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The world crashed when the news of a pioneer, Jake Burton Carpenter came out. He passed away at the age of 65 on November 20, 2019. The godfather of snowboarding who got the sport for all the snowboarders into the Olympic Games battled with cancer and finally breathed his last.
He is definitely the soul who gave us a snowboard brand that we could rely on for years and decades to come.
Jake Burton Carpenter AKA Jake Burton is the founder of ‘Burton Snowboards’ who invented his company in Vermont, 1977. He had quit his job in New York and started his brand in the garage with just one goal - to bring snowboarding into the limelight.
He was a man of his hard work, who skyrocketed his company, not just into the snowboarding industry but also made people realize their passion. It's been more than 20 years now since he found his company and ever since his debut at the Winter Olympics, the company continued to be a part of many championships.
"I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then," Carpenter told a press in 2010. "We're doing something that's going to last here. It's not like just hitting the lottery one day."
One of the reports also said that he's the cool dad of the sport as quoted by the Olympic snowboarder, Shaun White.
Carpenter built a legacy and took the sport to a level that transformed snowboarding as a hobby into something more meaningful. He learned the art of skiing, surfing, and snurfing and began making the best of snowboarding items.
Back then, the sport was not so popular but Mr. Burton analyzed the market gap and delved right into it.
During this journey, he fell a couple of times in the first year of his company's launch but he was able to cope up and success did come with time. His sales doubled up in two years and Burton's snowboards became the highest selling item in the industry.
As a sport that was once understated was now bigger than the word. The gusto of being a part of the Olympics and that impulse made him one of the finest snowboard makers in the world.
Not only did Burton make a mark as the god of snowboarders but he was also a low-key designer, providing his team with the most comfortable uniforms. The uniforms encapsulated American influence, with blue jeans, flannel shirts, caps, snowboard boots, and bindings, all in a theme that's synonymous with snowboarding.
The industry of snowboarding after several years did garner all the attention, all thanks to Carpenters' hard work that snowboarding became a serious sport. He was a man of his words and when it came to maintaining decorum at his workplace, you would call him the 'chill guy'.
Burton as a company had a healthy and active lifestyle that let the employees have flexible working hours and they could even bring their dogs at work. The staff earned the liberty to dress as they like as for Jake only work mattered and not the clothes they wore.
His health issues triggered as he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in the year 2011. A few years later, he was paralyzed with Miller Fisher Syndrome for which he was kept under intensive care.
As time passed, he recovered and was right back on his feet and continued to work with his wife Donna Carpenter and John Lacy who are the Chief executives at Burton Snowboards.
During his last days, he mailed his employees and said “You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back,” Donna, his wife, motivated the staff and asked them to do what Jake would have loved to see, snowboard. “It’s opening day at Stowe, so consider taking some turns together, in celebration of Jake,” the company said.
So now, as we slope down the mountains, standing on that snowboard, we would be stoked and filled with love for Jake who has won millions of hearts with his vision and passion. Hats off, Mr. Button!