Without Jake Burton, snowboarding wouldn't be what it is today. Fueled by unwavering passion, he and the company he founded, Burton, have driven the evolution of snowboarding over the past 35 years with innovative thinking and industry-defining products.
It all started in 1977 with the Backhill, a narrow wooden board with single-strap bindings and a rope and handle attached to the nose. In fact, the rope and handle were common on Burton boards through the early '80s. That decade saw important innovations like metal edges, P-Tex bases, and the advent of the term 'shred' to refer to snowboarding. By the late '80s, Burton was making boots, jackets, pants, collapsible poles, snowshoes, backcountry packs, and even team movies. Burton continued to push the envelope through the '90s and into the new millennium.
Since then, Burton founded its Craig's R&D facility and introduced countless new innovations. Notable achievements include the Channel binding attachment system, which gains more fans every year for its responsiveness and ease. In fact, it's now the only system available on Burton snowboards, even backcountry splitboards. Burton snowboarding boots essentially defined the category, introducing ideas like speed lacing that make boots as comfortable as they are capable.
Burton has also manufactured outerwear, including jackets and pants, since the late '80s. At the top of the line sits the [ak] series; inspired by the Burton pros who ride—and film—the big lines of Alaska, it's Gore-Tex outerwear designed for serious riders braving serious conditions. The Mountain collection brings together vintage style and the latest technical fabrics, while The White Collection, created in collaboration with snowboarding legend Shaun White, combines weather protection with fashion-forward style. Off the mountain, too, you can enjoy the heritage-based aesthetic of the Mountain collection or the clean, functional Process line of laid-back apparel for men, women, and kids.
Along with its technical outerwear, Burton also makes hats, gloves and mittens, backpacks, travel bags, and even helmets. If you wanted to, you could outfit yourself completely from head to toe in only Burton clothing and equipment. That's quite a leap for a company whose first product was a wooden plank with a rope through it.
There's no telling where snowboarding would be if Jake Burton had decided on any other career. The history of Burton and the history of snowboarding are so intricately interwoven that it would be impossible to talk about one without the other. Thanks, Jake.
The idea behind the Family Tree line of snowboards was to give Burton's designers, engineers, and riders an outlet to test out new, unique shapes, sizes, profiles, and flex patterns. Designed at Burton's Craig's Facility in Burlington, these innovative boards challenge the notion of what a snowboard should or shouldn't do.