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At 03:37 PM 4/4/96 -0500, you wrote:
>
>
>> jackjumper.

>
>Old Bro will probably fill in the details but:
>
>When I was little (very little) our family lived in Northern Michigan 
>(Petosky/Gaylord area circa 1965-77) and winter sports where huge.  Skiing 
>was tough 
>(but existed on small local hills: Nubs Knob, Sylvan Knob, and Boyne) 
>but sledding and speed skating where 
>huge.  Hockey was as well but all that equipment cost alot of money...
>
>Anyway, there was this sled type thing called "the Petosky Stumpjumper" 
>that consisted of a seat a two-by-four strut going down to a wood runner 
>that often had a metal strip tacked to the bottom.  I remember my 
>older brother and the neighbors (the Zimickly's, Krewsky's) screaming 
>down through the hills out in the farms on those things.  They could 
>really fly through the trees and all.  You sat on the seat, balanced and 
>kept your legs out in front of you and turned by leaning.  You hung on to 
>the sides of the seat.  We still have ours and as I got 
>older my friends and I used to fly down the hills in Alleghany State Park 
>in western NY on the stumpjumper and a thing called a Snurfer.  
>
>The snurfer was a wooden wide single ski, had a bit of a fin on the 
>bottom,bit of a v shape (although slight)  grips on the top so 
>your boots wouldn't slip and a rope on the front that you held onto as 
>you flew down the hill.  This had to be the early predesessor of the 
>snowboard that ole Jake Burton "invented".  I remember that one of the 
>hills was always packed from skiers and sledders but the hill to skiers 
>left was always untracked and perfect for the snurfer.  Hardpack was 
>tough on that thing, but powder was dream-like.
>
>BTW, Alleghany State Park was the site of two ski hills accessed by a rope 
>tow untill about 1979, when they stopped running the tow.  It was free 
>and run by the state.  We used it for sledding and tubing (stumpjumpin'
..............
> 
>Matt "those were the dayze" Swartz
>
>Old bro details......
Actually they were called "Bumpjumpers" and I still have one. With Younger
bro's riding style the bumpjumper  was probably better described as stump,
tree, log, boulder,  _________ (insert your own favorite obstacle here) etc.
jumpers however.   I seem to remember one ride in the park  when young bro,
rather than jump the obstacle, tried to move it with his face.  He was
decidedly unsuccessful.  This may explain his rugged good looks.  
Seriously, these things are a blast to ride.  Lean back for better balance
and higher speed, but lean more forward in the bumps.  The strip on the
bottom is metal and can be waxed and edged.  The rest is just your basic
pine.   We used to run slalom runs through the bumps on these things during
the Petoskey, Michigan  Winter Sports festival.  A few hundred kids would
enter.  Local Hardware stores sold the things for about $15.  People around
Southeastern Mass. get such a kick out of mine when I ride it (at golf
courses or court house steps, etc.) that I have thought of making a pattern
and building a few.  I've never taken it up north tho, figured the ski
resort people would laugh me off the hill, never allowing me on.  My
neighbor, a 60+ year old retiree that grew up in Newport, VT has something
similar, but it is not built as rugged.  It has a thinner longer ski with no
edge, as opposed to the shorter sturdier runner on mine.  
Knee problems would not be an issue here (maybe Wes can prolong his winter
activity career), but if you are  looking for a way to do in your back, this
sport is a good candidate!!!!  
I also still have my original "Snurfer".  I'll bet I was boardin' in
northern Michigan long before Burton was incorporated......My kids use both
the snurfer and the bumpjumper in our back yard all winter.  Some of the new
sliding devices are nice, but the old ones are the most popular with my kids!!!!

Dr. Swartzie