Jake Burton Carpenter
Jake Burton Carpenter (born April 29, 1954 in New York City), also known as Jake Burton, is an American snowboarder and founder of Burton Snowboards and one of the inventors of the modern day snowboard. He grew up in Cedarhurst, New York.
Carpenter's high school education began in Brooks School North Andover, Massachusetts. After graduating from The Marvelwood School, at that time in Cornwall, Connecticut, he enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder. An avid skier, Carpenter hoped to join the university's ski team; however, his competitive skiing career ended in a car accident. After several years away from college, he resumed his studies at New York University, graduating with a degree in economics.
After college, Carpenter's interests returned to the slopes. Working from a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he improved on the Snurfer, a basic toy snowboard which featured a rope to allow the rider some basic control over the board. By the late-1970s, he joined a small cadre of manufacturers who had begun selling snowboards with design features such as a bentwood laminate core and a rigid binding which held the board firmly to the wearer's boot. Burton is credited with developing the economic ecosystem around snowboarding as a lifestyle, sport, and culture, in addition to premier board manufacturer. Burton has been one of the world's largest snowboard and snowboarding-equipment manufacturers since the late 1980s.
Carpenter's wife, Donna, serves as CEO. Carpenter sees value in having women in positions of authority and leadership within the privately held company.
Carpenter currently resides in Stowe, Vermont, where he lives with his wife, Donna and his son, Timi. Carpenter also has two other sons, George and Taylor.
Burton Carpenter is a member of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame. Carpenter survived several health scares over the past few years: knee injuries, testicular cancer, and, notably, the Miller Fisher variant of Guillain–Barré syndrome, a rare and serious neurological disorder.
- Helmich, Portland. " Chairman of the Board", Business People Vermont, August 8, 2000. Accessed December 11, 2007. "Burton has always had a passion for sports, but concedes he was more of a "wanna-be" sportsman than a real athlete while growing up as the youngest of four children in Cedarhurst, N.Y."
- Chamberlain, Tony. "CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD BURTON'S INNOVATION HAS FOSTERED A SNOWBOUND SENSATION", The Boston Globe, December 18, 1997.
- Interview: How I Built This (audio)