1988-- Former amateur surf coach Chuck Allen incorporates the United States Amateur Snowboarding Association (USASA) in July with a $500 donation from Transworld SNOWboarding Magazine. USASA is the first governing body exclusively for competitive grassroots snowboarding. The organizers believed that by forming a national association for snowboard competitors, rules of competition could be standardized, an annual national championship event could be established, and the recreation and fun of this rapidly growing sport could be preserved and flourish.
1990--The USASA holds their premiere national championships in February, at Snow Valley, California.The worst snow storm of the decade hits just before the event and closes all roads to Big Bear. Amateur snowboarders from all over the country are left stranded. A rescue caravan of locals led by USASA founder Chuck Allen sneaks the competitors past the police barricades and gets them to the contest on time.
Since 1988, each year has seen an increase in the number of competitors and regions participating within the USASA. Top riders from each series qualify to compete in the annual national championships. In addition to the halfpipe, slalom, and giant slalom disciplines, the USASA introduced slopestyle as a sanctioned discipline in the 1993-94 season.
The efforts of the USASA and its regions have enabled men and women, and boys and girls of all ages to participate in its organized events. Rules have been established for the five major disciplines, yet they continue to evolve.
The USASA adopted the triangular gate panel, which was first introduced in Europe, for race events. Regional Series hold other events of interest to the riders including banked slalom, boardercross®, and Rail Jam.
Members are those competitors participating in a regional series. They come from 40 states. 32 regional series are established from Coast to Coast.
The goal of USASA events is to promote the sports of snowboarding and free skiing, be fun for competitors of all abilities, foster development of athletic skills, and serve as qualifiers for national and international competition.
The USASA National Championships have been held at Snow Valley, CA (1990), Mt. Hood, OR (1991), Stratton, VT (1992), Vail, CO (1993), Sierra at Tahoe, CA (1994), Giants Ridge, MN (1995), Mt. Snow, VT (1996), Bear Mountain & Snow Summit, CA (1997), Telluride Colorado (1998 & 1999), Waterville Valley, NH (2000), Mammoth Mountain, CA (2001 & 2002), Sunday River, Maine (2003), Angelfire, NM (2004), Copper Mountain, CO (2005), Northstar at Tahoe, CA (2006 & 2007), Copper Mountain, CO (2008) and the USASA National Championships will stay at Copper Mountain, CO. through 2017. 2014 will be the 25th Annual USASA National Championships!
Snowboarding is a rather new sport that began in the U.S. in the 1960s. Back then a short-thin board with a rope attached at the nose, called the "Snurfer", was ridden without bindings. In the '70s the snowboard shape began to evolve, but it wasn't until the early '80s that steel edges and P-tex bases were introduced.
This technology gave the control necessary in all snow conditions and the growth of the sport has mushroomed ever since. In the early days most ski areas did not permit snowboarding on their slopes. Today, due in part to the improved image of snowboarding brought about by organized competition, only a few areas discriminate against snowboarders.
Snowboarding has been the fastest growing winter sport for several years and popularity has spread worldwide.
The USASA is proud to represent the recreational and competitive interests of amateur snowboarders and free skiers in the United States. Our goal is to promote fair, fun events while fostering a competitive spirit.
Snowboarding was accepted by the International Olympic Committee as a full medal sport for the 1998 Games in Japan.
Every US Olympic Team athlete started their competitive career in the USASA!