Looking Back with Burton on 40 Years Forward
Looking Back with Burton on 40 Years Forward

Looking Back with Burton on 40 Years Forward

Last January, Burton unveiled plans for their 2016/17 seasonal campaign to evo and its other dealers. The tagline “40 Years Forward” calls attention to Burton celebrating their 40th anniversary of advancing snowboarding while reflecting on the roots that got them there. A small handful of snowboard brands have such a history significance and arguably none have as thorough of a historical archive. Flash forward to October, when after months of planning, Burton and evo were able to highlight a collection of these archival products in evo’s Seattle and Portland store galleries.

The exhibits were curated by Burton’s Archivist Todd Kohlman. The lanky, unshaven, snowboarding encyclopedia dictionary affectionately know as “TK”, dug deep into the history books of Burton pulling between 60 and 70 iconic and symbolic pieces covering all sorts of hardgoods, softgoods and pieces of art, photos and concept drawings for each show. From the engineering drawings of the first binding (which was literally a strap) to the fax correspondence between Craig Kelly and Burton’s head graphic designer at the time regarding the illustrations which Craig wanted on his Kelly Air and Kelly Slopestyle boards. It is wild to see so many relics of snowboard history on display all in one place. From Jake’s first proto and notebook sketches to the Mystery Air, the Brushie Trout, Haakon Air, Craig’s proto splits and Terje’s Stellar (a board released only in Japan) all the pieces on display play a critical roll in snowboarding’s history and are on display in one of the two exhibits.

With big draws in both stores, the events were platforms to raise money for The Chill Foundation, a youth development program started by Jake and Donna Carpenter whose mission is to teach life skills and increase self-esteem to under-served youth through boardsports. Each store received fifty Burton Throwback boards to give away as gifts to those who donated $50 or more to Chill. Made at Craig’s, the in-house prototyping and special one-off facility in Burlington, VT, these limited edition boards were clean with no finished graphic but rather had the same tagline “40 Years Forward” and additionally “Made at Craig’s” etched into the wood.. A large portion were claimed though an advanced online donation link but evo made sure to keep some for the door. The few that remained went quickly, last no more than 15 minutes. Burton set up a customization station for the Throwback boards, complete with stencils, stickers and spray paint at each store. In Portland it seemed most donors held onto their boards for collection purposes while Seattle got creative and spent the later hours of the evening under the lights in our parking lot customizing boards well after the store and gallery closed.

Collectively the two events raised over $5500 for The Chill Foundation which will be put towards their Seattle and Portland chapters. Huge Thanks to Sizzle Pie and Pabst Blue Ribbon for keeping gusts hunger down and thirst quenched. If you missed opening night, the Burton Snowboards 40 Years Forward archival galleries will be on display in Seattle and Portland thru Nov 30th.


  • 5507 The number of dollars raised for The Chill Foundation to assist with program goals and provide access to boardsports for under-served youth
  • 1977 The year Burton Snowboards begin in Southern Vermont
  • 696 Tall boys of Pabst Blue Ribbon consumed, that’s 11136 ounces if you’re counting
  • 640 slices of Sizzle Pie consumed (that’s 40 pieces double cut)
  • 350 The approximate number of attendees of Seattle and Portland opening nights combined
  • 101 The number of Burton Throwbacks given away to attendees who donated $50 or more.
  • 22 The number Throwback boards that were customized and became one of a kind
  • 6 The total number of Sizzle Pie locations in Portland, Seattle and Eugene (Brooklyn, NY location coming soon)