Sherman Poppen, the snowboard inventor who laid the groundwork for a multibillion-dollar industry, has died. He was 89.
Poppen died July 31 at his home in Griffin, Georgia.
In 1965, while living in Michigan, Poppen was looking for a way to entertain his daughters on a snowy Christmas Day. So he strapped two skis together and held them in place with wooden crossbars. His wife dubbed it a “Snurfer.” A year later, he got a patent on the contraption.
Jake Burton Carpenter improved on the design and helped bring the snowboard to the masses. But Carpenter never took credit for the invention that eventually found its way to the Olympics.
Carpenter told Snowboarder Magazine that Poppen not only was “the guy that started snowboarding,” but he “never gave up on it.”