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4. The Burton vs Sims War Begins

A look at some of the key moments that have shaped snowboarding into what it is today

17:00 1st November 2013 by Sam Oetiker
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1978

jake burtonEnter Jake Burton and Tom Sims. Chances are that if you know anything about how the modern day snowboard came to be, these two dashing chaps would be right up there.

Both were heavily into Snurfing (is it just me or does anyone else think of little blue people when they read that word?), with Jake moving to Vermont in 1977 to start flogging a Snurfer knockoff with rudimentary bindings that he called a Burton Board. Over on the West coast, skateboard legend Tom Sims also started selling the first Sims boards.

What unfolded over the following years was a fierce arms race that involved plenty of technical innovation, creative marketing, rider poaching and petty bickering.

While Sims and his company remained highly influential into the early 1990s, it was Burton, run by a more focused and business-savvy CEO, who ultimately finished up on top by the mid 1990s.

  1. Keith

    i feel like halldor should be on this list somewhere…

  2. Oscar

    Yeah, maybe in ten years.

  3. Teo

    I was there in -96 and I’m still snowboarding every weekend in the winters.i

  4. Brandon

    JP did the first double cork. Should probably mention his and Jeremy’s influence as well as Love/Hate’s obvious influence. And Scott E Wittlake

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