If you snowboard you know Burton. Founded in 1977 by Jake Burton, the brand has become an empire that has gone global.
From snowboards to boots and snowboard bindings, Burton snowboard bags and other accessories, it covers any rider's needs.
Burton also makes winter apparel such as
snowboard jackets and
snowboard pants, or accessories like snowboard beanies or waterproof burton snowboard gloves.
Burton has achieved what very few brands did, turn some of their products into legends. For two decades, the notorious Burton Custom board has been around and stands as an icon for any rider out there. Burton is also a team of pro riders all having their own skills and shining by their creativity. From legendary Shaun White to amazing Mark McMorris, Burton has conquered all podiums they could possibly step on.
Do you like Burton? Turns out we do too. That's why we dedicated this page to one of the most, if not the most, notorious and respected brand in the entire snowboard industry.
Burton is a story about perseverance. In 1977, canadian Jake Burton Carpenter who was a bartender at the time decides to make his own snowboard manufacture. Snowboarding barely even exists at that time and snowboarders are not very welcome in ski resorts. The challenge was super risky but totally worth it. Nowadays, Burton is a worldwide leader with 30 to 35% of market share.
But snowboards were only a start. The leading manufacturer expands to other equipment with dedicated brands: Anon Optics (snow goggles), R.E.D. Protection (helmets and protectors), Analog Outerwear and Gravis Footwear. In 2005 Burton buys Forum Snowboarding, Jeenyus Snowboards, Foursquare Outerwear and Special Blend Outerwear.
If the brand has acquired a strong know-how in making snowboards, it also offers a full range of snow clothing and accessories. Some of the best riders in the world, including the legend Shaun White, ride Burton products. There's hardly anything else to say to convince you that Burton is a reliable brand that knows how to make great snowboards right?
The story behind Burton Snowboards
The story of Burton Snowboards begins in 1977 with Jake Burton. Back in the day, he was just one of those kids who were fond of snurfing. The Snurfer was created in 1965 by Sherman Poppen and was the predecsessor of the snowboard. Snurf is a mix of snow and surf. The Snurfer was basically a monoski that was shorter and wider than a pair of skis and had no bindings. It glided sideways like a surfboard. Jake Burton spent a few years working on it and trying to improve the way it worked on the snow.
In 1977 he quits his job in Manhattan and leaves for Londondery, Vermont, USA, in order to shape his own boards and start selling them. Burton was convinced that snowboarding would become a big thing, he just didn't know how big it would actually become. He designed his first ever snowboard, the Backhill in his backyard barn. Without knowing it, he had just founded the first snowboard factory in the world, Burton Snowboards.
Quickly, the one-man adventure becomes a real company with 4 or 5 people working for him. The barn, the living room and basically the entire house are used for designing, building and dispatching the snowboards ordered by a few passionate riders around the country who had heard of Burton Snowboards already. When orders tend to slow down, Jake tours the shops around to show and sell his boards.
But snowboarding is a not a very popular sport at that time and it is forbidden in most if not all american ski resorts. Always optimistic, Burton keeps pushing, meets resorts managers and tries to convince them to open their doors to boarders. His first win happens in 1982 in Suicide Six, Vermont. A few more follow, slowly, including Breckenridge and Stratton in 1983.
Now with an access to groomed snow, Burton realizes that his wooden boards are dope on deep powder but they're a nightmare on hard snow. Without metal edges, the boards are out of control. That's how, in 1983, he designed the new Performer snowboard featuring metallic edges and a P Tex base.
At around the same time, Europe starts showing interest for this new sport and Burton opens offices in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1985, with the european market in mind. The next year, Burton snowboards reach Australia and New Zealand. In the meantime, Burton turns the "National Snowboarding Championship" into the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship and transfers the event from Suicide Six to Stratton, where it still plays today. The U.S. OPen is now property of Burton Snowboards.
But it's never enough for the insatiable Jake. He knows that the notoriety of his brand needs a boost and begins sponsoring the best riders in the world like Peter Bauer, Jean Nerva or Craig Kelly. Jointly with them, he designs the first signature boards or pro models: the P.J. and the Craig Kelly’s Mystery Air.
Burton's rolling. Since then, the company has never stopped working on improving its products and making the sport better, safer and more enjoyable to more riders. The brand keeps pushing limits and constantly comes up with innovations and upgrades, helping riders live for their passion. Branches opened everywhere in the world (Japan in 1994 for example) and the biggest names and best riders are still rolling for Burton (Terje Haakonsen, Ross Powers, Shaun White, Nicola Thost, Kelly Clark etc). Burton even launched the "Burton Learn to Ride" program to help people discover the joys of snowboarding with a gear that's adapted for them. There are also a few "Learn to Ride centers" teaching riding courses.
Jake Burton: biography and history
Jake Burton hadn't really planned to become a business man. He was just a kid who received a Snurfer for Christmas, that was it.
But he happened to like the gift, to use it a lot and to find ways to improve it. Burton spends a lot of time refining his Snurfers until he comes up with a real board prototype in 1977 that would mix skate and surf influences according to him.
