When Jake Burton passed away in 2019, I relistened to his How I Built This podcast episode with Guy Raz. In which he says something to the effect of, “You could walk out the door and get hit by a bus tomorrow, so you better fucking do the shit you want to do today,” in a calm, raspy voice. And to his words, he stayed true. In a small tribute at the time, I wrote how I owe my world to Jake, and the events in my life that inextricably revolve around the sport that he envisioned, nurtured, and pursued. Today, I still feel the same. My daughters, who are three and six years old, both still love to sleep in the white sleeping bag that he handed me and 150 other employees one holiday season in the South 80.
Transworld Snowboarding introduced me to expressive graphic design. I applied for an internship with zero design experience while in college. I was denied. I’ve spent the past two years on trips to Baldface surrounded by old, dear friends from the first design job I eventually did get, at Burton Snowboards. These are the people who drove me, windows open, metal blaring and speakers rattling, to ice-cold swimming holes in the Vermont backwoods in an attempt to convince me to move East. I smiled, let the wind wash over me, and I haven’t forgotten it since. I don’t think I needed to be convinced, but I’m glad they left nothing to chance.
I woke up fully clothed on top of the flannel sheets of my hotel bed that first trip to Vermont. When my alarm goes off at the Lodge, I feel like I’m waking up there again, still surrounded by sleep deprived, blurry, psychedelically slanted and flower-infused-electricity—blasting through the dining hall for a week straight into the snow cats with too many snowboards for 12 people. We prefer mostly K2’s now (right Colonna?).
Our list looked like this: an extra Yashica T4 (thanks Blotto), extra CR17345 3V batteries, extra GoPro batteries, coffee, water, beers, “special-tea”, sandwiches, film, cookies, sore legs, charms, massage guns, wet gloves, extra gloves, extra lenses, joints, lighters, probes, shovels, stickers, radios, and nerves.
Jake might have been saying, “You better accept the fucking invite to Baldface Adam, they’re not going to keep inviting you, and you just might learn something.”
For my travelers:
Jake, thank you.