New Holland helps celebrate 55 years of snowboarding

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“Made in the Mitten” follows the evolution of snowboarding from its original days of “snurfing,” a term popularized by inventor Sherman Poppen in 1965 in Muskegon. Courtesy Zeppelin Zeerip

New Holland Brewing Company is partnering with Vermont-based snowboard brand Burton to support director Zeppelin Zeerip’s short film, “Made in the Mitten.”

“Made in the Mitten” follows the evolution of snowboarding from its original days of “snurfing,” a term popularized by inventor Sherman Poppen in 1965 in Muskegon.

The term snowboarding was coined by Burton founder Jake Burton Carpenter. Burton developed the first snowboard as a riff off of Poppen’s standup sleigh-like novelty item and, as an avid snurfer, shifted the product and concept into bona fide sporting equipment and legitimized the sport of snowboarding.

Zeerip’s film chronicles Burton’s journey, from the first origins in Michigan, through the creation of one of the most iconic snowboarding brands.

During production of the film, Zeerip discovered a grocery bag full of undeveloped 8-millimeter film from the early 1970s of unseen snowboard history showcasing the origins of snurfing alongside skateboarding and surfing in Michigan.

“It’s a real good sport,” a young Burton Carpenter said in the film. “I hope everyone gets into it because it’s pretty safe, it’s a lot of fun, there’s a lot of speed and you can definitely surf the snow.”

“Fifty-five years after Poppen took his daughters’ skis on Christmas Day and created the first snurfboard, we are watching riders over nine different disciplines of snowboarding, from big air to freestyle, all over the slopes and in competitions all the way up to the Olympic games,” Zeerip said. “I was inspired to pay homage to Poppen and Burton, who both sadly left us just last year, and recognize the Michigan-based origins of this phenomenal sport, which has changed the landscape for counter-culture snowsports at its core.”

The film is a nod to the brains behind the sport that has shaped millions of riders around the world.

“Snowboarding season is anxiously awaited every year here in Michigan,” said Adam Dickerson, New Holland brand marketing manager. “It allows us the opportunities to challenge ourselves, to breathe in the fresh winter air and to enjoy the outdoors with friends during an otherwise isolating time of year. The après beer is pretty great too. The snurfer first touched snow only 30 miles north of our brewery, and we are thrilled to support the making of this film, celebrating the founders, the creativity and the ingenuity here in our part of the state.”

A virtual screening of the eight-minute short film will take place at 8 p.m. Dec. 16 on Demio. The video also can be viewed on Vimeo.

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