Americans have been at the forefront of snowboard’s evolution since Vern Wicklund’s first attempt at a snowboard-like sled in 1939. In 1965, Sherman Poppen created the “Snurfer”, a snow surfer, made of two skis bound together and a rope attached to help maintain balance. Surfing’s influence on the sport would continue later in the decade when the prototype for the modern snowboard was created using the model of a short surfboard. During the 1970s two Americans, Jake Burton Carpenter and Tom Sims, each began to independently produce snowboards. Carpenter, an east coaster, had ridden the Snurfer in the mid-1960s while Sims, a west coaster, was inspired by surfing and skateboarding. The 1980s would bring about the first organized snowboard competitions.
Although a separate snowboard federation had been established, in 1994 the International Ski Federation brought snowboard under its jurisdiction with encouragement from the IOC. This led to snowboard being approved to make its Olympic debut at Nagano 1998. Initially with two events each for men and women, the sport has since grown and will feature five events per gender at Sochi 2014.