USASA founder, Chuck Allen, passed away yesterday, February 14, 2011 due to complications with emphysema. Allen, 74, had been hospitalized for about a week and a half before his death and was surrounded by family when he died.

Commonly referred to as the ‘Godfather of Snowboarding’ Allen was also a co-founder of the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) and most recently was working as an ambassador in Southern California at Mountain High. Here is the statement that they released:

It’s a sad day in the surfing and snowboarding industry. Chuck Allen, often referred to as the Godfather Of Snowboarding, has passed away. He had been battling health issues for some time and was recently admitted to the hospital where his family was with him until the end.

Besides being a long time Mountain High employee, Chuck was one of the founders of the United States of America Snowboarding Association (USASA), the largest amateur snowboarding program in the country, which served as a starting point for many of the top competitive snowboarders you know today including Shaun White and Louie Vito. Prior to that he co-founded the National Scholastic Surfing Assc (NSSA) and set the surfing industry on fire as one of the winningest (if that’s a word) coaches in the nation during his time with the Huntington Beach Surf Team. He is currently celebrated with a mark on the Huntington Beach Surf Museum Walk of Fame.

Chuck was an inspiration to us all. A leader. A mentor. A pioneer. A legend. He will be missed.

RIP Chuck Allen.