ACCESSIBLE SNOWBOARD COLLECTION, 1996-2000
(1 cu. ft.: 3 (.5) DB, 1 (.5) Flt B, 1 Flt B)
by: Charles Hargrove, August 2001
The Accessible Snowboard came about through the efforts of Matt Capozzi and Nathan Connolly, both students at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Accessible Snowboard is designed so that a person with a lower body disability would be able to enjoy the sport of snowboarding with a minimum of help from another person. The snowboard began as a student project under the direction of Colin Twitchell, director of the Lemelson Assistive Technology Development Center. The project was designed to fulfill a thesis requirement at Hampshire College. The snowboard went through a number of different designs. The first design was a simple PVC chair attached to a spare snowboard. Later designs incorporated a suspension system that allowed for shock absorption and a lever that raised the level of the snowboard seat so that the rider could get on a chairlift without removing the board. Development of the prototypes was funded by a grant from the Lemelson Assistive Technology Development Center, including the fees for a preliminary patent filing. Both students are enthusiastic snowboarders and wanted to share their love of snowboarding with a community that otherwise would not be able to experience it.
Scope & Content
The collection covers the design, construction, testing and patenting of the accessible snowboard. It consists of approximately 1 cu. foot of material and contains a notebook, videos, design drawings, photographs, patent information, correspondence and printed materials. It is divided into two series: Design Materials and Moving Images.
Series 1: DESIGN AND PATENT MATERIALS, 1996-2000
This series contains materials describing and illustrating the design, production and testing of the accessible snowboard from the first prototype through the model that was used for patent application. Most important is the design notebook that contains notes and sketches of all prototype versions of the snowboard. Also of particular use in tracing the development of the snowboard are photographs of the various prototypes during production and during testing on ski slopes.
Series 2: AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS, 1996-1999
This series consists of four video tapes and one audio tape. The video tapes show test runs of various models of the snowboard in both Vermont and Oregon. The audio tape is a copy of a news report on National Public Radio about the snowboard. Tape 747.4 contains raw and finished footage of a news report covering the snowboard that was aired on Z21 News in Bend, Oregon.
The Division of Cultural History at the NMAH houses artifacts related to this collection including a prototype snowboard and a handheld outrigger used for balance and maneuvering.
The materials in the collection were donated to the Archives Center by Colin Twitchell on October 12, 2000.