Dear Rider is a Universal Original documentary that celebrates of the life and works of Jake Burton Carpenter who passed away in 2019. His pioneering work in snowboarding made him a global and cultural icon.
Inspired by the “Snurfer,” a surfboard-styled strip of wood, Jake created his first snowboard in 1977 as an inexpensive alternative to skiing. From there, he developed increasingly versatile boards, lobbied ski resorts to allow snowboarding, sponsored world-class athletes, fended off rival companies, and navigated the cultural backlash of what media outlets called the “Worst New Sport.” By the late-90s, Jake’s vision catapulted the punk-infused culture of snowboarding into the mainstream—and, ultimately, onto the world stage of the Olympics.
But as Jake and Burton thrived in the new century, he battled two very serious health problems: Miller Fisher Syndrome, a rare nerve disorder, as well as cancer, which ultimately claimed his life in 2019.
Culminating in the 2020 Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, the first Burton event following Jake’s passing, Dear Rider is a vivid illustration of how one person’s dreams, coupled with tenacity and grit, can literally change the world.