Student research on snowboarding. Conducted by Burton. History of Burton and snowboarding.
BACK IN THE DAY CONTENTSBURTON HISTORY A Sportss Roots: Vermonts Burton Snowboards The History of Snowboarding in North America The History of Snowboarding in Europe The History of Snowboarding in Japan Burton Goes Global Burton Sportartikel: The History of Burton Snowboards European Headquarters Burton Japan: The History of Burton Snowboards Japanese Headquarters US Open Historical Highlights Snowboarding and the Olympics BURTON COMPANY FACTS Company Fact Sheet Burton Snowboards Company Profile Beyond Snowboards: Burtons Family of Companies How Snowboard Graphics Get Created BMC Factory Tour Burtons 2004 Catalog and Website Facts on Chill Burtons Non-Profit Learn to Snowboard Program Burtons Resort Programs Fact Sheet Frequently Asked Questions about Burton Snowboards ABOUT JAKE Jake Burtons 2004 Biography Everyone Calls Him Jake Jake Burton Chases Winter Across Six Continents Jakes Thoughts on the 2002 Winter Olympics SNOWBOARDING BASICS Snowboarding 101: Just the Basics Tuning: Better Board Care = Better Riding Snowboarding Terms and Tricks Backcountry Basics ADDITIONAL RESEARCH INFORMATION Industry Fact Sheet SIA Stats from snowlink.com Industry Sales Statistics Additional Resources Bibliography For more information on Burton Snowboards check out www.burton.com You can also call Burton Rider Service at: (800) 881-3138 3 5 8 13 15 16 18 20 22
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Contents:A Sportss Roots: Vermonts Burton Snowboards The History of Snowboarding in North America The History of Snowboarding in Europe The History of Snowboarding in Japan Burton Goes Global Burton Sportartikel: The History of Burton Snowboards European Headquarters Burton Japan: The History of Burton Snowboards Japanese Headquarters US Open Historical Highlights Snowboarding and the Olympics
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A SPORTS ROOTS: VERMONTS BURTON SNOWBOARDSOn the outskirts of Burlington, Vermont sits an office with an old chairlift spanning the parking lot and a skate ramp out back. The current location of over 25 years of innovation and commitment to the sport, this company has roots that run deep into the history of snowboarding. The company is Burton Snowboards the worlds first snowboard factory. And this is how it all started.
In the mid-60s, Jake Burton was one of thousands of kids to get hooked on Sherman Poppens Snurfer, the earliest commercial form of the modern snowboard. It might have only been a department store toy, but it was still surfing on snow. Shocked that not much had progressed ten years later, Jake bid the Manhattan business world farewell to become a snowboard shaper. He moved to Londonderry, Vermont and started making and riding his first boards. The worlds first snowboard factory was born. The year was 1977. The early years were an experiment in grassroots business. In the second year, Burton Snowboards moved into a farmhouse in Manchester, Vermont the facility that went on to produce such classics as Burtons Backhill and Performer snowboards. Working in the living room, dining room, basement and barn, a crew of four to five people produced, sold and repaired all the early Burton models. Jakes toll-free customer service line rang in the bedroom, at all hours. In the middle of the night, Jake took down orders from snowboarders all over the country. If orders for boards were low, Jake loaded up his Volvo wagon and visited up to ten shops a day offering his latest designs. From the living room/showroom, employees led Safaris snowboard tours of local powder stashes. Turns were earned by hiking. In the first few years, snowboarding was an underground sport struggling on sledding hills and snowcovered golf courses. As long as riders had to hike, it could only progress so far. To move the industry and riding to the next level, Jake lobbied hard for local ski areas to open their lifts to snowboarders. In 1982, Suicide Six Resort in Pomfret, Vermont was the first resort to allow snowboarding. Soon after, Jake succeeded in convincing Stratton Mountain in Vermont to give it a shot, thereby establishing a joint commitment to snowboarding that continues to this day. Others followed Jay Peak, Stowe, Sugarbush, Killington some sooner, some much later. The opening of eastern resorts not only led to growth for the sport, it became a major factor in Burtons continual product innovation. Edgeless wooden boards that were fine in powder no longer cut it on the hardpack and sometimes icy conditions at Vermont mountain resorts. To handle the hardpacked snow, Burton developed the Performer Elite, a board with a P-tex base, metal edges and bindings with hi-backs.
