Burton’s retrospective on top snowboard graphics. Photos by Burton Snowboards.

Burton’s launched an interesting archival story in a two-part series that traces the 30-year history of their most iconic graphics and boards. The difficult task was wisely curated by Todd Kohlman (TK), Burton’s resident archivist who was challenged to select his top 13 boards. The results are not only cool graphics, but a unique retrospective on the types of riders that inspired such boards, and the designers’ thoughts on why they created what they did, plus how the sport of snowboarding has evolved.

For example, the story begins with the 1988 Safari boards which, back in the day, top rider Mark Heingartner said meant the name represented an adventure, which he felt he was experiencing as a snowboarder at that stage of the sport, thus the zebra stripes.

The Jeff Brushie trout board of 1993.

Another favorite insider story is the 1990 Kelly Mystery Air which reveals the Sims/Burton riff over Craig Kelly who at the time was still under contract with Sim’s Snowboards. Burton and Sims ended up going to court and instead of a board in the upcoming catalogue, there was a wooden crate with “Top Secret” on it named the Mystery Air, so the story goes.

One of the most memorable graphics was the 1993 Brushie with the trout graphic, which according to Jeff Brushie, presented a Vermont theme, with the base graphics more skate-style.

Check-out the rest of the story and stay tuned for Part 2 from Burton’s archivist TK next week.

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