Thursday, February 21, 2013

Classic Snowboards - The Snurfer Era

After all the excitement of recent weeks and the sudden proliferation of posts, we're finally back to our more sedate weeklyish article rate. This week to simulate your eyes I've arted a pretty poster depicting some of the very first snowboards; a time when snowboards still weren't called snowboards and when they were so savage they all had to be controlled by leash....

Before we get to the poster here's a look at the various snowboards.
The Snurfer was created by a chap called Sherman Poppen on Christmas day in 1965 to entertain his kids. It was produced in roughly the same format for over a decade and hundreds of thousands were sold, before it was superseded by more advanced snowboards in the late 70s.

Another version of the Snurfer, just because.

The skateboard company Nash produced a copy of of the Snurfer in 1969 hoping to cash in on the trend.

Next into the game was the Snookie. Mimicking surfboards they introduced a wooden fin to try and add some control.

 A year later the Snow Skimmer used metal fin.

Things ticked a long for a number of years with the original Snurfer dominating the small market and with little innovation until in the mid seventies when Jake Burton started to push the idea further. At the same time other pioneers were attacking the same problem, taking their inspiration form surfing and skateboarding and  producing snowboards which didn't have control leashes, but Burton was directly influenced by the original Snurfer. His first boards from 1977 look very similar to the earlier boards, but a year later he'd added some bindings, some nifty little side plates and a shit load of branding to produce the BB1.

This was a turning point in the history of snowboarding. Burton's early boards represented the end of this era of leash controlled snurfers; bindings developed quickly and took over and by 1983 Burton had dropped the leash altogether. When Jake Burton produced his very first boards he called then Snurfboards before a little bit of patent laywering put and end to that and he started calling them snowboards instead, and that my friends, was pretty much the end of the snurfer era. 

In March last year a BB1 Londonderry board was sold for an incredible $11,211. If you haven't got $11,211 to splash on an original one to adorn your wall then here's your chance to get a poster of, not one, but five of these historic boards for a hell of a lot less... 

In Other Snowboard Art News...
Adam Haynes produced a great poster the other day that you can acquire from the Asymbol Gallery.

And if you haven't seen it yet this animated video that was released last week is genius.

You Might Also Like...
More on the Snurfer in our article on The World's First Snowboarder

We've made some snowboard posters before and they're selling like.... things that occasionally sell. See what you think.


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  2. FYI, the Snurfer didn't hit the stores until 1966, So your date is wrong.. It was on Xmas 1965 that Sherman thought of the idea but not until the next year they made and sold them

  3. That's true, we've covered the details before, but I'm going to stick with this date this time round, because if nothing else it would mean we'd have to go to the trouble of changing all the stationary.

  4. Hey, maybe the Snurfer era ended, but the Snurfer spirit lives. Check out our retro-volutionary PHNX Boards:


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