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  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • TODD KOHLMAN: That's one of the first early Burton signs

  • that was on the Manchester buildings.

  • It's based off a shot, an actual shot, of Jake from the

  • '82 catalog.

  • So here's a timeline on our history here at Burton.

  • As you know, it started in 1977.

  • Great early shot of Jake here slashing some powder turns on

  • a BB1 back [INAUDIBLE].

  • Here, another great shot of Jake getting some air--

  • '78.

  • Another one of Jake.

  • JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: When I started the company in '77,

  • when I moved out of New York City and came up here, I

  • tooled up this factory--

  • I had a good friend and two relatives.

  • And we got to where we could make 50 boards a day and that

  • was our objective.

  • And that wasn't easy.

  • It was tough, but we figured it out.

  • TODD KOHLMAN: Jake here in '81, carving some boards--

  • shaping, I should say.

  • And Jake made 100 different prototypes.

  • It's amazing to think of his passion before even coming up

  • with the final product to make 100 different ones.

  • This is one of Jake's first prototypes, and its

  • interesting that it's made of fiberglass.

  • And he said it worked great in powder, but he did say if you

  • come across a rock, it just blew the thing up.

  • JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: So the second year, we had already

  • basically made enough boards.

  • They were sort of pre-done, and just had to be assembled.

  • But nobody wanted them.

  • So I went from myself plus three full time employees, to

  • basically myself plus one or two high school kids working a

  • little bit after school.

  • So in other words, I had these sort of bigger expectations,

  • and then it just want way down in terms of the whole scale of

  • the company and the scale of my expectations

  • and everything else.

  • That's probably what I'm proudest of, looking back on

  • everything, is just having the perseverance to get through

  • the whole thing.

  • TODD KOHLMAN: In '81, actually there was a

  • change in the shape.

  • They went from the narrow, maybe Snurfer type, to this

  • wide shape.

  • It just changed the game--

  • better float in the powder, and just a better ride.

  • JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: Those boards were barely ride-able.

  • But as a kid, I get a Snurfer, which is a toy-like version of

  • a snowboarder.

  • It was much much less expensive.

  • But it was fun.

  • There was no doubt about it, and that's I

  • pursued it with my life.

  • And so I think once we get boards out there, we got them

  • to the right people and found the right ways to advertise

  • them, that's when it just started to go.

  • I mean, I think people just had fun on them.

  • DONNA CARPENTER: I met him at a bar on New Year's Eve.

  • I was up skiing at Stratton--

  • so this is like 1981.

  • I was living in New York.

  • He said his name is Jake, and he made snowboards, and nobody

  • had ever heard of snowboarding.

  • And I said, whatever, I'm way too sophisticated.

  • The first date we had that night I said,

  • well let's try it.

  • And it was just a wooden board with a rope and a water-ski

  • binding in the front, and a strap in the back, and we wore

  • high top sneakers.

  • And I never thought I'd leave New York for that, but I did.

  • TODD KOHLMAN: You put one of these on there, that would

  • help you keep the nose up in powder.

  • And notice, like I mentioned before, the front binding is

  • more like--

  • it reminds me of water-ski type bonding.

  • And then back here, is just like a strap that would go

  • over your toes.

  • And this is a BB1.

  • And then the BB2 is a back-hill, so it just

  • basically was this without the bondings.

  • The super big change in '84--

  • right in this area here, then from here, we started doing

  • P-Techs and metal edges.

  • And so this Performer Elite was pretty breakthrough--

  • '85.

  • Originally, I think Jake started off riding in the

  • backyard and stuff.

  • I think it's just amazing how far it's come from those days.

  • PAT BRIDGES: Skiing and snowboarding in the '80s was a

  • scary place.

  • Lawyers ruled the day.

  • Introducing something new to that environment was not

  • welcome, and he took it upon himself as a challenge, and he

  • literally did the leg-work--

  • went door to door and sold our sport.

  • Other people did too.

  • I just don't think they did it to his extent.

  • Granted, you could question the motivation, be like yeah,

  • he's motivated by money, wants to spread a sport.

  • Well regardless of his motivations, 20 years later

  • there's 10 million snowboarders in the United

  • States who reap the benefits of that.

  • JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: We didn't get on Stratton until

  • '84, so I look back and it's like, what the hell were we

  • doing those first seven years?

  • But we were hiking hills, riding and stuff.

  • So it took awhile before we got on the resorts.

  • And that was clearly a huge move in terms of growing the

  • whole thing and making it bigger.

  • But it took a long time just to get there.

  • DONNA CARPENTER: It was very intense in the beginning.

  • It was sort of 24/7.

  • You never got away from it.

  • It's not like you go home from the office, and

  • the problems go away.

  • But there was never a time when we would have really

  • given it up.

  • I think we were just passionate about the sport.

  • I think that we wanted to see the sport grow.

