The man who transformed how people schuss down the slopes in the subject of a new documentary from HBO Sports. Dear Rider: The Jake Burton Story, about snowboarding pioneer Jake Burton, hails from Red Bull Media House and will premiere November 9 on HBO.
Narrated by Woody Harrelson — a close friend of the late Burton, who also was known as Jake Burton Carpenter — the film features interviews with his family, friends and fellow snowboarders, including action sports icons Mark McMorris, Shaun White, and Kelly Clark. Director Fernando Villena’s film also has as a wealth of archival material and home movies. Check out the key art poster below.
Inspired by the Snurfer, a surfboard-inspired strip of wood, Burton created his first snowboard in 1977 as an inexpensive alternative to skiing. From there, he developed increasingly versatile boards while encouraging ski resorts, sponsors and world-class athletes to take up what the media dubbed “the worst new sport.” By the late 1990s, Jake’s vision had catapulted the punk-infused culture of snowboarding into the mainstream and onto the world stage: the Olympics.
But as Burton and his eponymous company thrived in the new century, the entrepreneur battled two very serious health problems: Miller Fisher syndrome, a rare nerve disorder, as well as cancer, which ultimately claimed his life in 2019. Today, his memory lives on throughout the snowboarding community, and his wife Donna Carpenter remains at the helm of the family-owned business.
Dear Rider: The Jake Burton Story is produced by Ben Bryan and Clark Fyans, with Bentley Weiner serving as executive producer for HBO.