Burton and Burton China Snowboards

Burton Snowboards China

With all the social media posts this week about Burton Snowboards thanks to a letter posted over at Yobeat.com I figured it was time to get a couple of things straight. First, of all, it seems that Burton Snowboards is no longer invested in the North American snowboard community anymore.

Burton snowboard revenue has been falling, what does this mean to the industry as a whole?

Where are Burton Snowboards Being Made?

Donna Carpenter who owns Burton Snowboards with her husband Jake had this to say “We’re just starting to grow in China,” Carpenter said. “China is small right now, but it’s changing so quickly. The government is committed to building 150 new ski areas in the next three years. The scale at which they do things is incredible.”

Interesting since according to Yahoo News “Burton Snowboards has opened 5 dozen stores in China. A country with only 50,000 snowboarders.”

Isn’t China one of the most polluted counties in the world causing widespread environmental and health problems? Sounds like a perfect place to manufacture without environmental regulations or child labor laws where children are known to start working in factories at the age of 5.

Burton Snowboard Sign

All kidding aside we actually like Burton and love snowboarding on their Flight Attendant snowboard. Learn more in our Burton  Snowboards Flight Attendant Review.

Back in 2010, Burton closed their Vermont manufacturing center (BMC), laying off 43 employees in the process while moving the jobs overseas to Austria.

“When I started Burton Snowboards in 1977, all we did was make snowboards in Vermont,” Burton’s Carpenter said. “But simply put, it costs us significantly more to produce a board in Vermont than we are capable of selling it for, and sadly, this is not sustainable in the current economy.”

Currently, most Burton snowboards are being made in China, while some of the higher-end boards are being produced in Austria like the board shown below, the Burton Mystery with a $1699.95 price tag, be sure to bring that board inside the lodge with you.

Burton Mystery Snowboard 2017

When people think of snowboard brands Burton surely comes to mind. However, when you ask a core rider what they’re running 99% of the time it’s not BURTON. There are some exceptions to the rule, some people swear by Burton boots. The Burton Fish is a really cool concept, and lest we forget the 420 Kit, however, they seemed to have re-named The Kit 🙂

Personally, I don’t have access to Burton snowboards so it’s hard for me to say if their boards perform well on snow? Maybe the PR team will see this, hopefully not 🙂 That being said their AK Jacket shown below is solid for splitboarding.

Burton Splitboard AK Jacket

And let us not forget that Jake left a cushy desk job in Manhattan back in 1977 to develop the brand. With over $500 million in merchandise sold annually, Jake and Donna are doing well for themselves especially considering they kept the company private and earn an estimated 40 to 70 percent of the total revenue. Do the math…

Burton Snowboards Disney Collection

Burton Snowboards has announced a new outerwear line inspired by Disney. According to a press release we received from Burton “The new Disney Frozen collection by Burton features jackets, snow pants, a one-piece snowsuit and layering pieces to keep girls warm even on days as cold as in the Kingdom of Arendelle”.

Now we can’t argue that this gear ain’t cute, however, is this Burton’s market? Everyone knows it’s all about the youth these days so maybe Jake and Donna are gaining fans from the ground up.

Disney's Burton Baselayers

This actually might be some of the most tech outerwear coming from Disney ever, as the Burton Disney Frozen outerwear features toasty Thermacore™ insulation and Durashell™ waterproofing with Aquapel™. The Burton Tech Tee shown below offers up UPF 50+ Rating and a “NEW Enhanced Stink-Proof Finish”.

Disney

Along with Burton, Anon is jumping on the Disney train to create the Disney Frozen by anon. Tracker goggle and Rime helmet.

Burton Snowboards Gwen Stefani Collection

Apparently, the folks over at Burton Snowboards have started listening to new music as the brand just announced a partnership with Gwen Stefani, introducing the Burton L.A.M.B Collection.

According to Anne-Marie Dacyshyn, Burtons VP or Marketing “I’m a huge fan of Gwen Stefani. She’s strong, stunning, ridiculously talented and intelligent. She’s a powerful paradox, ie., a sophisticated punk, and is an ideal blend of edgy and elegant”.

I’m wondering if these two met at Coachella perhaps and came up with an idea to collaborate?

Burton Pool Party

Anne-Marie Dacyshyn (far right) at Burton Pool Party 2015 Coachella.

This is the second time the L.A.M.B. x Burton collection has come to the market and this year will feature a variety of outerwear, accessories and layering pieces and some sweet new snowboard boots, goggles, luggage, and a helmet.

Last week we announced Burton Disney Snowboards (above), so it seems they are really going after the Women’s market.

Gwen Stefani SKIING* in the new Burton line? Picture by: Sharpshooter Images

Gwen Stefani SKIING* in the new Burton line? Picture by: Sharpshooter Images

I could not find any photos of Gwen snowboarding for this article, however, it does look like from the picture above she knows how to ski? Maybe Burton’s Learn to Ride program can get her knuckle-dragging perhaps?

