Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles [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, and selling themselves to everybody. That's not what people want to see. And that's kind of good. There is this sort of sense of couth that's associated with-- I think all board sports-- that we don't want to lose. And I think that might keep things down a little bit smaller, but I think it's where we all want to live in. We don't want to live in that kind of world.