was banned at resorts. Traditionally, skiing was comprised of an older demographic, and snowboarding was considered to be dangerous and a teenage fad. In 1983-84, the Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont opened its slopes up to snowboarding, a shrewd move that would put VT ahead of the curve as a destination.2
Snowboarding makes up 30% of resort revenues during the winter season.3 Far from being a fringe sport now, snowboarding was officially accepted into the Olympic Winter Games in 1998 and there are over five professional competitions in the US every year.
In 2000, snowboarding was the fastest growing sport in the US. It has taken over globally like wildfire. There is even a World Snowboard Federation that ranks competitors all over the world.
Skiing is more dangerous than snowboarding. The public misconception is that skiing is safer, but according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, skiing accidents outpace snowboarding injuries by a considerable margin
Some of the larger snowboarding contests include: the Air & Style, the X-Trail Jam, Burton Global Open Series, Shakedown, FIS world championships, FIS World Cup, the Winter X Games and the Winter Dew Tour.
Snowboarder Magazine's Superpark event was created in 1996. Over 150 of the World's top pros are invited to advance freestyle snowboarding on the most progressive terrain parks.
Part of the snowboarding approach is to ensure maximum fun, friendship and event quality. Reflecting this perspective of snowboarding, you can find "Anti Contests" including are an important part of its identity including The Holy Oly Revival at The Summit at Snoqualmie, The Nate Chute Hawaiian Classic at Whitefish, the original anti-contest, the World Quarterpipe Championships and the Grenade Games.
The United States of America Snowboarding Association (USASA) features three different divisions which include alpine, freestyle, and boardercross. Alpine consists of giant slalom and slalom which is a competition in which the agility and ability to make sharp turns of the snowboarders are tested. Freestyle consists of slopestyle and halfpipe. In boardercross, the idea is to be the first snowboarder down the mountain where everyone is racing each other through an obstacle course of harsh turns and wipeout potential is very likely. The USASA has 36 regional snowboard series in which anyone can compete.