Reaction: Burton Snowboards Founder, Jake Burton Carpenter, dies at age 65

Jake Burton Carpenter, a pioneer in the snowboarding industry, who alchemized a fringe fad into an Olympic sport, has died due to complications from cancer. The world has started to pay tribute.

Reaction: Burton Snowboards Founder, Jake Burton Carpenter, dies at age 65

Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of Burton Snowboards, has died at age 65 as a result of complications from recurring cancer, according to a statement by the company.

Working out of a borrowed barn in Londonderry, Vermont, Burton pioneered the snowboarding industry in 1977. 20 years later, snowboarding became recognized as an Olympic sport in the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. Although he had no manufacturing experience, Burton was inspired to bring his innovative ideas into production by his experience as a teenager with a “snurfer,” a plank-like board with a curved tip and a rope to hold on to. He developed a binding system to attach riders to their boards and offer more control than a rope. Although his boards were initially outlawed at ski resorts throughout the country, Burton persisted through countless rejection to turn a fringe fad into an indelible winter pastime and powerhouse Olympic sport. Burton’s boards resonated with the youth culture by representing a rebellious, anti-establishment sentiment and lifestyle. Snowboarding changed from an unwanted sport that was deemed too unsafe to share the slopes with skiers into the mainstream, thanks to Burton.

The company (more like a three-man team) only sold 300 boards in the first year; however, Burton’s perseverance, innovative spirit, and passion for snowboarding transformed his nascent company into a billion-dollar industry.

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Reaction From Around The World.

The world of snowboarding, and the wider outdoor industry has begun to respond to the hashtag created by Burton #RideOnJake. A selected few can be seen below.

Our X Games family would like to send our heartfelt condolences to Jake Burton Carpenter's family, the Burton Snowboards family & everyone in the action sports community that has been impacted by Jake's legacy. Jake will forever be in our hearts.

— X Games (@XGames) November 21, 2019

Without Jake Burton snowboarding would not be what it is today, for that we will be forever grateful.

— Freeride World Tour (@FreerideWTour) November 22, 2019

The cover photo is taken from the homepage on the day of Jake's death.