It was 1991 when Jake Burton Carpenter presented Stratton with a trophy that recognized the mountain for opening the hearts and minds of the world to a sport that knows no bounds. Eight years earlier, Stratton had become the first major resort to welcome snowboarding.
Today, Stratton once again has the opportunity to be part of snowboarding history.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Burton Snowboards, Jason Dreweck is collaborating with Jake Burton and Ross Powers in creating a bronze sculpture, measuring 16’ H x 30’ W x 9’ D, for the town of Londonderry, very close to the site of the original Burton factory.
“Stratton gave us a huge break,” says Burton in a video created to launch the project . “You need to know where you are from to know where you are going.”
Mimi Wright, of the Londonderry Historical Society and Taylor Farm, is also a champion of the 40th anniversary installation. She was one of the first three Burton employees and designer of Burton’s original, and iconic, mountain logo.
Back in October, Dreweck stopped by Stratton to share his vision. “I wanted to capture the spirit and depth of snowboarding as well the entrepreneurial spirit. I grew up snowboarding and was touched by how it developed,” the Colorado native explained. “Coming from the art world, I know what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”
Dreweck also created the Snurfer sculpture to honor inventor Sherman Poppen in his hometown of Muskegon, Mich. “I saw how it brought the community together , the sense of unity it created.”
His first design draft was a backflip to represent the entrepreneurial process as much as the sport. Burton took a look at the original and suggested depicting the method instead, describing it as one of the oldest tricks and a standard by which to recognize the best riders.
Or in the words of Whitelines Snowboarding:
Ah yes, the method air – the perfect tango between snowboard and snowboarder. To the untrained eye it’s a simple heel-edge grab with the back foot pushed out; but to a connoisseur, it is the ultimate barometer of style. Do them well and they evoke the elegance of a classically-trained ballet dancer. Do them badly and you might as well grab a jester hat, put some skis on, and chuck a few daffies.
Burton recounted Ross Powers’ stratospheric method in the 2002 Olympics, calling it pure spirit. “He won the Gold Medal right then.”
Powers grew up in Londonderry, won Bronze the year snowboarding made its Olympic debut and headlined the all-American halfpipe podium in Utah so it’s fitting that he is both technical adviser and subject of the 40th anniversary sculpture. His daughter Victoria, second generation Stratton Mountain School and rising star in the snowboard arena, is also weighing in.
In addition to an unveiling of the Snowboard National Monument in Spring 2018, plans include placement of a plaque at the original factory site and historic displays nearby with the exact location to be finalized, Wright explains.
Now, we all have a chance to be part of the story of snowboarding with the release of a limited edition maquette signed by Jason, Jake and Ross. The artist, the entrepreneur and the Gold Medalist. A total of 111 bronze scale models will be created; only 109 are available. Burton has secured No. 13 and Stratton Mountain will proudly display No. 1. Names of those who support the project with purchase of a maquette (or equivalent donation) will be named on the sculpture as it stands on the corner of routes 100 and 11 in Londonderry VT, where it all began.