English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  



















The origins of the word snowboarding are unknown. The Oxford English Dictionary has no record of
this word’s origins or its first use. It is commonly known to be a mixture of two or more words.
According to the Britannica encyclopedia, the global origin of snowboarding is believed to be the
United States but the British origin is unknown. The current popularity level of snowboarding in
Britain is relatively low but it is rising exponentially. Snowboarding is not featured in many of
the major newspapers of Britain. This is because before 2006, Britain only had one snowboarding
Olympiad, who placed 17th in the half-pipe at the 2002 Olympic Games. As recorded in the Telegraph,
a British newspaper, four British snowboarders qualified for the 2006 Winter Olympics. This was the
turning point for the popularity of snowboarding in Britain. The majority of snowboarders in
consists Britain of young males and females. This is because of the athleticism needed and rigorous
strain to multiple parts of ones body. These daring juveniles bring a rebellious undertone to the
sport of snowboarding. Also, snowboarding was created in the United States, which broke away from
the British Empire and was flagged as a rebellious country. These two thoughts contribute to the
rejection of snowboarding as a major sport in Britain. The development of snowboarding reveals that
Britain and its literature prefer more orderly sports.

According to the British newspaper, the Telegraph, the sport of snowboarding can be dated back to
1965 where Sherman Poppen from Muskegon, Michigan built a Snurfer. The snurfer was deemed the first
stage of a modern snowboard. Prior to 1965 there had been similar objects with the same purpose as a
snowboard, but the snurfer was the most contemporary of them. The idea of snowboarding was inspired
by other sports such as skateboarding, surfing, and skiing. Entrepreneurs like Sherman Poppen, Tom
Sims, and Jake Burton helped develop the sport as well as modernize it. The first National
Snowboarding Championships were held in Vermont in 1982. It wasn’t until twelve years later that the
International Olympic Committee recognized it as a sport. In 1998, snowboarding became an Olympic
sport when it was featured at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.

According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, the international governing body of snowboarding is the
International Ski Federation. There are two main categories for snowboarding events. Alpine events
are timed and have gates which snowboarders must control. Alpine events include Parallel Giant
Slalom, Parallel Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Snowboard Cross. Freestyle events take place on a
halfpipe and include the Halfpipe and Big Air events. The International Ski Federation is the
highest quality league for snowboarding and it is the epicenter for all professional competition.
Lesley McKenna is the most well known and most successful British snowboarder. Lesley was born in
Scotland on September 8, 1974. She has won two International Ski Federation World Cups in 2003 and
2004 both in the Halfpipe. Her luck with the Winter Olympic Games in 2002 and 2006 wasn’t so good.
When asked why she snowboards, Lesley replies “It is the most amazing sport in the world, is done in
some of the most beautiful places and by some of the nicest people I have ever met.”

Many people in Britain enjoy snowboarding at a recreational level. For the people who take it more
seriously, but have not yet had the chance to become a professional snowboarder, enter the British
Snowboard Tour. This league has a series of events for talented, hardworking, and serious amateur
snowboarders looking to become a professional. Some of these events include the AIM Snowboard
Series. An amateur who consistently competes in this series is Claire Frost. She has been
snowboarding for 8 years. Claire is now 21 years old and at the peak or her performance. She has
been recognized by many for consistently placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the AIM series. When asked what
her favorite thing about snowboarding is, she replied “I love it all. Working out tricks, perfect
snow conditions, traveling to amazing places, people I meet, random situations I end up in,
planning, carving, jumping; it’s endless.”

Snowboarding in the news is portrayed as a dangerous activity and as a result, it is rarely ever in
British newspapers. Almost all of the articles with the subject of snowboarding in the major British
newspapers are about people becoming injured or losing their life. An article in the London Times
titled “Snowboard of 17 Killed in Accident”, written by George Wright, speaks about a British 17
year old boy who loses his life in the French Alps due to a snowboarding accident. Another article
in the London Times titled “British Doctor Dies in 260Ft. Snowboard Plunge in French Alps” is about
exactly what the title says. Not all of the snowboarding articles are human injury or death. One
article about snowboarding, in the London Times, is about how the sport is banned from an Austrian
ski resort. The news is a key contributor to the rejection of snowboarding as a major sport in

Snowboarding is rarely ever written about in British literature, but professional snowboarder,
Lesley McKenna, feels that more people should know about snowboarding and the lives of snowboarders.
She is featured in a British documentary titled “Last Winter”. Other snowboarders featured in this
film include but are not limited to Kjersti Buaas, Jenny Jones, Lisa Filzmoser, Erin Valverde, Tina
Birbaum, Manuela Pesko, Cheryl Maas, Torah Bright, and Kathi Gappmayr. This film shows Britain how
professional snowboarders live and encourages young British females to try snowboarding.

Despite the growing popularity of the sport, snowboarding has a long way to becoming a major sport
in Britain because of the negative light that the newspapers shine on it. Snowboarding is still a
fairly new sport though and it will continue to grow as it has in past years. Experts predict that
at such a rate it will overtake skiing in the year 2015.