Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Snowboarding—the act of standing sideways on a board and sliding down a snow-covered slope—has gone from a marginal activity for a few diehard participants to an Olympic sport with mass appeal in three decades. More than 18.5 million individuals currently snowboard worldwide, and it is supported by a global and billion-dollar industry. However, as the following historical narrative reveals, despite rapid economic growth, institutionalization, and commercialization, snowboarding was founded on the ideals of fun, freedom, and individualism, and for many contemporary participants, it continues to be a valued form of physical play. Indeed, when asked why he keeps returning to the slopes, professional Norwegian snowboarder Terje Haakonsen replied, “It's just a joy, the joy of… playing in the mountains with your friends.” Dating the birth of snowboarding is impossible. People have been standing on sleds and trying to slide on snow for hundreds of years. Snowboarding, as we understand the ...