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1977 Vintage Burton Experimental Prototype Snowboard

Vintage Burton Prototype Snowboard
c. 1977
Wood, metal, rubber, nylon, plastic
Board: 50.5"l x 8"w x 5"d
Aluminum fin:  8" l x1.25"w x 1"d
© Vintage Winter

Vintage Burton Snowboard Catalog c. 1979-80.
Vintage Burton Snowboard Catalog c. 1979-80.

An extremely rare Burton prototype snowboard.  Less than 100 prototype boards were made before Jake Burton Carpenter founded the Backhill Londonderry line.  In all our years of selling winter sporting antiquities we have only seen two others.  These just do not come up for sale. 

This snowboard was given by Jake to its current owner Chris, in trade for helping work on some early snowboards.  As the story goes Jake and Chris worked together at the Birkenhaus Inn in Stratton Vermont.  I'm told that while the owner Emo Henrich fully supported and mentored Jake's snowboard development, he didn't quite know his lodge was being used after hours as a spray room for the paint and stencils seen on the early boards. 

This now vintage snowboard was payment from Jake to Chris in trade for his work.  It was ridden only a couple times with the majority of its original paint seen on the base of the board.  When asked about how many times it was ridden Chris states "10 to 15 "runs", but nearly all of them were less than twenty five feet.  Four of us took it out to try once. We were all skiers (I was just taking my first skiing lessons) but none of us were snowboarders.  We just walked up a slope off the road and slid down.  I don't think any of us made it the full twenty five feet.  I also loaned it to a co-worker at the lodge but he tried it once, didn't get any farther than we did and then switched to skies because the snow was to corn-like that day. Those were the only two times it was ever used.  The only person who could make it down a real ski run was Carpenter (Burton - not on my board but the same model).  Everyone used to stop and watch. Snowboards were a unique sight back then."  It has been lovingly stored ever since and is looking for a new home.

Base Lodge at Stratton
From left to right - Emo Henrich, Anneliese Einwaller, Emo's nephew Ed who was visiting from Insbruck, Chris (the current owner of the snowboard), Joe Einwaller and Ginette; another Birkenhaus employee.

The snowboards history is well validated with Chris's family heavily woven into Stratton history.  Chris's father Joe, met Emo in Innsbruck after the war forming a family bond that lasted generations.  Joe talked Emo into moving to America around 1955. Once here he taught skiing at Mt. Hood then moved to Sugarbush then onto Vermont.  The photo on the left was taken somewhere around 1977. This board is the real deal not a reproduction. 

This board sold through auction on eBay.  Visit the link below.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/ eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item= 331243828199

A cool video showing a sister of this board seen at 1:42 in a video of a popup Burton snowboard gallery in Jackson Hole. 

Burton Snowboards Gallery with Todd Kohlman in Jackson Hole from BuoLoco on Vimeo.

 

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