Snowboarding offers a thrill in the chill

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By Lindsay Berg

By Lindsay Berg

If you had talked to the people on the mountain slopes 20 years ago, most would have said that skiing was their winter sport of choice. If you had talked to people on the slopes 10 years ago, they might have said that skiing was popular, but snowboarding was looking better and better.

Talk to people on the slopes today, and snowboarding might be their winter sport of choice.

The early stages of modern snowboarding began as early as the 60’s, with toys like the Snurfer, which combined elements of the surfboard with the sled for use in snow.

Later developments in the 70’s eventually led to productions of the first fiberglass snowboards in the 80’s.

Snowboarding is still a young sport, and the residents of Big Bear have watched the sport grow. One Big Bear resident, Danielle Goldsmith, was one of the six original snowboarders in Southern California.

“(Snowboarding) has definitely come a long way,” Goldsmith said. “It has gone from an untalked about sport to a cool sport.”

Goldsmith is one of the partners in Goldsmith’s Board Shop, which is the oldest snowboarding shop in Big Bear. Goldsmith’s was the first shop in Big Bear to carry snowboards. Once the sport became popular, other stores were scrambling to carry the equipment.

Even though snowboarding is a popular sport now, the athletes have not always enjoyed this kind of popularity. According to Goldsmith, some even considered snowboarding a “dirty” sport.

But snowboarding has come a long way.

“For the first two years, we weren’t allowed on the hill,” Goldsmith said. “Now we have almost a whole mountain.”

One reason for the increase in the popularity of snowboarding is because the amount of time it takes to become an intermediate snowboarder is a lot shorter than the time it takes to become an intermediate skier. According to Goldsmith, 3-4 days on a snowboard will give you enough skills to be an intermediate snowboarder, as opposed to the several years it might take to become an intermediate skier.

The problem with going from intermediate to advanced is that the sport is expensive, and people aren’t as willing to put in money for the sport.

Snowboarding requires the use of muscles not normally used everday, which wears a person out faster and may be cause for not continuing with the sport.

But sometimes the hardest things in life are the most rewarding.

“Snowboarding is fun,” said Goldsmith. “Definitely a lot of fun.”

With the winter season just beginning, there is the opportunity for people who want to take a few lessons on a snowboard to spend a few days this winter up in the mountains of Big Bear.

More information about the resorts and lessons can be found at

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