Snowboarding is a recreational and competitive activity that involves descending a snow-covered surface while standing on a snowboard that is almost always attached to a rider's feet. It features in the Winter Olympic Games and Winter Paralympic Games. Snowboarding was developed in the United States, inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing, and skiing. It became popular around the world, and was introduced as a Winter Olympic Sport at Nagano in 1998 and featured in the Winter Paralympics at Sochi in 2014. As of 2015, its popularity (as measured by equipment sales) in the United States peaked in 2007 and has been in a decline since. History The first snowboards were developed in 1965 when Sherman Poppen, an engineer in Muskegon, Michigan, invented a toy for his daughters by fastening two skis together and attaching a rope to one end so he would have some control as they stood on the board and glided downhill. Dubbed the "snurfer" (combining snow and surfer) by his wife Nancy, the toy proved so popular among his daughters' friends that Poppen licensed the idea to a manufacturer, Brunswick Corporation, that sold about a million snurfers over the next decade. And, in 1966 alone, over half a million snurfers were sold. Modern snowboarding was pioneered by Tom Sims and Jake Burton Carpenter, who both contributed significant innovations and started influential companies. In February 1968, Poppen organized the first snurfing competition at a Michigan ski resort that attracted enthusiasts from all over the country. One of those early pioneers was Tom Sims, a devotee of skateboarding (a sport born in the 1950s when kids attached roller skate wheels to small boards that they steered by shifting their weight). In the 1960s, as an eighth grader in Haddonfield, New Jersey, Sims crafted a snowboard in his school shop class by gluing carpet to the top of a piece of wood and attaching aluminum sheeting to the bottom. He produced commercial snowboards in the mid-70s including the Skiboard (also known as the Lonnie Toft flying banana) a molded polyethylene bottom with a Lonnie Toft signature skateboard deck attached to the top. Others experimented with board-on-snow configurations at this time, including Welsh skateboard enthusiasts Jon Roberts and Pete Matthews developed their own snowboards to use at their local dry ski slope.
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