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Fire at Iconic Vermont Hut Linked to Burton Family

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We posted a report of this on Facebook when it broke a couple days ago, but since we’re getting inundated with email links about it we’ve added it here on the site as well.

Back in December the iconic “Stone Hut,” a warming hut atop Vermont’s highest peak, was destroyed by a Christmas Eve fire. At first officials told locals it had been unoccupied. Some locals even eluding to a cover up.

“So the Stone Hut burned down in December and everyone was so bummed.  When it was originally reported here on the news it was reported that it was ‘Empty, and nobody had it reserved for the night,’ which seemed totally odd because there’s a waiting list like 500 people deep for the Hut every night through the Winter” said a reader in the Stowe area.

This week, more info came to light from various Stowe area news outlets, including this story in the Stowe Reporter, and it seems Vermont’s first family of snowboarding was involved. According to reports, fundraising, insurance, and state money will be used to repair the hut.

According to police, George Carpenter waited two days after the fire to call an arson tip line and take responsibility, telling investigators he waited until after the holiday because he didn’t think anyone would be working on Christmas.

Snyder said no one from the Carpenter family has reached out to him, either.

“I’ve heard nothing from the family. Not one peep in any way, unofficially or through official channels,” Snyder said.

No word on if the Kardashians were there.
Go check out the Stow Reporter story on the fire here. More can be found on WCAX’s site here.

Burton Presents 2016 – Mikkel Bang and Mikey Rencz

Don’t know what you guys are talking about, Burton is still totally a snowboard company!

Burton Presents 2016 THE TEASER

There’s been a lot of talk about cuts at Burton recently, but if you were wondering who survived, wonder no longer! The official teaser for Burton’s 2016 mega marketing campaign is here and looks like there are five parts to come- shared sections with Zak Hale & Ethan Deiss, Mikkel Bang & Mikey Rencz, and full parts from Ben Ferguson, Danny Davis, and Mark McMorris. Get hyped?

Donna and Jake Respond to the “Anonymous Letter”


We’ve been fielding a lot of questions regarding the letter posted earlier this week. We still don’t know who wrote it, and we don’t care, but this morning we (anonymously) received the following letter written by Jake and Donna Carpenter, which was sent to all Burton Employees & Global Reps. Given the incredible response on this site and our social media, we’ve also decided to post it in its entirety.

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The anonymous letter published earlier this week at Yobeat got at least one thing right: there are two names more responsible than anyone for Burton’s decisions and results: Jake and Donna Carpenter.

We’ve never paid much attention to people throwing rocks from the sidelines. But this letter demands a response. It’s mean-spirited, it’s cowardly, and it’s wrong. The writer wants to scapegoat others for the decisions we are making as Burton’s owners. That’s not something we’re going to let stand.

So, let us be clear. It’s our name that goes on the boards and the bank loans. We sign off on the budgets and we pay out the bonuses. And when Burton sponsors an event, builds a new collaboration, or launches an employee survey, we—Jake and Donna—are deeply involved in the decisions and fully accountable to the results. We are not absentee owners.

Burton is no longer just a small, core snowboarding company and some people don’t like that. Fine. But don’t question our commitment to the sport we love. No one does more for snowboarding than Burton. No one sponsors more riders, hosts more events and competitions, or invests more in product innovation. No one welcomes more riders into the sport. No one else was there when we were fighting to get snowboarders access to the mountain in the first place.

So we think we’ve earned the right to expand Burton’s reach. We’ve built a relationship with our customers that goes beyond the mountain. We’ve designed product with quality that stands up to anything you can buy from much larger competitors, and style that could only be Burton.

We’ve done that under the leadership of an extraordinary senior team. That team has never been stronger or more aligned. Each and every one of these individuals are skilled, creative and committed to Burton’s success.

This has been a tough year for us with Jake’s illness, and honestly the last thing we needed right now was this cowardly, bullshit letter. But our leadership team—and all of you—have been incredible. We have felt your love and support, and we’ve been blown away by your work. This community means it when we say “We ride together.”

The internet can be a toxic place full of rumors and anonymous trolls. Don’t confuse their rants with facts. And don’t lose sight of this: It’s a good time to be at Burton. We are so excited about the future, about our direction, and about this great team. The rest is noise.

