Resorts offer free passes to commemorate Jake Burton Carpenter

2nd March 2020, by Abi Butcher

A Day for Jake takes place on 13 March 2020

A Day for Jake takes place on 13 March 2020

Resorts around the world including Avoriaz in France, Laax in Switzerland and Madonna di Campiglio in Italy are offering a lift pass free to snowboarders next week in memory of Jake Burton Carpenter, founder of Burton snowboards. The passes will be valid on 13 March 2020 and part of A Day for Jake, to commemorate Jake and his life’s work with snowboarding.

Shockwaves were felt around the snowboarding world when Jake passed away on 20 November 2019 as a result of complications for recurring cancer. Jake started ‘Burton Boards’ out of a barn in Vermont in 1977, when he was 23 and working as a groom, bartender and caretaker. Knowing that surfing on snow could become a sport, Jake made prototypes of snowboards using a combination of techniques borrowed from furniture making, boat and surfboard construction and tested them on the back hills in southern Vermont. In 1983, he talked Stratton Mountain into becoming the first major resort in the US to allow snowboarders on the ski lifts. In 1985, Jake and his wife Donna started Burton Europe after moving to Igls near Innsbruck and so began his worldwide career and fame among snowboarders.

Jake Carpenter was dogged with health issues in the last decade of his life. He underweant heart surgery in 2011 was subsequently diagnosed with testicular cancer the same year. In 2015 he underwent a knee replacement and snowboarding just three weeks after surgery, though just days after he diagnosed with a rare syndrome that caused him to be entirely paralysed for two months. After a remarkable recovery, Jake and his wife (now Burton CEO) moved to Zurich for a year in January 2019 but last November informed Burton employees that his cancer had returned. “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 favour, but it is going to be a struggle for sure.”

Just ten days later he had passed away leaving behind his wife and three sons George, Taylor and Timi. He was 65.

The date 13 March has been selected as “A Day For Jake”, in honour of his passion to bring snowboarding to all, and in recognition of his work with resorts all over the world to open lifts to snowboarders. Snowboarders are asked to visit their local Burton store to pick up A Day For Jake promo items, including an armband to wear on the day. If you don’t live near a shop, there’s more information on the website on how to make your own — which snowboarders are also encouraged to wear while out next Friday regardless of where they are snowboarding.

Organisers of the memorial day ask snowboarders to consider making a donation to the charity Chill, founded by Donna and Jake, which works with young people from communities around the world to focus on resilience and alternatives in life through snowboarding. As well as the European resorts of Laax, Avoriaz and Madonna, Stratton Mountain in Vermont, Seki Onsen in Myoko, Japan and Big Sky, Montana are among the resort involved in the initiative. Southern hemisphere snowboarders are encouraged to make armbands and go on an organised group hike.

To register for a pass (before 8 March 2020) and for more information about all the events taking place, visit

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