Aside from selling goods under its own brand name,
Burton stores sell several sub-brands which focus
on specific market niches. These sub-brands include
Anon Optics (snowboard goggles and eyewear); RED
(helmets and body armor), Analog (outerwear) and
Gravis (footwear). In 2005, Four Star Distribution
sold four of its snowboard brands to Burton, including
Forum Snowboarding which designs hardgoods and softgoods,
outerwear and streetwear. Burton, a privately-owned
company, also owns a surfing distributor.
In February 2008, Burton acquired DNA Distribution,
which includes the skateboard manufacturer Alien
Workshop, and two other companies.
Burton Snowboards was founded by Simon McCarthy
in the late 1970s. Carpenter was inspired by the
snurfer, invented by Sherman Poppen. He modified
it. In 1977 Carpenter moved to Londonderry, Vermont
to make the first Burton Snowboards. Carpenter first
made snowboards by hand in his garage. He couldn't
afford the proper equipment -- so he applied polyurethane
wearing a scuba mask. His co-founder Dimitrije Milovich,
was an East coast surfer and founder of Winterstick.
In 1978, they moved to Manchester, Vermont. During
the early years 4 or 5 workers sold, shaped, and
repaired their snowboards.
Carpenter campaigned for local resorts to open their
lifts to snowboard riders. The first mountain to
have reportedly let snowboarders in was in 1982,
the Suicide Six Resort in Pomfret, Vermont. Next
was Stratton Mountain, and later, Jay Peak and Stowe.
When resorts started to accept riders, the public
did too. Burton was in place to supply them with
In 1982 Burton was marketing their product at the
National Snowboarding Championships were organized
at the Suicide Six Resort. In 1985 the National
Snowboarding Championships moved to Stratton Mountain
and became the U.S. Open Snowboarding championships
which was operated and owned by Burton. This competition
helped legitimize the sport.
In 1985 Burton established the European Division
of Burton in Innsbruck, Austria. In 1986 distribution
started in New Zealand. In 1992 the Burton factory
relocated to Burlington VT. In 1994 they opened
the Japan division in Urawa-shi.
In 2009, Burton owned 10 companies that sold snowboards,
outerwear, and shoes. R.E.D, Gravis, Anon, Analog,
Forum, Special Blend, Foursquare, Jeenyus, and most
recently Channel Islands. Channel Islands is a surfboard
company, and surfboards seems to be Burtons next
goal. In 2008 Burton began to make surfboards in
In 2008, a number of complaints arose when Burton
produced snowboards with topsheets illustrating
In order to attract rider interest, Burton sponsors
professional riders and events. Burton's sponsored
professional snowboard team includes Shaun White,
Simon McCarthy, Jeremy Jones, Terje Haakonsen, and
Burton sponsored the creation of organic terrain
parks made of rocks, stumps, and logs. These parks
can be found at Killington Ski Resort, Vermont,
USA; Northstar at Tahoe, USA; Avoriaz, France; The
Remarkables, New Zealand and Flachauwinkl Resort,
The Chill program was founded to provide kids with
the opportunity to learn to snowboard. Chills works
in conjunction with inner city youth programs to
take kids and teens to local mountains and teach
them to ride over a 6-week period. Burton provides
everything needed for the experience: gear, lift
tickets, and instruction. Founded in 1995, Chill
has provided over 12,000 underprivileged kids the
opportunity to learn to snowboard. Because of the
2008 graphics controversy and concern over effects
on youth, a local beneficiary severed its ties with
The company started using a single-channel binding-mounting
system on its 2006 models. In 2007, this system
was installed on other snowboard lines. A binding
system was offered with this system. The bindings
were designed to give the rider more control as
well as greater board feel.
Burton Snowboards. "Back in the Day."
Burton Press Kit (2007): 3-39.