Founding a company making products for a market that wasn't even existing at the time, that was quite of a challenge. Jake took that decision on the fly, he didn't know much about what was coming.
Since that day, Burton hasn't stopped working for a minute. Passionate about his work, his company and snowboarding, he manages to spend over a 100 days on the slopes a year. He needs this time for testing his products and, as a matter of fact, he loves riding like all of us. And you may think "yeah the boss goes riding while the staff keeps working". Well, that's not quite true. At Burton, when it's been snowing, employees are given a day off to go riding. And as if this wasn't enough, the company is providing them all with a season ski pass for Vermont resorts.
Jake Burton also organises trips with his team riders every year in order to keep sharing important moments with the people who reprensent his brand: Terje, Shaun, etc…
The Burton Team
Since the very beginning, the Burton Team has always been international. From Terje Haakonsen to Shaun White, the "Global Team" incorporates the best riders in the world. Here is an overview of some of the most legendary riders riding for Burton.
Date of birth: Sept. 3, 1986 Lives in: Carlsbad, California (USA) Best results: 13-time winner of the Winter X Games, 2-time winner of the X Games (skate-vert), Winner of the TTR in 2006/2007, 2-time Olympic champion, several-time winner of the main contests (Burton US Open, Burton European Open, World Cup, etc…).
Shaun White is likely to be the most famous rider in the world and Burton knows it. He's been in contract with Burton for over 10 years now, he's the dream mascot the brand has ever wanted. Born in Carlsbad, California, Shaun White began snowboarding to hang around with his brother Jesse. At the age of 4, Shaun was riding the slopes of June Mountain with his family. Jesse and Shaun were like two peas in a pod. When Jesse was out skateboarding, Shaun was right behind him. When Jesse was out riding, Shaun was his wingman. The young White was progressing fast. He was a talented, gifted kid that had riding running in his veins. By the age of 10, he was a better rider than most teenagers.
Quickly afterwards, his name was in everyone's mouth. He was the snowboard kid that blew. He began traveling around the world, often with his mother. He was kid and already a pro rider. He was the youngest rider to shoot video parts. He was in all major competitions and was winning them all. He won the Arctic Challenge at 15yo, the X Games at 17. Since, he's won a countless number of medals and world titles at skateboarding or snowboarding. He even won the gold at Torino and Vancouver Olympics. He is a winning machine that nothing can stop.
Date of birth: Oct. 11, 1974 Lives in: Stovner, Norway Best results: 3-time winner of the US Open, 5-time winner of the European Championship and 3-time World Cup winner. 2nd at the TTR World Championship quarterpipe in Oslo in 2012, and the biggest air!
Seriously, there's no need to list all of his victories, trophies and titles, Terje Haakonsen is a beast who has dominated the world of snowboarding in the 90's, winning all major events. He's more than a rider, he's a star, a legend, the real first talent of this new sport. Any pro rider you interview nowadays will quote Terje as an influence. He's pushed the limits of snowboarding and landed tricks that were thought impossible. He put his soul and his body into the evolution of snowboarding.
Date of birth: Dec. 9, 1993 Lives in: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada Best results: 3-time gold medallist at the Winter X Games Big Air, 3-time gold medallist at the Winter X Games Slopestyle, gold medallist at the 2018 US Open Championship in Slopestyle.
Mark McMorris, along with Seb Toots and Charles Reid, belongs to this young army of talented canadian riders who rock at big air and slopestyle events. Mark McMorris still looks like a teenager, he's shy, he's nice, but he also landed the first-ever 1440 in the entire snowboard history. Technical, precise, bold, he spends his time training for contests and practicing new tricks on kickers that are bigger than your house. Since slopestyle has become an olympic event, he works even harder. Mark McMorris is famous for his style and fluidity. You'll rarely see a rider performing tricks like he does.
Date of birth: June 22, 1988 Lives in: Higland, Michigan, USA Best results: SuperPipe Gold Medallist at the 2014 Winter X Games, Slopestyle winner of the 2009 Burton European Open, several victories at the Dew Tour.
Danny is a versatile rider with an aggressive style. Skilled in the pipe, Danny Davis is one of the few that can actually challenge Shaun White. The commitment of Davis has often led him to the hospital bed. Always pushing hard, he's spent quite some time recovering from various injuries but hey, that's the key to success.
Date of birth: July 26, 1983 Lives in: West Dover, Vermont, USA Best results: 15 medals at the half-pipe event of the X Games (9 were gold), winner of the TTR 2008/09, several victories of the Dew Tour, Gold medal at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Kelly Clark is one of the most award-winning women riders in the world. Dominating the snowboard scene for over 10 years, she's also one of the most consistent one. She won all major events including Winter X Games, TTR, Olympics. Kelly Clark is a competitor and a technical and committed pipe rider. She keeps working on her technique and her progression seems endless. Winning all major contests, the only riders able to frighten her domination are Torah Bright and Gretchen Bleiler.