Jake and Donna

If you missed the original letter, read it here. 

 

An Open Letter to Jake and Donna Burton Carpenter

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The following letter arrived at the Yobeat Home Offices today. It was sent anonymously, and from the postage mark appears to be mailed from Portland, Oregon and not Burlington, Vermont. Regardless, it has no shortage of valid points, so we’ve decided to publish it in full. Since half of Portland is ex-Burton staff, it’s not a surprising origin, however we personally have no idea who wrote it. The transcribed version includes a few grammatical tweaks, but is basically the same as the below image.

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Dear Jake and Donna,

There is a growing group of voices gaining volume and strength and it’s time to listen. We’re here to tell you what no one else will. There is a poison inside your company that has driven away countless amazing employees, derailed years of financial success and threatens the core structure and business you have spent an entire lifetime building. All you have to do is look at all the amazing people who have left your organization and what they have accomplished to see all the amazing talent you have lost.

You have two senior “leaders” working for you that have undermined you, your company, and the entire snowboarding industry for close to 15 years. The damage is deepening, and unless you take action soon, the situation will go from bad to dire.

They don’t snowboard, flaunt their wealth in the face of your modestly compensated organization, lead by intimidation and fear, and pursue countless failed projects under the guide of “being core” and “building a lifestyle business,” which benefits no one besides themselves.

Everything they do is to further their own personal agenda and undermine you. There is an old trope in the industry that these people must have some horrendous dirt on you or they would have been walked out the door a long time ago. We don’t believe that, we just believe they have deceived you in plain sight. One of the greatest cons in the history of action sports is going on right inside 80 Industrial Ave. It seems to be obvious to every person in the company and the industry as a whole. We hope you will finally see this for yourselves and make the right decision for your amazing company and the dedicated people that work for you.

Some obvious examples:

  • Open Drug use: One of these people allegedly drinks and does drugs in the office, and openly promotes drug use on social media.
  • Financial Mismanagement: Multiple reports of a party they threw at the US Open, where damage at a rented condo of over $150,000, was billed back to Burton.
  • ‘In’ or ‘Out’ Leadership: People who party with them are ‘in’ and those who don’t are ‘out.’ The ‘out’ people are routinely demoted, marginalized or fired at will. Those that actually have a real legal complaint against them have been swept under the rug with NDA’s and payouts.
  • Coachella. One of the dozens of pointless marketing initiatives that have moved Burton further and further away from its core business. These moves have cost Burton millions of dollars, yet have only fueled this duo’s vanity and ego. Have any of these programs been successful or moved the needle for your brand?
  • Failed Collaborations: How many “cool guy” product collabs have failed over the years and who lead them?
  • Internal facts: An “anonymous” HR survey from two years ago was conducted where employees were afraid to answer honestly for fear of retribution from these two people. When asked offline, the number one problem inside Burton given: “These two people are the single biggest reason Burton is failing.”
  • Entourage Syndrome: Their lifestyle has enabled your own vices under the guise of staying core. When you surround yourself by these people you are distanced from the reality on the ground. They only give you information you want to hear by distracting you with “coolness.”

What is at risk?

  • Industry leadership: Jake and Donna, you created an entire movement and an industry. Not many people in the world can make that claim. Burton shrinking and/or imploding threatens the entire snowboarding industry.
  • Employee Livelihood: As one of the largest employers and economic drivers in Vermont and Burlington, Burton is massively important. The ripple effct of losing your jobs in Vermont would be felt by many businesses and other industries.
  • Your personal health: It is obvious that there has been a physical and psychological toll on both of you, and your family.

All of these things make it harder to recruit and retain top talent and will continue to undermine success and profits. Profitability and growth is not only nice, it’s mandatory to keep any company going in the right direction.

Your challenge is to make the change the no one inside your company has had the guts to do. Not previous presidents, not the current CEO, not anyone, because these two people are “untouchable” inside Burton. Only you, Jake and Donna, can make this change, and the time is now. They are ruining your brand, threatening your loyal employees and putting your health at risk.

Get rid of these people immediately. They don’t care about snowboarding, or you. It’s obvious and has been for years. You will see an immediate improvement in morale and productivity the second they are walked out the door.