When Gwen was asked about the 2015/2016 L.A.M.B Collection she had this to say “This new L.A.M.B. x Burton collection is literally the coolest winter wardrobe I’ve ever seen! This season has a punk rock vibe that feels very modern and fresh. We let our imagination run wild and expanded the collection into a full winter dream closet! I love the clashing prints, tons of patches and the new punker pant with signature bum flap. I cannot wait to rock it this winter!”

2016 Burton Snowboard Ramone Moto jacket

2016 Burton Snowboard Ramone Moto jacket

Weirdness aside, I do think punk rock and leopard prints go hand in hand in snowboarding.

Waiting for product details ...

About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief.

5 Comments on "Burton and Burton China Snowboards"

  1. TABthewriter | August 28, 2015 at 12:36 PM |

    Mike- Yeah, textiles are a tough one for sure. I got to watch a review copy of this flick earlier this Summer and would recommend it to anyone wanting to become more informed on the “fast-fashion” nature of the modern rag-trade: http://truecostmovie.com/

  2. TABthewriter | August 27, 2015 at 10:13 PM |

    Oh geez. Here I go, Internet commenting again…
    Privately held brands, just like corporately held brands, are not immune to misappropriation or perversion by internal (or external) forces. Super-douche, narcissistic executives can be as poison as a constant pressure to reinvent oneself for the ever elusive and constantly changing “youth market.”
    Burton’s woes aside, we used to make things in North America (I say N.A because I’m in Canada), but now we are so focused on consuming goods, CHEAP goods, that many products that used to be prized for their durability are now treated like disposable, impulse items. Things have gotten cheaper in cost, but cheaper in quality, too.
    Consequently, most everything is made overseas, because who can produce those items at the lowest coast? Those whose labor is cheapest, rights are trod on, and whose existence the “developed world” is either oblivious or apathetic to.
    I don’t know if there’s a seed-change coming, but I honestly believe we need to revisit and rethink how we spend our money and what we spend it on. “Buy American” or “Buy Canadian” may rouse nationalistic predilections and leanings, but before we identify with a flag and a story (another “brand”) we need to identify first with our basic humanity: Are the things we purchase being produced ethically, morally, sustainably?
    We tend to buy based on how much better we expect to feel once that item is in our possession, with remarkably little regard given to that same item’s back-story. Be honest with yourself- what do you actually know about the supply-line/supply-chain that produced your new favorite thing?
    Snowboard clothing and a huge amount of the hard-goods, as with most any largely disposable product type, have been made in a variety of third world countries for decades now. Has anyone ever undertaken a concerted effort to investigate where some of their “core” brands are produced? Of course not. Snowboard media as with conventional media depends on ad revenue to stay afloat, subscription revenue is virtually meaningless. Can you imagine Transworld Snowboarding doing a tell-all feature on which outerwear clothing was made in a Sri Lankan or Indonesian sweatshop where several dozen workers died in a fire because they were locked inside? Of course not.
    If you’re annoyed at the prospective loss of “American jobs” and other potential fallout from Burton moving their focus overseas, vote with your head and your dollars, not some fading clutch at nostalgia and “coreness” of year’s past. That’s corny, it was always marketing, it was always business, and like rooting for your favorite pro sports team, in reality it actually has little to nothing to do with you- It’s not “your” brand, it’s an invention that has subsisted on your support and buy-in, but it doesn’t owe you anything.
    Whether privately held or corporate in nature, it is its own animal and can choose to act like a lion, lemming, or whatever else makes an easy comparison. But it has always gotten by on the myth of constant growth, capital gain its one and only instinct… perhaps it’s time for Burton and other brands to reevaluate and contract. But probably better to say that kind of introspection would better us all as people.

    • Mike Hardaker | August 27, 2015 at 10:58 PM |

      TAB,

      Interesting you mentioned this “we need to identify first with our basic humanity: Are the things we purchase being produced ethically, morally?

      One of the things I have noticed in the past few years as you mentioned is about 75% or more of the popular outerwear we reviewed last year was made in Asian markets. I even started mentioning this in reviews and not giving out 5 stars if a business feels they can’t make goods in the United States at a reasonable price.

      Textiles are an uphill battle, but hard goods? Especially boards??? There are numerous snowboard manufacturers and brands that are based in the Americas. If I was going to spend money on gear it would be to support these people.

      Again, we need to think with our dollars and tell the industry it’s time to bring jobs and production back to the United States. Willing to bet people would even pay more for said gear…

  3. Yikes..did you just suggest that Burton was using poor environmental practices and child labor to produce their second rate boards?

    • Mike Hardaker | August 26, 2015 at 10:59 PM |

      Just like a bee, sometimes the truth stings. “second rate eh” what would Craig say?

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