Snowboard

By Marco Galmarini

Snowboard Construction in Europe
Around the same time as the first European skateboarders started to experiment with new constructions, two brothers ‘Michael and Harald Strunk’ developed the legendary "Swingbow 01". It consisted of two high waisted, short skis, using connected skateboard mechanics. On this mechanism, a non-slip surface was mounted and two plastic loops formed the binding. Swingbow was controlled by shifting body weight across the board, and allowing the skis to form a curve as a result. Through advertising campaigns supported by a stunt skier Fuzzy Garhammer and through presentations at international trade fairs the sport of ‘Swingbow’ became popular in Europe. 1985 saw the first Swingbow - curriculum.

During the next few years, Fuzzy Garhammer the European "Snow surfer" developed the sport further and in 1987 he organised the first German championships.
Since the middle of the 80’s, the snowboarding sport in America and Europe experienced rapid growth. The first boards with steel edges, plastic coverings and High - Back - peel bond came on the market and suppressed slowly but surely the Snurfer. In 1983 the first European company, "Hooger Booger" started its snowboard production in Switzerland and in 1984 they brought the first asymmetric boards on the market. From this point on, more and more hi-tech snowboards evolved.

The breakthrough
Besides the development of the material and technology; popularity for the sport started to grow. Films like "James Bond - View to a Kill" and "Fire and Ice" represented snowboarding as a safe and exciting activity to a broader audience. It wasn’t long before the sport of snowboarding made a breakthrough.

The number of "Snöber" steadily increased, training camps were established and competitions organised. In 1987 the first World Championships took place in Livigno and St. Moritz, and the International Snowboard Association was launched in order to organise events on an international scale.

The Instruction
With the establishment of national associations for snowboarding, it wasn't long before people started to teach the sport to others. The first teaching began in 1987 with VÖSS (Association of Austrian snow surfer) a small brochure entitled "Snowboarding - Tips for Beginners and Advanced". In Germany, the book is titled "Snowsurfen". In this book, two of the curve and driving techniques are distinguished: the front and back Turn. However, there is no internationally accepted guideline for the training of snowboard instructors. Another issue is that the various national associations have developed their own teaching methods.

Sporting yours,

Marco GALMARINI
ICSD Technical Director - Snowboard