A CELEBRATION OF ART IN SNOWBOARDING
With a design inspired by the likes of Sol Lewitt, Judy Chicago, and other pioneers of the minimal art movement; the Burton Cruzer made waves in the mid-80s. Contrary to the contemporary neon-obsessed hues of the time, the color palette was reminiscent of sun bleached surf graphics. Later on, Burton would rehash the graphic for the Cruzer on a board for Burton Pro Rider Jeff Brushie and the graphic lives on to this day alongside other pieces of action sports ephemera.
1990 KELLY MYSTERY AIR
In 1988, Craig Kelly wanted to ride for Burton Snowboards while under contract with Sim’s Snowboards. The companies ended up going to court over Craig. Burton received the OK to welcome Craig in '89.
"[...] I remember Craig called me from Park City and said he’d love it if Burton could use my design work on his boards. Needless to say I was pretty pumped [...]"
The following year, the Kelly Mystery Air was unveiled. Craig became the first rider to get his own pro model with Burton and his 'Ketchup and Mustard' graphic is among Burton's most iconic.
1992 KELLY AIR
Considered to be one of the most celebrated vintage graphics in snowboarding–the Burton Air was the chosen model for the team at that time. The graphic was an evolution of Craig Kelly’s graphic from a few years earlier which was developed in collaboration with Craig and Michael Jager at JDK Design. JDK was responsible for a lot of the Burton graphics during this period. This board also marked the final year of the 5-hole insert pattern. Burton’s innovation of the 3D insert pattern changed snowboarding stance options forever while the 92 Kelly Air served as the final mark in history for this pattern in snowboard-tech.
In 1993 when Burton was gearing up to launch a new Twin shape, the design team looked to play off of an undefined surface. With it's completely symmetrical shape, the board lended itself to ideas where 'front' and 'back' lived in a state of flux.
"Sponsorship was just starting to become a big thing among snowboarders and everyone was just plastering their boards with stickers. We wanted to make a board look like a piece of art, something that you wouldn’t want to put stickers all over."
The team stumbled across a Ouija board in their Burlington offices and the rest is history.
"The first time I painted these eyes, I was living in Jackson, Wyoming. It was the summer of 1998 and I was just about to leave for Europe for my first time. The drawing was my reaction to Jamil Khan’s passing that winter and ended up being the graphic for the 2000 Burton Balance board. It was the first painting I ever offered up as a complete piece. There was no board shape; it was just, ‘This is it: take it or leave it.'"
As a series of 5, the boards reveal the painting in it's entirety. A small glyph of the painting can be viewed on the lower board in the lower right corner.
2001 ROSS POWERS LAKE
Painted above Sherman’s Store in West Rupert, VT in the summer of 1999. Scott grew up riding at Bromley Mountain and met Ross when he was a kid (his mom worked in the cafeteria). His solid, signature style was evident even back then.
"I was so excited when he asked me to do his graphics because we come from the same place and I knew these boards would be going huge under his feet."
They ended up working together for 6 years but Scott says this first board might be his favorite of their collaborations.
Painted in Brooklyn, NY in the summer of 2001. The board is a part of a series that was designed by Victoria Jealouse and Scott.
"I remember her calling me from a chairlift from somewhere out West to dig in to the concept and art direction. This was before cellphones were the norm and I couldn’t believe how cool it was that she could do that."
The collection of graphics go together to illustrate the feeling of 'waking up', which was an idea that Victoria was very interested in expressing with her series.
Developed each year in collaboration with Team Riders Mikkel Bang and Keegan Valaika. The Love branding was rolled over from season to season with new interpretations of the same concept.
"This one kind of speaks for itself. We wanted to unite two waring parties through a shared love for snowboarding."
For the 2010 edition, the Burton team elaborated on idiom of opposites attraction. War and peace residing on a single piece of art. Mikkel and Keegan wanted to share the love and bring these opposing elements, people, lifestyles together.
For the 2017 line, Burton teamed up with a small local band called Phish a graphic on the Burton Fish board. Working with the band's internal creative team, they connected with artist Jim Pollock, who designed the artwork created for Phish's first album, 'Junta'. Burton Creative Director Dennis Healy reinterpreted the art to create a derivative illustration for the topsheet and base of the board.
Proceeds of the sale of the 2017 Phish Fish benefited the band’s non-profit, The Water Wheel Foundation.
2023 DEEP THINKER
Painted in West Rupert, VT in the Spring of 2021. Inspired by 70's surf and Danny Davis' request for something along the lines of “super fast, magic carpet vibes.”
"I had recently moved back to Vermont and into a home that is sort of a time capsule from the 60's where every floor in the house is covered in carpet samples from that era, so this was the perfect concept to explore in this Magic Castle."
The board features a hand-painted graphic adorn with an illustration of Danny as a sort of mythical spirit of the backcountry, protector of trees.