VERMONT SPORTS HALL OF FAME

Photo Credit: Jeff Curtes
Photo Credit: Jeff Curtes
Jake Burton Carpenter

Builder/Innovator
Londonderry
Inducted 2012

Perhaps no Vermonter has had a greater impact on the development of a sport over the last 30-plus years than Jake Burton Carpenter, who started Burton Snowboards in Londonderry in 1977, building most of Burton's first snowboards by hand. 

In addition to developing his product, Burton Carpenter had the vision to expand the sport of snowboarding around the U.S. and the world bringing snowboarding from its backyard roots to the global stage. His business has grown from his barn to a successful worldwide corporation while continuing to enhance the sport to exponential levels. Snowboarding secured its place in the pantheon of sport in 1988 when it became a Winter Olympics sport. 

He was part of the first snowboard competition in 1981 and he championed the sport by campaigning to have ski areas open their lifts and trails to snowboarders. Burton Carpenter helped organize the first U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship in 1982 at the Suicide Six ski area. The popular event would be held in Vermont for the next 30 years.

In 1999, Sports Illustrated magazine ranked Burton Carpenter in its list of the Top 50 Vermont Sports Figures of the 20th Century. 

Along with his wife, Donna, he was inducted into the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2010. Earlier in 2012, they were inducted into the Vermont Skiing Hall of Fame. 

Today, Burton Carpenter still leads the day-to-day workings of the world's most successful snowboard company, testing nearly every product Burton makes and taking rider feedback to heart. He still can be found at Stowe almost every day it's open (and plenty of days it's not) hiking for early and late season runs. And he still makes many of the company's biggest decisions from a chairlift, not a desk.


Vermont Life Magazine

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