Modern snowboarding began in Muskegon, Michigan, in 1965. Sherman Poppen, a resident of that town, invented a snow surfer, or "snurfer." The snurfer gained a small, devoted following that eventually developed into the snowboarding community.
As more people became interested in the snurfer, they began to make improvements to its design. Dimitrije Milovich designed some of the most important changes. After dropping out of Cornell University to snowboard in 1972, Milovich streamlined the device's design to make it more like a surfboard. Though popular with the community, boards made by Milovich's Winterstick company did not prove popular with retailers, and it shut its doors in the 1980s. The sport gained widespread fame in the 1990s, eventually becoming part of the Olympic Games in 1998.