Snowboard pioneer Tom Sims dies in Calif.

Sept. 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Tom Sims, a pioneer in the growth of snowboarding in the United States, died in a California hospital this week, his family said. He was 61.

Margie Sims Klinger told the Los Angeles Times her brother died in Santa Barbara Wednesday after being stricken with cardiac arrest.

Sims, the founder of Sims Skateboards and Sims Snowboards, campaigned to bring snowboarding to major U.S. ski resorts in the 1980s. He was a proficient skateboarder and was among the first to make use of 4-foot "longboards" on hillside streets.

He adopted snowboarding in the 1980s and began a campaign to allow the fledgling sport to find room on slopes, which had been the exclusive realm of skiers. The Times said Sims was behind the construction of the first snowboarding half-pipe at Lake Tahoe.

"He not only championed this activity, he really changed people's perceptions of the fledgling sport, one resort at a time," said Pat Bridges, editor of Snowboarder Magazine.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
SB50: Denver Broncos face tough call at QB in 2016
Johnny Manziel's ex-girlfriend claims he hit her
NFLPA hopes to have independent arbitration for player discipline next season
Watch every star-studded Super Bowl commercial of 2016
Group recreates 'Mario Kart' video game at UK mall