Dear Rider, an inspiring feature documentary from Red Bull Media House, is a celebration of the life and vision of Jake Burton Carpenter (1954-2019), the pioneer who propelled the sport of snowboarding into a global and cultural phenomenon.
Inspired by the “Snurfer,” a surfboard-styled strip of wood, Jake created his first snowboard in 1977 as an inexpensive alternative to skiing. From there, he developed increasingly versatile boards, lobbied ski resorts to allow snowboarding, sponsored world-class athletes, fended off rival companies, and navigated the cultural backlash of what media outlets called the “Worst New Sport.” By the late-90s, Jake's vision catapulted the punk-infused culture of snowboarding into the mainstream—and, ultimately, onto the world stage of the Olympics.
But as Jake and Burton thrived in the new century, he battled two very serious health problems: Miller Fisher Syndrome, a rare nerve disorder, as well as cancer, which ultimately claimed his life in 2019.
Culminating in the 2020 Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, the first Burton event following Jake’s passing, Dear Rider is a vivid illustration of how one person’s dreams, coupled with tenacity and grit, can literally change the world.
Thank You, Jake
Jake founded Burton Snowboards out of a Vermont barn in 1977 and dedicated the rest of his life to snowboarding. His legacy lives on through each and every one of us.