Snowboarding is an American sport. As American as Apple pie, some would say. It was developed here in this country and the primary developers of snowboards came from here. One of the pioneer builders of snowboards Jake Burton moved to Londonderry, Vermont in 1977 to make what later became known as snowboards. And make them, he and his company did. They were at the forefront of snowboard development and Burton, a privately held company, still commandeers the market. Burton snowboards are used by the icons of the sport, Shaun White, Hannah Teeter. Burton snowboards, known the world-over were still produced primarily right here in Vermont. Sad isn’t it that yesterday Burton announced that it will be moving its main manufacturing facility not just out of Vermont, but out of the United States completely. To Austria, the newspapers say to be incorporated into the manufacturing facility that they have had there for 25 years. Oh, and to China, too. But we won’t mention that – at least the newspapers really didn’t and evidently Burton doesn’t really want to talk about that part either.
It’s a sad commentary on the way that our country and our state handles companies that are home-grown. The decision by Burton move its manufacturing facilities out of Vermont has, evidently, been a long time coming. It’s just really disturbing that it had to come at all.
Burton will still maintain its world headquarters in Burlington, Vermont and it is expanding a production facility that will produce the newest snowboards that are not for sale but will be offered to snowboarding athletes for their use.