Founder and president of U.S.A. Snowboarding

Passing Date: 
Friday, February 27, 2015

Gordon Robbins, a founder and president of the U.S.A. Snowboarding Association, died in Winhall, Vermont, on February 27, 2015, at the age of 73. Robbins also served as chairman of the Snowboard Committee (1993–98) for PSIA-E/AASI, as executive director of the International Snowboard Federation, and technical director of the U.S. Open.

Born and raised in New York, Robbins was an avid sailor, hockey player, and windsurfer who coached two windsurfers for the 1988 Summer Olympics. When he discovered snowboarding in 1987, he found it “more intriguing” than skiing and joined Vermont’s Okemo as one of the area’s first two snowboard instructors in 1990. He soon became its first director of snowboarding. Most recently he was a supervisor in Okemo’s Ski + Ride School.

In 1996, on sudden notice, Okemo was called on to host a World Cup halfpipe, dual slalom and GS. “It was one of the finest World Cup GS races that season…The Europeans said the only other race department as competent as Okemo’s was the Club des Sports at Val d’Isère (France),” Robbins said in a 2009 interview about this career highlight.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, artist Claude Ohnenwald Robbins. —Karen D. Lorentz

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