One day this fall I got a call from one of my old friends and snowboarding legend, Pat Bridges. Pat is currently the Senior Editor at Snowboarder Magazine and has been in the industry since the early nineties. He asked me if I would be interested in shooting Jake Burton for a feature story in the mag. I think I paused for a bit. I mean the idea of shooting Jake was like shooting MJ, or Lebron.

Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity. A few weeks later I met Pat in Burlington Vermont and sat down to breakfast with him and caught up on old times. We then ventured over to Burton and scoped out the factory and offices for a place to shoot Jake. We settled on an old barn wall that was sitting over at the Craig Kelly design center.  Now I have met Jake multiple times but it was always in passing or at an event. I was actually a little nervous.

This shoot wasn't about Jake the snowboarding godfather or Jake the pioneer. No. This shoot was about Jake the man, Jake the survivor. I knew of Jake's battles with Cancer but had no idea about his recent bought with Miller Fisher Syndrome.  Jake showed up on set and looked incredible. He had a stack of papers about 2 feet tall and explained that they were his only line of communication for the 8 weeks he was paralyzed in his hospital bed. He went on and told us that the only muscle he could move was in his fingers so he decided to communicate through writing.

I have always respected Jake for his contribution and commitment to snowboarding but after shooting him, and learning about his life threatening battles I admire him more for his strength and determination to carry on.

gary land