• Burton FW17 40 Years forward
  • Burton FW17 40 Years forward
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  • Burton FW 17 Big Agnes
  • Burton FW 17 Black Scale
  • Burton FW17 Danner Boots
  • Burton FW17 40 Years forward
  • Burton FW17 40 Years forward
  • Burton FW17 40 Years forward
  • Burton FW17 40 Years forward
  • Burton FW17 40 Years forward
  • Burton FW17 40 Years forward
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09 Feb BURTON 40 Years Forward – A visit to Innsbruck

It was a sunny day in Innsbruck, Austria and Burton was celebrating their 40th birthday and about to introduce their FW2017 Collection. Even with the snow-covered peaks that surround Innsbruck forming a magnificent stage for the event, it was much too warm for January.

I’ve always wondered why Burton chose Innsbruck for their European headquarters. The answer is quite simple: Jake Burton Carpenter, the man who founded Burton in 1977, lived for a short while with his wife Donna in Innsbruck. That’s why in 1985 this beautiful city on the river Inn was chosen for their European division.

Forty years is a considerably long time for a sport which is itself still quite young. It was the 70s and Burton was able to recognise the trend and perfect the original idea to ‘surf on snow‘, making them, back then and today, pioneers in snowboarding.

Winter sports have for obvious reasons always been closely connected with nature. That’s why Burton has set themselves the goal of becoming even more environmentally friendly and sustainable by 2020. In Burton’s collection of outerwear, 75-80% of the products already have Bluesign certification. Factories and workers also benefit from Burton’s strive for sustainability. Strict controls and better work relationships are already standard and the list of environmentally-friendly certificates is already a very long one. But unfortunately it’s still not universal in the sport and outdoor sector, though here too Burton is taking a leading role. Though not a complete surprise from a company whose business is heavily dependent on the environment, still it’s important to trust that Burton is taking this role because of their passion and conviction, and not simply their responsibility as market leader.

But Burton’s 40th birthday is not only about sustainability, the design of the different collections strongly follow the heritage of recent years. It is also an opportunity for Burton to set new directions for future designs and to reorganise their collections. Not only did I take a closer look at the snowboards and snowboarding clothing, I was also very excited about their FW17 Outerwear lifestyle collection. Simple cuts, minimalist colours and functional materials: what you want not only between snowboarding sessions, but also on the next hiking tour, regardless of weather or snow conditions. Burton is not afraid to play and experiment with their collections, and with a sense of humour, as you will see in their collaborations with other brands like Playboy and Led Zepplin.

Particular stand-outs from the current 15/16 collection are the collaborations Undefeated x Alpha Industries x Burton and Filson x Burton. Burton is able to make full use of the expertise and experience of the collaborating brands in creating their own unique products.

An especially interesting collection from Burton’s Coalition 2017 series is the collaboration with hiking shoe makers Danner: a really nice snowboarding boot in Danner design with traditional lacing.

And what got my outdoor-enthusiast heart beating is the continuation of their collaboration with outdoor specialists Big Agnes and Helinox. In 2017 we can look forward to the 2-person tent “Night Cap” in two new designs (Shrooms and Famish Stripe), as well as a sleeping bag that is coupleable to accommodate two people. To complete the set is a sleeping pad, a hammock, as well as a camping table and chair. Even couch potatoes will want to get out into nature.

On the second day, we finally hit the slopes. In the morning I joined a guided Splitboard tour. Splitboards, or split snowboards, were new to me but the technique was easy to learn: The boards can be separated into two parts and used, similar to alpine touring, to ascend slopes, giving you the possibility of reaching untouched slopes and the finest powder away from ski lift crowds. Wonderful and a lot of fun, but also at times hard work physically.

In the afternoon, I was able to trade in my splitboard for a snowboard from the FW2017 collection and get a taste of what fans can look forward to in the coming season. And I was happy to find that after a generous break from winter sports, I still had it in me.

Sadly, the time was over too quickly and it was already time to head back to the airport. The market leader in the snowboarding sector, who despite four decades of experience couldn’t have seemed more youthful and fresh, left a lasting impression on me. Burton is already a role model for the industry, and setting itself the goal of striving to be even more environmentally friendly and sustainable has only won me over more. I wish them all the best for the next 40 years!


Photo credits
Moods: Burton
Event & Splitboard: Carlos Blanchard
Nature: Pascal Rohé



  • Shane Williams
    Posted at 13:50h, 09 Februar Antworten

    I agree that a company like Burton should produce more environmental friendlier.
    Great report!

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