Burton Unveils The Philosopher: A Limited-Edition Snowboard Designed by Jeff Koons & Jake Burton to Benefit the Chill FoundationBurlington, VT (December 9, 2016) Jake Burton and Jeff Koons proudly unveiled their co-designed snowboard, The Philosopher, during a private event at Burton’s new SoHo flagship store last evening. Featuring visual graphics created by Jeff Koons and technical aspects designed by Jake Burton, The Philosopher was crafted by hand at Burton Headquarters in Vermont where only 50 of the limited edition snowboards were produced.
All proceeds from sales of The Philosopher will benefit The Chill Foundation, the charity organization founded by Jake and Donna Carpenter that inspires youth to overcome challenges through boardsports.
“To work on a project with Jeff Koons is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Jake Burton, Founder and Chairman of Burton Snowboards. “What makes it so special is not only Jeff’s standing in the art world, but also his passion for snowboarding and perfection (both of which we share). When Jeff proposed that we collaborate on designing a board together, we agreed that donating all the proceeds to Chill would be the way to go. Snowboarding is the biggest gift that I as an individual or Burton as a company could give to anybody – the gift of experiencing surfing down a mountain.”
Jeff Koons adds, “I started snowboarding a few years ago and really love it. Through snowboarding, I had the opportunity to befriend Jake. After talking about what snowboarding meant to each of us, we decided to create a board together. Jake designed every detail concerning the construction and shape of the snowboard, and I designed the external aspects of the board in regards to concept and visual graphics.”
To communicate the profoundness of the experience of snowboarding, Jeff decided to base The Philosopher graphics on the allegory of the cave from Plato’s “Republic”.
“When you’re on a snowboard, there is a sense of oneness, and I’m just mesmerized by it, said Jeff. “So I created an idea for a board that reflects the philosophy of this feeling, starting with Plato’s Cave – the idea of transcendence, freeing oneself and walking out of that cave in a higher state of consciousness. That’s what the act of snowboarding does for me.”
Bringing Jeff’s vision to life took over two years of development and required application processes that had never been done on a snowboard before. Burton’s state of the art R&D facility in Vermont rose to the challenge and found innovative ways to perfect Jeff’s design on a snowboard. One unprecedented graphic feature is the Platonic solids on the top of the snowboard. In order to give the shapes the reflective properties Jeff envisioned, Burton created the largest foil stamps ever used on a snowboard graphic.
As for how the board rides, Jeff says, “Jake put his life history of snowboarding into The Philosopher to create the ultimate, high-performance board that’s great for all mountain riding. And with the design of it I tried to do the same – to aesthetically make something that visually is really special. So I hope that people who see the board get the idea of transcendence that they will experience when they go snowboarding.”