[Mikkel Bang goes back to the future.]
As you flip the calendar over to 2017, Burton Snowboards will be able to say that they’ve been making snowboarding hardware for 40 years. Think about that: it’s pretty much longer than most people reading this have been alive for. Everything started four decades ago in 1977, when a young East Coast kid named Jake Burton Carpenter saw a Snurfer, decided he could improve upon it and set about hand-making his own ‘snow surfers’ in his garage that he would try to sell to an initially sceptical public and an even more sceptical collection of ski resorts.
To simply say he succeeded wouldn’t do the story justice – convincing resorts to allow snowboarding, coping with supply and demand, feuds with other pioneers and a whole bunch of legal wranglings are part of a tapestry of the brand (and snowboarding itself) that would require a book to do justice to – but succeed he did and in the process he helped shape the sport and the lifestyle that has become to be known as snowboarding.
But as much as 2017 is about looking backwards and celebrating the brand’s heritage, Burton is even more focussed on taking everything that they have learned over the double-double decade since Jake carved out that first Backhill, and using it to continue moving forwards with the development of some impressive, innovative hard- and softgoods technologies.
Burton’s approach this season can be summed up into three areas of focus: continuing to innovate hardware, committing more deeply to sustainability, and focussing more intently on female riders than ever before.
We dove in close up for a look at how these impact a selection of Burton’s key models for 2017. Cheers, and here’s to another 40…