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.