Free ride

Free ride

As if it wasn’t enough to birth the modern sport of snowboarding, Jake Burton has one last gift from the great beyond.

On March 13, Copper Mountain, as well as a dozen other ski resorts around the world, will be offering free lift tickets to snowboarders in honor of the godfather of groms.

 The snowboarding pioneer passed away in November in his home in Burlington, Vt., from cancer at the age of 65. But he left behind a huge legacy, as well as a global company.

A native of New York, Burton spent 42 years growing snowboarding from a backyard hobby to an international phenomenon. He pushed ski areas to allow snowboards in the days when most wouldn’t – Breckenridge was the first in the U.S., in 1985 – and supported competitive snowboarders as athletes.

“Jake’s vision was to bring snowboarding to all,” reads a statement on the “A Day for Jake” website. “His dream, his perseverance and his generosity were his gift to the world. As an industry, and as a community we come together for this day to remember, reflect and ride. Together we open our doors and open our hearts to carry Jake’s spirit forward; to share our love of the mountains and the joy of a perfect turn. Because snowboarding makes us happy. Snowboarding makes us hopeful. Snowboarding makes us free.”

Although the Copper lift tickets “sold” out, as of this writing, lift tickets are still left for other areas, including Summit at Snoqualmie (Washington); Big Sky (Montana); and Boreal and Bear Mountain (California); among others.

To get in on the action, boarders (sorry, skiers gotta sit this one out) must preregister my midnight March 8 at: www.adayforjake.com

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