* 51% of snowboarders are ages 7-17 * 27% of snowboarders are women * One of every eight snowboarders is aged 25 to 44 * 6.6 million people participate in snowboarding * Snowboarding is among the fastest growing sports in the United States
Fitness Benefits and/or Muscles Used
* Snowboarding uses a variety of muscles including the hamstrings and quadriceps to guide the board, start it in motion and to stop. * Snowboarding requires strong calf muscles which are used to coordinate toe-side traverses down the mountain. * Abdominal muscles are used to provide strength and stability. * Ankle and feet muscles are used for steering and balance.
*Snowboarding by Robert Reichenfeld & Anna Breuchert **calculations are estimates based on consultation with American College of Sports Medicine
* As snowboarders become more proficient, they can ride lifts to the highest points of a resort, where grand vistas of unspoiled scenic beauty await. Many resorts, especially those in the Western United States, operated on national forest land, enabling those who participate to enjoy true natural winter beauty. * With snowboarding being most popular among 7- to 17-year-olds, it provides kids and teens additional fitness outlets during winter months. * Snowboarding is a great sport that kids and parents can learn at the same time. It's a great way to bring everyone together for a weekend escape, for a vacation or for school winter breaks. * Snowboarding has been described as being very intuitive and natural feeling. Some say it is easier to learn than skiing. As a result, it continues to grow in popularity among long-time skiers.
Even More Good News
* Sherman Poppen is usually credited with inventing the snowboard in 1965 with his child's toy, the Snurfer. Among those who started making metal-edged snowboards in the 1970s are Jake Burton Carpenter (Burton), Dmitrije Milovich (Winterstick), Tom Sims (Sims) and Chris Saunders (Avalanche). * Snowboarding hit a crescendo in the mid 1990s and has enjoyed consistent growth in recent years. * There are two primary styles of riding; freestyle/freeride, which emphasizes riding in halfpipes and terrain parks; and alpine/carving, which emphasizes carving turns down the mountain. * In 1998, snowboarding debuted in the Olympics in Nagano, Japan with a giant slalom and halfpipe competition. * In the 2002 Olympics in Park City, Utah, the U.S. men's snowboarding team swept the halfpipe event: It was the first medal sweep in the Winter Olympics for any nation since U.S. men's figure skaters won gold, silver and bronze in the 1956 Games. In women’s, Kelly Clark took the gold. * Many resorts are catering to families with young children by offering day-care centers and lessons/equipment rental and skill improvement programs to get younger children involved in this popular sport.
Sources: Snowboarder Magazine, freethesnow.com, National Sporting Goods Association 2004 Sports Participation Study
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