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Imagine a sport that combines the beauty of surfing the high-speed thrill of downhill skiing the punk styles of skateboarding and the grace of ballet That sport is snowboarding Standing sideways on my snowboard I love the thrill of gliding down mountain slopes at speeds up to 65 miles per hour I love to spray snow into the air like frozen rainbows At times I would daringly jump off cliffs into soft white snow and Im always thinking of what stunts or tricks that Ill do on the next run During breaks I also enjoy sitting down to relax and look down at the tremendous view that Mother Nature has to offer Snowboarding began in the 1960s when an American surfer Sherman Poppen invented the snurfer for his children by bolting two skis together A rider would hold a rope attached to the snurfers nose front section for stability Poppen then sold his idea to Brunswick Sporting Goods which marketed for 15 a piece In the early 1970s a snurf freak named Jake Burton saw a future in his pastime and took it upon himself to improve it Burton attached rubber straps to his board for better control The result was a breakthrough that led him to start a company in Vermont the beginnings of the now famous Burton brand name But Jake Burton was just one of many snowboarding pioneers In 1963 skateboard world champion Tom Sims built the first known snowboard Later on in 1975 an engineer named Dimitrije Molovich had formed a company called Winterstick to make epoxyfiberglass boards Finally in 1983 a snowboarder named Jeff Grell made the binding system that was effective in all snow conditions Grells binding surrounded the snowboarders foot with a hard plastic shell The shell was clamped tightly to the board with straps and metal buckles With these bindings snowboarders could maintain control even on hardpack which is the kind of snow found at most
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