Sincerely,

Snowboarding

 

The 2015 US Open Halfpipe Finals

The biggest, most exciting and prestiguous event in halfpipe snowboarding went down at Vail this weekend, and we didn’t go. I mean, do you know how much a trip to Vail costs? And since Burton stopped inviting us places a long time ago and budgets are tighter than a dogs butthole these days, well, what can you do.

But lucky for you, not going to an event has never stopped me from covering it before. And thanks to the magic of social media I feel like I was there! Now that it’s 2015, we turned to the instagram accounts of the winners for an inside scoop, which is much cheaper than a day pass.

Men’s Halfpipe 1st place: Taku Hiroaka

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I honestly have never heard of this kid, but I don’t pay attention to contests, and all Japanese names look pretty much the same to my American eyes. Anyway, he looks young, seems very excited and would obviously like to thank his coaches. Oh and he’s basically been riding pow this season. Bastard.

Men’s Halfpipe 2nd place: Athur Longo

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It’s true that the Japanese may someday take over halfpipe snowboarding entirely, but not this year! Arthur Longo made sure of that. There is some joke to be made about bahn mi here.

3rd Place: Ayumi Hirano

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Sorry I got distracted from the contest by looking at some of the other photos on Ayumi Hirano’s insta. When he’s not a top professional snowboarder, he hangs with famous people, wears a uniform to school, and rides on private planes. Pretty average 15 year old.

Women

First – Kelly Clark

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Kelly Clark is still winning women’s pipe competitions. Something like 70 of them, which at 6 average events a year is like a million years, this could certainly bring up the “are women even really trying to progress arguement,” but honestly, who cares? Instead, let’s give Kelly some props for being a badass and specifying that she was not actually drinking champagne but #applejuice, despite the appearance that there may be alcohol in this photo! (She’s an actual role model, people.)

Second – Chloe Kim

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Chloe is really blowing up the pipe scene this year and even qualified first, ahead of Kelly, ended up with second. More importantly, she just broke 100k followers.

Third: Arielle Gold

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Arielle is claiming best finals a women’s pipe comp has ever seen, and I’ll take her word for it!

If you just want results, check out Burton’s site.

Yuki Kadono Wins the US Open with back-to-back 1620s.

Back-to-Back 1620s. It’s 2015 here people, don’t look so surprised.

The Empire Games – Mont St-Bruno

Quebec mega shop, Empire, put on a unique head-to-head elimination race featuring tight burms, rails and a cool triple step up. Looks like a good time to me!

If you’re interested in competing in the next two stops, they will be held at Mont Rigaud on Feb 21st and Centre de Ski Le Relais on March 21st.

Zach Aller #NeverChange

Dear Burton,

I think the time has come. We all want to see you make The Knowbuddys Movie. Your online projects have been cool, and all, but we all know that a movie with Zach Aller, Tommy Gesme, Brady Lem, Brett Wilkinson, Jack Kyle, Jordan Morse, ect. would be some legendary shit. Please make it happen.

Sincerely,

Snowboarders Who Use The Internet

Burton Presents: Zak Hale and Ethan Diess

Imagine if Burton put out all these parts in one movie. It would be like 6 hours long. Good thing they broke em up into pairs, eh?

Burton Presents – The Teaser

Burton is revamping their “Presents:” web-video concept by switching from four long videos to a series of online parts. All the action starts September 16th.

Burton TM Frankie Chapin’s 5-Step Plan for Going Pro

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Not so long ago, you could make an actual living being a pro snowboarder. I’m not talking about million dollar contracts and Wheaties boxes, but more, paying your bills and living off snowboarding without another job. Now some have said this dream is over – with the sheer amount of talent and the lack of resources in snowboarding right now, why would anyone pay you to snowboard? But as long as people are selling snowboards, there will hopefully be pros and Frankie Chapin, who makes those sort of decisions over at Burton, offered some advice on Redbull.com for how to become one of the lucky ones.

1. Put together an insane season edit and get it up on TWS/Snowboarder/Yobeat/Pyramid.

2. Guilty by association – who are you hanging with? Is your crew known crew in the biz? Are you guys going to Superpark and making the best edit coming out of the event? Your crew can get you places even if you’re not that good. Look at GBP, etc.

3. If you want to be a contest kid you better go and win. Win a semi major – get invited to a major – and win. It will work wonders. 10th place doesn’t do anything for me, no matter what event it is.

