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Jake Burton, Snowboard King, Sets Multiple Goals for His Workout

12/29/2014

The founder and chairman of Burton Snowboards, finds multiple ways to keep his lower body in shape for snowboarding and surfing

Jake Burton sets an annual goal of snowboarding 100 days a year. A snowboard pioneer, and founder and chairman of Burton Snowboards Inc. in Burlington, Vt., has hit that goal nearly every year during the past 19 years, with the exception of 2011, when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Mr. Burton went through three months of chemotherapy. In January 2012, his doctors gave him a cancer-free bill of health and he slowly began regaining his strength in the pool and at the gym. Today, at age 60, he is charging harder than ever on the mountain.

“I got in 114 days this season,” he says. And when the snow is gone, he takes to the ocean for his other obsession, surfing.

Jake Burton Carpenter on a late November hike around Stowe Mountain Resort on Vermont's Mt. Mansfield.
Jake Burton Carpenter on a late November hike around Stowe Mountain Resort on Vermont’s Mt. Mansfield. BEN SARLE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Mr. Burton relies on four regular activities—hiking, yoga, swimming, and biking—to keep him fit enough to snowboard and surf. He thinks of his workouts on a point system, awarding himself one point per workout, with 10 being his target each week. “I usually manage six.” Some days he tries to double up on workouts by mixing business with an activity. He might bike with a colleague and discuss new snowboard gear.

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