Jake Burton Carpenter, snowboarding pioneer and founder of Burton Snowboards, dead at 65
Carpenter changed was a snowboarding visionary
Jake Burton Carpenter, snowboarding trailblazer and founder of Burton snowboards, died on Wednesday night of complications from a testicular cancer relapse, according to the Associated Press. He was 65.
The CEO of Burton, John Lacy, along with Burton's wife Donna Carpenter, sent an email to his staff, AP reported. He referred to Carpenter as "the soul of snowboarding" and added that he was, "the one who gave us the sport we love so much."
Carpenter is not credited with inventing the sport of snowboarding. That goes to Sherman Poppen, who tied together skis and called the apparatus a "Snurfer." But Carpenter did help make it more of a mainstream sport. At 23, he quit his job and moved back to snowy Vermont in hopes to fulfill his vision of what snowboarding could become.
In 2010 Burton spoke with The Associated Press about what his thought process around the sport was.
"I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then," he said.
Snowboarding was not immediately accepted and many did not want them sharing slopes with skis. Of course, these days snowboarding is as big of a winter sports as there is. The Olympics added snowboarding in 1998 hoping to attract younger viewers. Now it is a staple in the games. Stars like Shaun White and Chloe Kim, two of the most recognizable names in the sports, have both been sponsored by Burton
Burton's name is also linked to the Burton U.S. Open, which is held every winter and is a major event for snowboarders.
He said he never imagined some of the things that came as a result of him trying to fulfill his vision, like halfpipes and parks, but that he always was out to make something that would stick.
"We're doing something that's going to last here. It's not like just hitting the lottery one day," he told the AP.
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