The Godfather of Snowboarding, Jake Burton, Passes Away at 65


Photo: ALDEN PELLETT/AP/Shutterstock

The Founder of Burton Snowboards had (as recently as 12 days ago) revealed the extent of his illness to his staff.

Most anyone who follows skiing and snowboarding knows the name “Burton”. By all accounts he was a great guy, great family man and about as charismatic as they come. A company spokesman revealed that he passed away Wednesday evening at the age of 65.  John Lacy, Burton’s co-chief executive officer, wrote: “It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news that Jake passed away peacefully last night surrounded by his family and loved ones as a result of complications from recurring cancer. He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much.”

Lacy, in true Jake Burton Carpenter fashion, actually shared the news with their staff and told them all to go home if needed to grieve, and also suggested, “As a start of our celebration of Jake’s life, I’d encourage everyone to do what Jake would be doing tomorrow, and that’s riding. It’s opening day at Stowe, so consider taking some turns together, in celebration of Jake.”

Just three weeks ago he had revealed he was fighting cancer again and he assured all employees that the company would carry on as usual.

When revealing is new battle with cancer, Carpenter shared, “You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back. It’s the same tumor as the first time around. We just never got rid of it all. A bit of it hung out in my lymph nodes and got back into business. The odds are in my favor, but it is going to be a struggle for sure.”

He continued, “As much as I dread what is facing me, it’s easier to deal with when you know that you have a family that will carry on. I feel the same way about my company, my friends and our sport. I will be back, but regardless, everything is in good hands, which is an amazing feeling when entering this zone of uncertainty.” He signed the e-mail simply “Jake.”

Carpenter had faced several serious medical battles in the past, including cancer, Miller Fisher syndrome, open-heart surgery and a knee replacement.

Carpenter is survived by his wife as well as his sons Timi, George and Taylor.

He will be missed.

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