Your chance to add more ‘Firsts’


October 26, 2012 by astraltravels

Within a minute of receiving my author copy of Great Kiwi Firsts, a workmate said, ‘Ah, but did you include the first snowboarding? I believe that was invented by Kiwis!’
No, I hadn’t, but – as far as I can ascertain – I don’t think it was invented by a mad New Zealand alpine bloke or sheila who needed a quick way to get down the mountain, but I may be wrong.*

So, if you’ve flicked through, or even read the book, and you think it’s great (as per the title), but you’re certain that I’ve overlooked something, then please feel free to let me know what you suggest could be added. I’ve just created a survey that asks for your firsts, if you want to fill that out after reading the book, that’d be ace!

As I state in the introduction of Great Kiwi Firsts, there is no way that one book could cover the lot, and I am the first to admit that I am not a historian. I am, however, always on the look out for a good story. History is so full of nooks and crannies – it’s so exciting!

*That’s not to say it wasn’t, it simply means that I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest it was a great Kiwi first. The general popular theory is that in 1965, Sherman Poppen, a chemical gases engineer in Muskegon (a city on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan US of A) wanted to make a toy for his daughter. He bound two skis together and put a rope at the nose, so the rider could hold it and keep it more stable. Sherman’s wife came up with the name of ‘snurfer’ – presumably a combo of the words ‘snow’ and ‘surfer’, and thus it was known for a decade or more. Let me know if you think otherwise. 

3 thoughts on “Your chance to add more ‘Firsts’

  1. […] section of Great Kiwi Firsts. I feel awful. I remembered the day before I received my author copy of the book, but by then it was far too […]

  2. Leonard says:


    “The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source.”*

    *Leach, Helen, The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History, University of Otago Pr, 30 August 2008, ISBN 978-1-877372-57-5

    • Ahh, yes. The pavlova question. I figured that as it (NZ’s claim to be the first & best pav makers) had already been stated and written about recently that we wouldn’t need to remind ourselves. But perhaps it should have gone in anyway? I like mine with strawberries and blueberries on top. And some kiwifruit — obviously!

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