829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Snurfing near the Great Lakes

"The first modern snowboard was arguably the Snurfer (a portmanteau of snow and surfer), originally designed by Sherman Poppen for his children in 1965 in Muskegon, Michigan. Poppen’s Snurfer started to be manufactured as a toy the following year. It was essentially a skateboard without wheels, steered by a hand-held rope, and lacked bindings, but had provisions to cause footwear to adhere."

Minimum of Snow, Fully Maneuverable,
Fun and Thrills, and Easy to Learn.  It's official!
All of the above. My orange-haired friend and I
shredded (possibly before the word was ever used)
on his yellow Snurfer for hours on end.  Talk about
good, cheap, clean fun. 

The "staples" kept your feet in place while the yellow plastic lanyard
helped to steer.  All in all it was fairly easy to navigate on a Snurfer.
Why did they ever have to complicate things with bindings?


  1. Marketing people were smarter back then. In the 50s and 60s we had the Frisbee, Water Wiggle, Hula Hoop, Slinky, Silly Putty, etc. ...and Snurfer. Doesn't that sound more interesting than "snow board"? (Snow board - yawn.) Where's the pizzazz? Where's the sizzle?

    OK, so it seems Whamo had a lock on most of the great toy names, but Snurfer was at least in the same spirit. And Brunswick was a groundbreaking company in its own right - bowling balls, records, even boats like Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Maxum, Sea Ray, and Trophy.

    My son in law went "snow boarding" in Colorado last month. Since he is part Hawaiian and lives on Maui, wouldn't it have made more sense for him to go Snurfing? Really... what's the world coming to?

  2. I've never heard of these! my dad grew up near Muskegon, but might have been just a bit too old when these came out to have used them. he did tell me they used to road-ski... have a pickup truck tow them down the road, using skis to slide along the snow at the shoulder.

    oh, and I'm not so sure the staples would work too well to keep my feet on that thing!

  3. Braveheart ruled the hills in the back country of Chester County, PA on his red snurfer. Did you know that Braveheart once jumped over 4 friends laying on their backs like sardines?? If only YouTube existed to prove the validity of this amazing feat!!

  4. You learn something everyday.

  5. I thought more people knew what a snurfer was.
    Wait 'til I break out the Freeskate!

  6. LOVE (!!) the playlist.

    "Letting my freak flag fly", of course, and the Steppenwolf is just, well, classic.

    The Hoffay guitar piece (don't know them) is spectacular!

    Listening to CSN&Y, reminded me of Southern Man

  7. Or, if you want the full-on, 14 minute (live) version from 4 Way Street

    ... Neil rippin'

  8. Ok, so I'm spinning the Neil virtual wax...

    Saved two of the best for last... Down by the River and Cortez

  9. it's the Mojo and Baydog show!