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Downhill All the Way
 

How Jake Burton went from teen snowboarder to snowboarding mogul.
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  • 1968
    Fourteen-year-old Jake Burton Carpenter falls in love with Sherman Poppen's Snurfer, the precursor to the modern snowboard. He breaks a finger riding one.
  • 1976
    As a senior at New York University, Burton becomes an assistant to Victor Niederhoffer, a hedge fund manager who sells privately owned companies to big corporations. He hates it but is inspired to start a business. Niederhoffer gives Burton money to help.
  • 1977
    Burton builds his first boards. None sell.
  • 1979
    Burton sells his 700th snowboard. He's $100,000 in the hole, but on the plus side he wins the World Snurfing Championship.
  • 1982
    Jake meets his future wife while making a snowboard.
  • 1984
    Burton has its first million-dollar year.
  • 1988
    A million Americans now snowboard.
  • 1994
    Sherman Poppen, quoted in the online zine Flakezine: "I'm probably ahead of what Jake's ever going to make on the boards....He's got some heavy competition now. Whoa, I wouldn't want to be in that business now."

    Jake Burton collides with a skier and breaks a leg.
  • 1996
    Burton launches R.E.D. helmets, revolutionizing snowboard accessorizing.
  • 1998
    Snowboarding becomes an Olympic sport.
  • 2001
    Snowboarding now has 5.3 million riders.
  • 2002
    Seven million snowboarders. Burton's sales clear $100 million.
  • 2003
    Burton launches Analog Streetwear, its first casual apparel line.
  • 2006
    Burton is the official outerwear for the U.S. Olympic team, and five Burton riders qualify for the team in the marquee half-pipe event.
Last updated: Mar 1, 2006




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