Uploaded by vice on Dec 1, 2011

TODD KOHLMAN: Yeah, that's one of the first early Burton
signs that was on that Manchester building.
It's based off a shot, an actual shot, of Jake from the
'82 catalog.
So here's the timeline on our history here at Burton.
As you know, it started in 1977.
Great early shot of Jake, here, slashing some powder
turns on a BB1 backhill.
Here, another great shot of Jake getting some air, '78.
Another one of Jake.
JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: I started the company in '77
when I moved out of New York City and came up here.
And I tooled up this factory.
I had a good friend and two relatives, and we got to where
we could make 50 boards a day, and that was our objective.
And that wasn't easy.
It was tough.
But we figured it out.
TODD KOHLMAN: Jake here in '81 carving some boards--
shaping, I should say.
And Jake, he made 100 different prototypes.
I mean, it's amazing to think of his passion of just before
even coming up with the final product, to make
100 different ones.
This is one of Jake's first prototypes, and it's
It's made out of fiberglass, and he said it worked great in
powder, but he did say if he'd come across a rock, just blew
the thing up.
JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: So the second year, we'd already
basically made enough boards.
They were sort of pre-done, and they
just had to be assembled.
But just, nobody wanted them.
So I went from myself plus three full time employees to
basically myself plus one or two high school kids working a
little bit after school.
So in other words, I had these bigger expectations, and then
I just went way down in terms of the whole scale of the
company and the scale of my expectations
and everything else.
I mean, that's probably what I'm proudest of, looking back
on the whole thing.
Just having the perseverance to get
through the whole thing.
TODD KOHLMAN: And '81, actually, there was a change
in the shape.
They went from the narrower, maybe snurfer type to this
wide shape.
You know, just changed the game.
Better float in the powder and just better ride.
JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: Those boards were barely rideable.
But as a kid, I got a snurfer, which was a toy-like version
of the snowboard.
It was much less expensive, but it was fun.
There was no doubt about it.
That's why I pursued it with my life.
And so, I think once we got boards out there, and we got
them to the right people, and found the right ways to
advertise them, that's when it just sort of started to go.
I mean, I think people just had fun on them.
DONNA CARPENTER: I met him in a bar on New Year's Eve.
I was up skiing at Stratton, so this was like 1981.
I was living in New York.
He said his name was Jake, and he made snowboards, and nobody
had ever heard of snowboarding.
I said, whatever.
I'm way too sophisticated.
The first date we had, that night I said, let's try it.
And it was just a wooden board with a rope, and a water ski
binding in the front, and a strap in the back, and we wore
high top sneakers.
And I never thought I'd leave New York for that, but I did.
TODD KOHLMAN: You'd put one of these on there.
That'd help you keep the nose up in powder.
And notice, like I mentioned before, the front binding is
more like--
reminds me of water ski type binding.
And then the back here is just like a strap that would go
over your toes.
And this is a BB1.
And then the BB2 is a backhill, so it just basically
was this without the bindings.
The super big change then, in '84, right in this area here,
then from here, we started doing P-tex and metal edges.
And so, this Performer Elite was pretty breakthrough, '85.
Originally, I think Jake had started off riding like in the
backyard and stuff.
I think it's just amazing how far it's come from those days.
PAT BRIDGES: Skiing and snowboarding in the '80s, it
was a scary place.
Lawyers ruled the day, and introducing something new to
that environment was not welcome.
And he took it upon himself as a challenge, and he literally
did the legwork, went door-to-door,
and sold our sport.
Other people did too.
I just don't think they did it to his extent.
Granted, you could question the motivations.
Be like, yeah, he's motivated by money, he wants to spread a
sport, this, that and the other thing.
Well, regardless of his motivations, 20 years later,
there's 10 million snowboarders in the United
States who reap the benefits of that.
Stratton until '84.
So I look back, it's like, what the hell were we doing
those first seven years?
But we were hiking hills, riding, and stuff.
And so, it took a while before we got onto resorts, and that
was clearly a huge move in terms of growing the hole
thing and making it bigger.
But it took a long time just to get there.
DONNA CARPENTER: It was very intense in the beginning.
It was sort of 24/7.
You never got away from it.
It's not like you go home from the office and the problems go
away or whatever.
But there was never a time when we would have really
given it up, and I think we were just
passionate about the sport.
I think that we wanted to see the sport grow.
We wanted to see more ski areas accepted.
Then we wanted to see it grow in Europe, then we wanted to
see it grow in Asia, and now we're committed to seeing the
women's market grow.
So there was always a challenge ahead that had to do
with getting more people into the sport, which is what keeps
us going, I guess.

