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Tom Sims, Snowboard Innovator

Passing Date: 
Thursday, September 13, 2012

Both skiers and riders — pretty much anyone who likes to play in the snow — mourned the passing of snowboarding pioneer Tom Sims Sept. 13, 2012.

Sims reportedly died of a heart attack at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Sims is credited with the development and invention of the first snowboard in 1963 when, at just 13, he built a “skiboard” in his seventh grade shop class. He was the first to develop the first metal edges, high-back binding systems, and the first women’s specific snowboard – all of which revolutionized the sport and raised athletic possibilities.

He then built those possibilities into some of the first freestyle and halfpipe competitions which paved the way for the inclusion of snowboarding into the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Leading the charge for supporting young athletes, Sims sponsored legendary snowboarder Craig Kelly and other revolutionary athletes to  boost mainstream popularity of the sport.

 –GM (courtesy Ski Racing)

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