WUOMFM

#TBThursday: Snowboarding had its beginning in a Muskegon, Michigan garage

Feb 5, 2015

For Throwback Thursday, we're revisiting a story we did last year on the invention of the snurfboard. 

MLive is marking Muskegon Community College's exhibition, 50th Anniversary of the Surfer's Invention, with a visual timeline of snurfing's contribution to snowboarding.

Listen to our "Made In Michigan" interview with the snurfer's inventor, Sherm Poppen. 

"I took these two small skis and put them side by side and put a brace across them to hold them together, and something to put your foot against," said Sherm Poppen.

Poppen was the dad who got creative in his Muskegon garage some 48 years ago. "We literally started sliding down a hill standing up."

His wife named the new toy "snurfer" by combining the words "snow" and "surf."

Fourteen years later, Jake Burton Carpenter came to a contest in Michigan and saw the snurfers. He then went back to Vermont to make his own "snurfboards." 

"I wrote him saying the word 'snurf' and any derivative thereof belongs to Sherman Poppen and if you want to keep making these things you're going to have to pay him a royalty," Poppen said.

"That was probably one of the dumbest things I ever did, because he stopped making 'snurfboards' and started making 'snowboards.'"

Here's a longer interview with Poppen: