While winter is at full throttle, many seek out the adventures that only the cold weather can offer. For generations, people have fled their everyday lives to vacation in the mountains. For a while, skiers ruled the slopes, until Jack Burton and Tom Sims came up with a new way to ride.
Sims came up with a design that replicated a skateboard but had a slick bottom to slide over the snow. But not until 1980 did Burton design the first real ski technology for snowboards. Burton created a prototype with a p-tex base that resembled the base of skis. Like skateboarding, snowboarding was looked down upon. Out of the 600 some ski resorts, only 37 allowed snowboarding, leaving the snowboarders to find interesting places to board, like landfills.
The fast growing sport of snowboarding has gotten very popular and is now welcome at most resorts. The advancements in all aspects of snowboarding has been incredible. Anything from the boots to the goggles can be specified and customized for a wide range of riding.
There is much more to a snowboard than many think. Layers and shapes of boards are changed for different types of riding, such as park, powder, or all mountain.
A snowboard that is ridden in the park has to be very strong and very lightweight. Layers of wood and carbon fiber are placed in different patterns to accommodate the stress that will be put on it while landing a trick off a jump or riding a rail.
For the opposite side of the mountain, powder boards are designed to cut through and float on top of the snow. Sometimes the shape of these so-called back-hill boards stray from the symmetrical shape and have a fish tail. The tail gives a better ride for carving through powder.
While picking a snowboard nowadays, a lighter board is the better choice. A heavy snowboard may be a bit faster, but not by much. A lighter board can still be fast and is easier to control.
In the snowboarding world, there always seems to be two or three different preferences. The first thing a snowboarder finds is which direction he is comfortable in, goofy or regular. Goofy is when the right foot is in the front and regular is with the left foot first.
Two popular types of bindings would be either traditional or speed. The traditional bindings have two straps that the rider cinches tight, while speed bindings have a back that falls down and the rider can slip his boot into the binding and pull the back up behind the boot.
Snowboarding is a very fast growing sport with boundaries being broken and advances in technology. It is odd that the senior generation was the first to witness snowboarding and see how far it has come in such a short period of time.