  • We wanted to see more ski areas accept it, then we

  • wanted to see it grow in Europe, and then we wanted to

  • see it grow in Asia.

  • And now we're committed to seeing the

  • women's market grow.

  • So there was always a challenge ahead that had to do

  • with getting more people into the sport, which is what keeps

  • us going I guess.

  • JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: And there's Brush, Andy Coghlan,

  • Neil Khan, and I think that's Johan right there.

  • And there's Ossie Loftus right there.

  • There's a classic Craig shot.

  • That was a great era.

  • That was in Europe, and the O'Neill outerwear thing was

  • going off, and the colors were just pretty fluorescent.

  • TREVOR ANDREW: Jake is the man.

  • He's one of the realest people.

  • The riders, to him, he's always just

  • considered them family.

  • And since day one, he's not the typical owner of a huge

  • company like that, that you would expect.

  • He totally is like riding with you and just as stoked as

  • everybody else about it.

  • He's not all business.

  • He totally loves snowboarding, and loves the team.

  • And that's just his thing.

  • He's just so into it, and I guess that's what's brought

  • him so much success, just because he has genuine love

  • for the sport.

  • He's one of the pioneers.

  • JEREMY JONES: His office too is sick.

  • You walk and it's just couches--

  • full chill, like hippie.

  • It's dope.

  • You walk in, and you're like, this is your office dude?

  • You make how much money a year?

  • This is sweet.

  • Jump on the couch--

  • it's all cushy and big and throw your

  • feet up on the table.

  • He's doing the same.

  • It's pretty sick--

  • pretty sick that he's the one that started it all.

  • JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: I think resisting the

  • temptation to sell out--

  • or whatever, or go public, or cash out, or whatever--

  • is probably the best thing that we've done.

  • If I were to point to one thing, I

  • think it would be that.

  • KEIR DILLON: And you hear it all the time, Burton's

  • corporate, and it's crazy to think that you're going to

  • call the person that helped pioneer the sport, fought to

  • get it in the mountains, made the R&D, invested so much

  • money to bring it to where it is, you're going

  • to call them corporate.

  • It's like the best case scenario on the planet.

  • The dude that pretty much invented the sport--

  • yeah, he's the corporate guy.

  • It means he handled it.

  • And you have a dude that cares that much about snowboarding

  • dictating where it goes.

  • JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: We haven't remotely come close to

  • selling out.

  • We're not public.

  • We're privately held.

  • My family-- we own the whole deal.

  • But we are big, and we are successful.

  • And being big, there's certain limitations to that.

  • But we try to move as quickly as we can.

  • We try to create fresh stuff and always have part of what

  • we're doing be very forward thinking.

  • But at the same time, have the engineering backbone and

  • functionality stuff that we have so down.

  • HANNAH TETER: He just wants the best product, and that's

  • we all want.

  • That's why Burton is the rider-driven company--

  • because they're all about input from us.

  • They want it to look good, but they want it to

  • function more so.

  • At first I was like, wow, he's the boss.

  • But he's just like a friend.

  • He's just chill and a down to Earth guy.

  • It's nice to have a boss like that.

  • Not many people get nice bosses, but we do.

  • NILS MINDICH: Being the first person we met from the family

  • of the Carpenters was Taylor.

  • He was about his age in school.

  • HANS MINDICH: His son, Taylor, was pretty much him, Taylor,

  • and then two other kids that live near Jake's house--

  • they're my three first friends basically.

  • And so my first sleepover was actually at

  • Jake's house, for one.

  • So it's kind of like, I've known him

  • as a friend's father.

  • NILS MINDICH: It's ironic.

  • SHAUN WHITE: I don't know, I've never really felt like he

  • was a boss ever.

  • It's been one of those things where he's just like--

  • I don't know if you've met him or not-- but he's like this

  • really mellow, fun guy.

  • I think the first thing when we were hanging out, he made

  • some joke about what some woman was wearing.

  • And I was so blown away by it.

  • It caught me so off guard, I'm like this guy rules.

  • He's all time.

  • YALE COUSINO: I've rode with him a few times at Stowe.

  • It was a storm.

  • There was like two feet of fresh snow, so it was pretty

  • cool to ride powder with him.

  • He shreds.

  • For sure, he's good.

  • He's real good.

  • NICHOLAS MULLER: Who doesn't dream to ride for Burton?

  • And he starts to ride, and it's the best company out

  • there for the products, but even more for the team.

  • I mean, all the idols that were there.

  • Johan, [INAUDIBLE], and Terry.

  • What makes the brand?

  • You know, the team.

  • JAKE BURTON CARPENTER: I hope snowboarding keeps going and

  • that the riders continue to make more dough.

  • It's weird in this country.

  • Sports that people participate in isn't necessarily where all

  • the money is.

  • Nobody's stopping snowboarders from looking like NASCAR

  • drivers, and putting patches all over them,