Paul Graves is one of the originals, his involvement in snowboarding as old as the sport itself. He was the first professional and sponsored rider — for Snurfer early in his career and later for Rossignol Snowboards — thanks to his surface 360’s and flip dismount, which paved the way for freestyle riding and won Paul the National Freestyle Championship in 1979. The first television commercial to feature snowboarding starred Paul carving down the Canadian Rockies on behalf of Labatt’s Blue. But most notably, Paul founded the first national snowboarding championship in 1982 at Suicide Six in Woodstock, Vermont. He later passed the event on to his friend Jake Burton, and the U.S. Open became the pinnacle competition of the season.
Paul, who Time Magazine called “a snowboarding pioneer,” has appeared on NBC, CBS, ESPN, Snowboard Life, The Discovery Channel, Eastern Edge, MTV Sports, Vermont Life and more, speaking to the history and advancement of snowboarding over the past 51 years. He also consulted for ESPN during the first Winter XGames and for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games, the first time snowboarding was ever included. Given that Paul’s efforts have always been purely for the advancement of the sport, Paul was named an Ambassador to the State of Vermont in 1996.
Today, Paul stays connected to the industry from his home in Dublin, NH where he lives with his wife, and occasionally, a visiting daughter, son-in-law or grandchild.