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Burton Snowboards 2011

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The British are coming, the British are coming. . . in two, rad Burton collabs for this winter. The first is with UK-based designer Paul Smith, who created the graphics on the $1,200 Vapor, Burton’s second most expensive deck. Although I haven’t ridden this board, it’s considered super spendy by most snowboarders, especially because other high-end boards, from other companies, are less than half the price.

Burton Vapor board; artwork by Paul Smith

But for those who want a board very few others will have — or, more importantly, a board that has an aesthetic of a world-class designer — the Vapor is a keeper. The top sheet is black with just a flash of color along Burton’s channel, which runs down the spine on the top of the board. The bit of color is multi-hued and looks positively electric — like a bundle of electrical wires inside a tech device, but brighter. On the base, the “electrical wire” look explodes running vertically down the board.

Burton board with Ralph Steadman graphics

A version of the $530 Easy Livin deck features graphics by Ralph Steadman. The well-known illustrator is most famous for his “gonzo” aesthetic that brings caricatures and graphic precision punctuated with bleeding ink spots. He even has a font, which is similar to the one you see on Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” record.

But Steadman achieved worldwide fame when he began collaborating with the late, great American writer Hunter Thompson. The graphic on the board features a drawing of the writer from Thompson’s book, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

—Stephen Krcmar

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