4. Don’t be a douche – make friends with everyone, don’t start some lame vibey bull – the snowboarding community is small and for the most part we’re all homies – don’t mess with that, it won’t get you anywhere.

5. Sponsor me edits sent to Burton Snowboards – I DO watch them. However in order to get past the first 30 seconds, it’s got to be good. Zeaches, taps, bad style, giant kickers onto street rails, bad music, etc – all will work against you. This is serious business; treat every moment as a potential opportunity.

Of course this is just the beginning. There’s more advice in this post and judging by the “part 1” in the title, even more to come. Read the whole thing here.

Jake and Donna Hand off the Reigns at Burton

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BURLINGTON, VT (May 14, 2014) Burton Snowboards is excited to announce that after five years in progressive leadership roles within Burton, most recently as COO, Mike Rees will officially step up to the role of CEO. With Mike now running day-to-day operations, Jake Burton will once again become the company’s Chairman, focusing on evolving the brand’s world-class product lines.

“Four years ago when I got my old job back as Burton’s CEO, my goal was to get the company headed in the right direction, build up our leadership team and establish a clear plan for the long-term future of the brand,” said Jake. “Looking back, we’ve accomplished these goals and have a solid foundation in place. Now it’s time to turn over the day-to-day tasks of running Burton to a new CEO. Our entire Board of Directors, our Executive Team, Donna and myself trust that Mike is the right person for the job. He has the experience, skills and leadership qualities to take our vision and run with it. And I’ll still be around, giving product feedback, testing new gear, working with the creative crew and advising Mike.”

Since Mike joined Burton in 2009, he has been instrumental at mapping out strategic, long-term plans for the company. Over the last five years, Mike has proven his leadership skills time and again, ensuring that Burton delivered consistent results and built a solid foundation for future growth. Now as CEO, Mike will head up product, marketing and sales, as well as operations and finance. With Jake as Founder and Chairman and Mike as CEO, Donna Carpenter will continue in her role as Burton’s President, running point on Human Resources, Sustainability, Legal and Women’s Business Initiatives.

“Burton is an amazing brand with an incredible group of people behind it, and I’m excited about the opportunity to take on a new role within the company,” said Mike Rees, CEO of Burton. “Jake’s passion for product and for the sport extends throughout the entire organization, and growing the snowboarding lifestyle has been at the heart of Burton’s success from the beginning. I look forward to working closely with Jake to carry out his vision for growing Burton both on and off the mountain.”

In closing, Jake adds, “I have always claimed I have the best job in the world. Now it’s even better with more time to ride and focus on the areas where I have the most impact.”

Knowbuddy’s Up North- Lost Trail Video

Here is the second and final edit of the knowbuddy’s up north series. We spent 3 days at Lost Trail Powder Mountain in southwest Montana, where winter lives. Full story and gallery is right here.

Riding by Ezra Racine, John Murphy, Jack Kyle, and Alex Andrews. Film & edit by Colt Morgan.

 

Team USA Uniforms Not Made in the USA

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Just when we thought it couldn’t get anymore embarrassing to be from the United States, Fox News drops this bomb.

“To achieve this level of performance and function, Burton turned to its best, long-standing and most trusted technical partners around the world to produce the uniforms, to ensure that our high technical and design standards were met,” Burton Snowboards said in materials obtained by FoxNews.com. “For example, the original quilt was sourced in the U.S. and brought back to Vermont to be deconstructed and reconstructed for jacket fabrication with Vermont-based designers.”

The quilt was then sent to Japan for final technical fabrication, company officials said.

“The fabric of the competition fleece was woven in Italy, and the technical and waterproof corduroy pant fabric was developed in Taiwan and sewn in Vietnam,” the statement continued. “Next, we turned to our longstanding, trusted vendors in China to produce several of the accessories.”

Never fear though, our proud red-blooded American brethren.

The statement continued: “And finally, the majority of the actual snowboards that the Burton athletes will ride in Sochi are being handmade in Vermont at Burton Headquarters in Burlington. As a global sport, snowboarding knows no borders. We’re proud that we used our best vendors from around the world, including our own Craig’s facility in Burlington, Vt., to ensure our American riders have the highest-performance gear during one of the biggest competitions of their lives.”

Whoops.

Link: Fox News