A web search for snowboarding’s origins will point you to Sherman Poppen and the Snurfer. Ask someone, and they’ll likely tell you the same, maybe even bringing up Jake Burton or Tom Sims. But centuries before these originators we’ve become so familiar with were born, people were sliding sideways, downhill in the snow. It wasn’t in Muskegon, Michigan or Londonderry, Vermont. Turkey—a place many Westerners don’t associate with snow or even cold temperatures—may very well be the birthplace of snowboarding.
However, there is no clear ancestral lineage between the Petran boards ridden in the mountains of the Middle East and primitive snowboards from the US. The Turkish culture surrounding the Petran has existed autonomously from snowboarding as we know it for an estimated 300 years. Patagonia ambassadors Alex Yoder and Nick Russell, along with skilled lensmen Wade Dunstan and David Cleeland, took a trip to Turkey and explored a type of riding mostly unseen until now. What resulted is a snowboard film unlike most—it is as informative as it is entertaining.
Look out for an in-depth exploration of Alex and Nick’s journey coming in the December issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding.