Snowboarding is the fastest-growing winter sport. It's catching on all over the world and is now included in the Olympic Games.
Did we say sport? Snowboarding is also a way of life, with its own equipment, style, music, clothing and even language.
The "father" of snowboarding is Jake Burton. He became hooked on the idea when he was a teenager and took 15 years to develop the perfect snowboard. Now he owns the largest snowboard business in the world.
Snowboarding is different from skiing. "The only thing skiing has in common with snowboarding is the snow," says one snowboarding fan.
A snowboard looks like a big skateboard without wheels. While standing up with both feet on a board, a snowboarder slides down a slope, controlling the direction with the same small movements that a skateboarder uses. The most difficult thing is, of course, to keep balance.
Skiers, however, aren't happy about the latest craze. They say that snowboards ruin the surface of the snow, and snowboarders can be intimidating as they fly down hills at amazing speeds. Besides, their baggy trousers, baseball caps, bright shirts and Walkmans playing Hip Hop music are not what traditional, conservative skiers are used to.
But snowboarders will give you a long list of reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing.
Snowboarding is especially popular with teenagers and college students (some say as many as 90% of snowboarders is between the ages 10 and 25). "Skiing is for old people," says a student from Colorado. "Snowboarding is for the young. You can go crazy when you snowboard and that's cool."

Last Updated (Friday, 19 February 2010 15:49)