Andy Coghlan.
And I think that's Johan right there.
And there's Ashild Loftus right there.
There's a classic Craig shot.
I mean, that was a great air.

That was in Europe, and the O'Neill outer wear thing was
going off, and the colors were just pretty fluorescent.
TREVOR ANDREW: Oh, Jake is the man.
Like, he's one of the realist people.
The riders to him, it seems like always he's just
considered them family, and he's just since day one, he's
not the typical owner of a huge company, like that, that
you would expect.
He totally is like riding with you and just as stoked as
everybody else about it.
He's not all business.
He's totally loves snowboarding and loves the
team, and that's just his thing.
He just like is so into it, and I guess that's what's
brought him so much success, just because he has genuine
love for the sport.
He's one of the pioneers.
JEREMY JONES: His office, too, is sick.
You walk in, it's just couches, you know?
Like, full chill, like hippie little--
it's dope.
You walk in, you're just all, this in your office, dude?
You make how much money a year?
This is sweet, you know?
Jump on the couch, it's all cushy and big, and throw your
feet up on the table, and he's doing the same.
It's pretty sick.
Pretty sick that he's the one that started it all.
JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: I think resisting the temptation to
sell out or whatever--
or go public, or cash out, or whatever--
is probably the best thing that we've done.
And if I were to point to one thing, I
think it would be that.
KEIR DILLON: And you hear it all the time, Burton's
corporate, and it's crazy to think that you're going to
call the person that helped pioneer the sport, fought to
get into mountains, made the R&D, invested so much money to
bring it to where it is, you're going
to call them corporate?
It's like the best case scenario on the planet.
Like, the dude that pretty much invented the sport, yeah,
he's the corporate guy.
It means he handled it, and you have a dude that cares
that much about snowboarding dictating where it goes.
JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: We haven't remotely come close to
selling out.
We're not public.
We're privately held.
And my family, we own the whole deal.
But we are big, and we are successful, and being big,
there's certain limitations to that.
But we try to move as quickly as we can.
We try to create fresh stuff and always have part of what
we're doing be very forward-thinking.
But at the same time, have the engineering backbone and
functionality stuff that we have so down.
HANNAH TETER: He just wants the best product, and that's
what we want.
That's why Burton's like the rider-driven company, is
because they're all about input from us.
They want it to look good, but they want it to
function more so.
At first I was, like, wow, he's the boss.
But he's just like a friend.
He's just chill, and great.
He's just a down to earth guy.
It's nice to have a boss like that.
Not many people get nice bosses, but we do.
NILS MINDICH: I think the first person we met in the
family of the Carpenters was Taylor.
He's his age in school.
HANS MINDICH: His son Taylor, it was pretty much him,
Taylor, and then two other kids that
lived near Jake's house.
They were my three first friends, basically.
And so, my first sleepover was actually at
Jake's house, for one.
So, it's kind of more like, I don't know.
I've know him as, like, a friend's father, you know?
SHAUN WHITE: I don't know, I've never really felt like he
was a boss, ever.
It's been one of those things where it's just like--
I don't if you've meet him or not, but he's just like this
really mellow, fun guy.
I think the first thing when we were hanging out, he made
some joke about what some woman was wearing.
And I was so blown away by it that it caught so off guard,
like, this guy rules.
He's all time.
YALE COUSINO: I've rode with him a few times,
so here was a storm.
There was like two feet of fresh snow, so it was pretty
cool to just ride powder with him.
He shreds, for sure.
He's good.
He's real good.
NICHOLAS MULLER: Who doesn't dream to ride for Burton when
he starts to ride?
It's just the best company out there for the products, but
even more for the team they have, for sure.
I mean, all the idols, they were there.
Johan, [INAUDIBLE], and Terry.
What makes the brand?
The team.
JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: I mean, I hope snowboarding keeps
going, and that the riders continue to make more dough.
It's weird in this country.
I mean, sports that people participate in isn't
necessarily where all the money is.
Nobody's stopping snowboarders from looking like NASCAR
drivers, putting patches all over and selling to everybody.
I mean, that's not what people want to see, and
that's kind of good.
I mean, there is this sort of sense of couth that's
associated with, I think, all board sports that we don't
want to lose.
And I think that that might keep things down a little bit,
and a little bit smaller, but I think it's where we all want
to live in.
We don't want to live in that kind of world.
So I think it'll continue to grow, and it'll continue to
get bigger, but I don't think it's going to necessarily ever
get to the point, maybe, where everybody's such a big deal
that they got to carry a gun and stuff like that.
I mean, hopefully, it'll just sort of keep its scene.