Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



How to Decide Between Skiing and Snowboarding 1

Posted on July 16, 2018 by Martin Banks

Skiing and snowboarding are the two primary choices for those who want to take up a winter sport, and both activities make the winter season more exciting. Since skiing and snowboarding are both so popular, many are curious as to which one they should learn first. Before choosing, you have several factors to consider.

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The Learning Process

The first week or two of learning snowboarding or skiing will vary based on which you choose. Skiing tends to be more gradual in its learning process, with navigation being more comfortable to start. You do have ski poles to help your balance, after all. Since your legs are separated during skiing, you can throw one foot out to help rebalance yourself if needed. Read the rest of this entry →

The History of Longboarding 19

Posted on February 10, 2014 by Martin Banks

With the winter Olympics underway, there’s been a lot of talk about snowboarding. But let’s look back a little farther on what came BEFORE snowboarding: longboarding.   All you need is a long plank of wood, trucks and four wheels and you have the ability to coast along pavement like a surfer would on water. In fact, surfing is where longboarding and skateboarding got their start. Nowadays, the water version and land versions of boarding stand apart, but they still have histories that intertwine with each other. From the genesis of sidewalk surfing all the way to the modern day competitions, longboarding has come a long way.

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Sidewalk Surfing

The lifespan of longboarding can be traced all the way back to approximately the 1950s. Longboarding and skateboarding came to be when surfers in Hawaii began taking their aquatic pastime on land. When the waves weren’t big enough for a satisfactory day of surfing, the surfers found that they could imitate those same actions by using a skateboard on the sidewalk. Thus, sidewalk surfing and skateboards were born. For surfers and teens, skateboarding then quickly caught on in California before skateboards themselves would begin to be modified.

Read the rest of this entry →

Why I Like Shaun White 2

Posted on February 20, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Snow Boarding

Shaun White's joy during his Olympic medal ceremony epitomizes what is good about the Olympics.

I must start this article off by saying that I know absolutely nothing about snowboarding, the lingo or what qualifies someone as being good at the sport. However, after watching how Shaun White has handled himself off the slopes, I’m willing to learn.

With his long red hair, non-traditional outfits and crazy tricks, White is not exactly typical of the athletes that I generally gravitate toward. And while I have always enjoyed winter sports like skiing and ski jumping, I have not warmed to what I see as the brashness of participants in some of the newer “X Game” type sports.

But, after watching the now two-time Olympic halfpipe champions pure joy at being part of the Olympic experience, I’m beginning to think that I should rethink my bias.

While some athletes such as Bode Miller and Shani Davis seem to epitomize the definition of surly, White has been bouncing around the Olympics like a kid in a candy store. That seems especially amazing considering that this is his second go around as part of the Olympic experience. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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