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Snowboarding: ‘You are a rebel’ – BBC World Service

Snowboarding: ‘You are a rebel’ – BBC World Service


Snowboarders – we’ve always stood out. And in the beginning we stuck out like a sore thumb. We had one board, we didn’t have ski boots on, we didn’t have poles… We were
just, I think, anti-establishment. You are a rebel. What you’re doing is
irreverent. When you’re in powder, when you do a turn and then there’s so
much snow that it flies into your face and you can’t see a damn thing…. It’s just…. My name is Jake Burton Carpenter. I
am referred to as a father snowboarding and I’m proud immensely proud of that. As a kid, I just always loved snow it was
something that just grabbed me. That whole winter mood and vibe was something that I loved right as a very young child. I was 13 or 14 when I got my first
Snurfer, which was simply like a skateboard for
snow and it was nothing more than a piece of wood that was curved on the end
it had a rope on the front – that’s how you would sort of maintain your
balance and not lose it. I bought a Snurfer and I just fell in
love with this sensation of surfing in snow. And I saw a sport there from a very young age. I always thought that they would do
it then it sort of was a fad that came and went, but it never left for me. But I knew that you needed to have your feet better attached to the binding. I had to make over 100 prototypes before I decided on a production board. I mean I
was clueless. When I started, I knew nothing about manufacturing.
I bought this fancy pin router and twice the thing shot the snowboard into the
walls. Like throwing a knife into a wall or something. I mean it would have
gone right through me. I can remember one moment when I was working with this
company that was a manufacturer of furniture and we took some wood and and we bent the tip and then I just put bindings on right there on my drive home.
I jumped out of the car and I just rode it on the side of the road, and thought – yes huge step. In 1982, we had our first competition. We were not even allowed on ski resorts at the time but 1983 Stratton, which was the first major resort – Stratton Mountain in Vermont, it sort of caters to the New York crowd – they gave us an opportunity and we performed and it was a big date and a
big milestone for the sport. Every day we’d find out about a new resort that was “allowing us”, we’d say – they would allow us to go there. And then
1998 was when it first went to the Olympics. It’s very hard to get a sport
off the ground and for it to ultimately get to the Olympics and I didn’t do it
alone. I mean I started and pioneered for sure but so many people
got involved.

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