New Jersey And The Birthplace Of Snowboarding

Dated: 02/25/2018

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I am an avid snowboarding fan and was on the Snowboarding Team while attending the University of Vermont. I’ve been glued to the Olympics these past few days cheering on the men and women of the United States at all hours of the night. The State of New Jersey plays a very important role in the history of snowboarding - one could say the snowboard was born in New Jersey.

Thomas Paul Sims was a seventh grader in the Haddonfield Middle School and an avid skateboarder when the winter of 1963 set in. Frustrated by the constant icy streets hampering his skateboarding activities, Sims asked his woodshop instructor of he could build a skateboard, without wheels, for use on the snow and ice. He called it a “Skiboard.” It was a short 34 inches in length - more the length of a skateboard, carpeted on top, and tended to nose dive in powder pitching young Sims forward off the board.

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                                                                Sims with his generations of snowboards

                                                                and skateboards. His first “skiboard” built

                                                                        in New Jersey is to the far left.

Sims continued to refine his “skiboard” design during his high school years until it was almost five feet long with an upturned nose to ride over the powder. He moved to Santa Barbara, California where he made a name and a brand for himself building custom skateboards which he expanded to include snowboards by the late 1970s. The 1980s witnessed the explosive growth of snowboarding, and Tom Sims led the charge bringing his skateboarding style to the snowy mountains during winter. He is credited with developing freestyle snowboarding using natural and artificial obstacles on the hills to perform cliffs.

Sims Snowboards was the first to develop metal edges for smoother and more stable rides. They were the first to develop boards for women to accommodate a smaller boot and body, and the first to design and manufacture high-backed boot bindings. Sims is credited with developing the half pipe – emanating from his skateboarding experience that is a core part of snowboarding competition today.

In 1985, Tom Sims doubled for Roger Moore as “James Bond” for the snowboarding sequence in “A View to a Kill,” and in 1998, snowboarding made its debut as a sport in the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

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                                                                   Sims as snowboarding James Bond

The Winter Olympics of 2018 come to a close in the next few days, but our winter will go on for another month. I relish that the origin of my favorite sport emanates from my home state of New Jersey and from a seventh grade woodshop in the Haddonfield Middle School. Someday I just may get to see that original “Skiboard” of Sims built in ’63. It’s on display in Vail, Colorado at the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum.

From your “Running (and Snowboarding) Realtor Andrew Gonzales

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Andrew Gonzales

As a lifelong resident of Ocean County, New Jersey, Andrew Gonzales brings exceptional insight into local market trends, and full knowledge of ordinances, insurance requirements, and FEMA standards. A....

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