Burton Snowboards has been involved in the competitive side of the sport since the beginning. March 2002 marked the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships an event for snowboarders by snowboarders. Then and now, it is the premier contest each year, drawing the best riders in the world. The Open has been the perennial venue of legendary riding: Doug Bouton hitting 63 mph on a Backhill snowboard, Craig Kelly dominating the pipe with his signature smooth riding, Jeff Brushie and Terje Haakonsen going head to head with huge McTwists. The early success of the U.S. Open helped further legitimize the sport and increase mountain resort area acceptance. In 1992, Burton Snowboards moved from its Manchester location to Burlington, Vermont. The same motivation that took Jake from the garage in Londonderry to the barn in Manchester guided Burton from Manchester to Burlington: the commitment to making the worlds best snowboarding equipment and growing the sport. Upon arrival in Burlington, the Burton Air snowboard was state-of-the-art. Today, the Codes and the Powers are the boards snowboarders ride to the podium. The same heart that beat years ago in a garage in Londonderry, Vermont still beats strong within the ever-expanding walls of Burtons modern facilities in Burlington and the two affiliate offices in Japan and Austria. Two things matter more than all else: riders and riding. They always have and always will.
THE HISTORY OF SNOWBOARDING IN NORTH AMERICAIt was Christmas morning, 1965 when Sherman Poppen walked outside his home in Muskegon, Michigan, looked at a snow-covered hill, and saw a wave. Seems like an odd scenario for the birth-moment of snowboarding, but considering the Beach Boys had just finished selling twelve million albums, it's not surprising that a land-locked inventor with several industrial gas patents under his belt got the surfing bug and translated it to snow. "My wife was pregnant and told me I had to do something to get my two daughters out of the house or she was going to go crazy," said Poppen, who admitted he was fascinated by surfing, but had never tried it. "When I looked at that hill, I thought why not?" Remembering the past attempts of his daughter Wendy standing up on her sled, he hastily screwed two pairs of children's skis together with some doweling and fashioned a surfboard for the snow. Within a few days, all the neighborhood kids were begging Mr. Poppen for what Mrs. Poppen dubbed the "Snurfer" by mixing the word "snow" with "surfer." Six months later, Poppen licensed the idea to Brunswick Manufacturing, and over the next ten years, upwards of a million Snurfers were produced and sold through chain sporting goods stores and toy stores.
As with all inventions, there's always some speculation regarding who pioneered the movement. Before Poppen, there were accounts of World War I soldiers standing sideways on barrel staves and sliding down snow-swept hills while stationed in Europe. At a local garage sale, Jake found a board dating back to the 1920s.The recent discovery of a video dating back to 1939 shows an elegantly dressed man by the name of Vern Wicklund riding a snowboard-type sled sideways down a small Chicago hill. Wicklund family members have also uncovered patents for the board. This discovery adds to the historical depth of snowboarding, but as far as initially bringing the idea to the masses, Poppen's Snurfer onslaught marked the conception. Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of Burton Snowboards, the largest snowboard brand in the world, remembers the Snurfer as his first winter ride, as does Demetrije Milovich who started Winterstick Snowboards and Chris Sanders who founded Avalanche Snowboards. Burton, Winterstick and Avalanche all started up in the late 70s and early 80s as did Sims out on the West Coast. Quickly thereafter, the American-born sport filtered throughout Europe with early pioneers such as Frenchman Regis Rolland riding his swallowtail snowboard into history as the "good guy snowboarder" being pursued by the "bad guy skiers" in the cult classic movies known simply as Apocalypse Snow I, II and III. The French dubbed the sport appropriately Le Surf, and surfing on snow became the newest winter sport worldwide. 5
In the early eighties, ski movies by Warren Miller and Greg Stump occasionally featured clips of snowboarders surfing deep powder and articles gradually popped up in skateboarding, surfing and skiing publications. But unlike the Hawaiian-born water sport of surfing, there was no clear-cut occurrence that brought modern-day snowboarding to the masses. Hollywood released the movie Gidget in 1959, and then in 1966 independent filmmaker Bruce Brown released The Endless Summer and the surfing lifestyle reached the mainstream. Though the Vietnam War slowed down the sport's growth until the mid 70s, the romantic lifestyle of chasing waves instead of paychecks was firmly engraved into the youthful minds of the world and especially America. If any year could be marked as the beginning of the snowboarding explosion it was 1985. Absolutely Radical, the first exclusive snowboard magazine hit the newsstand behind visi