"Snowboarding History" Speech

Essay by mytchb June 2004

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Snowboarding was invented and redesigned by many different people in the last 80-100 years. One of the early inventers was Jack Burchett. In 1929 Burchett cut out a plank of plywood and tried to secure his feet with some clothesline and horse reins. Burchett came up with one of the first "snowboards". Another was a man who tied 2 skis side-by-side and secured a rope at the front of the skis to hold on to for better balance. He made this for his daughter as a present. He called this a snurfer, as it was a mix between snow and surf. After this, many of his daughter's friends wanted him to make them a snurfer. He, not long after this, licensed his idea to a manufacturer. That year in 1966 he sold half a million snurfers. Although these two inventions helped revolutionize the Snowboard, it wasn't until someone named Milcovich, really had a good idea by noticing he slid very fast if he sat on lunch trays and pushed himself down a hill.

Milcovich, who was a surfer on the east coast, started developing snowboards based on surfboards and the way skis work. In 1975 Milcovich and his Snowboard, called winter stick, got a two-page article in the magazine Newsweek .Inspired by Milcovich, others began experimenting with this "Snowboard" including a man known as Jake Burton. Jake Burton began making Snowboards with steam bent wood and fibreglass. The idea of making snowboards with bent wood and fibreglass sparked people to believe that the snowboard could be the new ski. Most early snowboards were ridden straight downhill because the shape of the board didn't allow for much manoeuvring. Snowboards were banned in some ski resorts because of the out-of-control riders posing a danger to skiers on the mountain.

Putting various pieces of vertically laminated hard and soft woods together forms the core of the board, which is the middle. Then stacks of assembled ores run through the mill machine to trim the side cut out of the original wood. Each board is then fed into a planing machine where the core is profiled. This means making the tip and the tail of the board thinner than the middle.

A Lay-up is where all the components of a snowboard are assembled

-The following components are layered during this process

Bottom metal mould, Completely shaped P-Tex, Steel edges Wood core, More fibreglass, Top plastic sheet, Top mould

The mould is then pressed shut.

In the Shaping process

-The board is cut out of the metal mould

-The excess plastic and fibreglass are cut off with a band saw,

-At this point it starts to look like a snowboard

In the Silk-screening process the board goes into a room to screen the graphics onto the board.

Now, one out of every 3 people are snowboarding and in some areas even 1/2 of all people are on a board. That is a very big accomplishment and it is still growing. More than 80% of mountains in the U.S. allow Snowboarders, and many depend on them for money