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In Memoriam: Sherman Poppen – Snurfer Inventor

Sherman Poppen deserves thanks from anyone who has ever loved snowboarding. On Christmas Day 1965, Sherman had the momentous idea to create a board built to surf the snowy hills around his home in Muskegon, MI. The following year he licensed his product with plans to sell it across the nation. He called it the Snurfer–the invention that essentially started it all.

It’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Sherman, one of snowboarding’s paramount pioneers, who passed away on August 1, 2019 at the age of 89 in Griffin, GA. “In my world, Sherman Poppen was the guy who started snowboarding,” Jake Burton wrote on Instagram this morning. “He for sure changed my life by introducing the concept of surfing on snow to me. I had the pleasure of flowing him boards later in his life. Not only did he start the sport, but he never gave up on it.”

Poppen is survived by wife, Louise; daughters Wendy Poppen; Laurie Poppen and husband Kelly Gorton; Julie Poppen and husband Dean Pajevic; stepson Patrick Kelly and wife Danielle; sister, Leila Reynolds; and five grandchildren, Nikolai and Erik Poppen-Chambers; Milena Pajevic; and Aaron and Jason Kelly.

Thank you, Sherman, for all your contributions to snowboarders and beyond. You made the world a happier place. Long may you Snurf.

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In my world, Sherman Poppen was the guy who started snowboarding. He for sure changed my life by introducing the concept of surfing on snow to me. I had the pleasure of flowing him boards later in his life. Not only did he start the sport, but he never gave up on it. RIP

A post shared by Jake Burton Carpenter (@jakeburton77) on

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Thank you #ShermanPoppen for inspiring us all to surf frozen waves and live a life standing sideways. Sherman invented the Snurfer in 1965, launching a revolution of fun and flow that we will forever be grateful for. Ride in peace.

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Thank you #shermanpoppen! You brought so much joy to the world by introducing us to the simple joy of standing on a board and gliding down a hill. The exhilaration of not being strapped in, and the solitude of a backyard hill have me opting for the neighborhood more and more. May you Rest In Peace 🙏 //// 📷 @andrew_miller

A post shared by Jeremy Jones (@jeremyjones) on

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RIP, Sherman Poppen. Thank you for helping us all to see the world, and our city, in a new light.

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RIP Sherman R. Poppen. You guided all of our lives. We all owe you big time. #Legend #shermanpoppen

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