1965 : Snowboarding Invented in Muskegon

December 25, 2021 all-day

Photo of Sherman Poppen, recalling his invention of the snurfboard, courtesy of Michigan Radio Stateside

It took more than 30 years, from 1965 to 1998, for the sport of snowboarding to evolve from a backyard activity in West Michigan to an Olympic event. The journey involved many twists and turns, including a name change, design innovations, and competitive challenges. But through it all, Muskegon’s Sherman Poppen held fast to the original idea : that anybody who tried riding the sleek snow toy he invented for his children would have a heck of a lot of fun.

Sources :

Ron Pesch, “How Snow-Boarding Got Its Start”, Michigan History, November-December 2014, p.17-23.

For another, see Dillon Davis, “50th Anniversary of the Invention of the Snurfer exhibit opens to warm reception at Muskegon Community College”, MLive, December 5, 2014.

Brandon Champion, “From Snurfer to snowboard: See a timeline of winter sport’s history in Muskegon and beyond”, MLive, February 4, 2015.

Stateside Staff, “Throwback Thursday: Snowboarding had its beginning in a Muskegon, Michigan garage”, Michigan Radio, February 5, 2015.

Ron Pesch, “Snurf’s Up!”, Seeking Michigan, January 20, 2015.

Stateside Staff, “Did snowboarding begin in a Muskegon garage?“, Michigan Radio, February 8, 2018.

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