Snowboard Pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter Dies At 65

2018 Olympic U.S. Snowboard Team Uniform Unveil

Jake Burton Carpenter, who is considered the godfather of snowboarding, has died following a bout with cancer. Carpenter was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but was given a clean bill of health after a few months of treatment. Earlier in November, he told the staff of Burton, the company he founded, that his cancer had returned.

Carpenter started Burton in 1977 to promote snowboarding and helped turn the niche sport into an international sensation. Snowboarding has become so popular that it is now an Olympic event.

“I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then,” Burton said in 2010. “We’re doing something that’s going to last here. It’s not like just hitting the lottery one day.”

Burton co-CEO John Lacy mourned Carpenter's passing an email to the staff.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news that Jake passed away peacefully last night surrounded by his family and loved ones as a result of complications from recurring cancer. He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much."

He told employees that the best way to celebrate Carpenter's life was by going out to ride.

“As a start of our celebration of Jake’s life, I’d encourage everyone to do what Jake would be doing tomorrow, and that’s riding. It’s opening day at Stowe, so consider taking some turns together, in celebration of Jake.”

Photo: Getty Images

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