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Burton Relaunches Spirit of Openness With New Mystery Series

Snowboarders of all ages are welcome to compete in the Burton Mystery Series, a free pop-up competition aiming to inspire a new generation of riders.

Burton Mystery Series; (photo/Burton)(Photo/Burton)
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It was a Saturday at Ruby Hill, a small, city-owned park in an otherwise industrial area of south Denver. And snowboarders of all ages were throwing it down for the Burton Mystery Series.

For one 5-year-old, that meant hitting a shoebox-sized feature sticking 2 inches out of the snow. For a 59-year-old retired semi-pro rider, it meant competing for the first time in 30 years, testing his speed down the banked slalom course in the Mystery Series, hoping to score big and win some cash.

There were about 150 snowboarders, ranging in age from 5 to 60. They were all trying to shred as hard and fast as they could down the course, measuring about 40 vertical feet from summit to base. All entrants registered for free. Many had rented boots and boards (which they also got for free).

The new Burton Mystery Series is making stops like this all over the world. It doesn’t aim to hit major resorts, mostly small urban locations like Denver’s Ruby Hill. The goal is to build community and stoke excitement for the sport. Burton wants to welcome snowboarders of all backgrounds to gather and ride.

“A big part of the Mystery Series is being inclusive of all levels, ages, and abilities. We’re also trying to make it really accessible, not just financially, but time commitment-wise,” George Carpenter, son of the late Jake Burton Carpenter, aka the godfather of snowboarding, told GearJunkie. “With this Series, we asked ourselves, how can we create community and build good times where the people are at instead of making them come to where we are?”

Burton’s New Mystery Series

Burton Mystery Series; (photo/Burton)

Back to the Roots

When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, Burton had just wrapped up its monumental Burton U.S. Open event in Vail following Jake Burton Carpenter’s passing in November 2019. It turns out that the U.S. Open event, which brought out the world’s top snowboarders — X Games and Olympic medalists — would be the last one for several years.

Due to the long-term planning and logistics that go into the U.S. Open and the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, the company canceled the 2021 U.S. Open event. And it launched into some creative brainstorming. The Carpenter family and staff began examining the competition, which historically required no qualification or invitation. They looked at the possibilities with fresh eyes.

“The U.S. Open did more for professional snowboarding than any event in history. But some of its original appeal of it changed with the times. It was always open to any competitor. So someone could show up that no one has heard of,” Carpenter said.

“It was a platform for people to get recognized, but with the internet, there’s no one that isn’t recognized. There are no surprises anymore. We decided to take a step back, and look at the second generation of snowboarders. There are 4-year-old snowboarders whose parents are snowboarders. It’s tough to go to a place like Vail for a week, and pay for lift tickets, and everything. What’s great about the Mystery Series is that we can localize them. We can do a lot more Mystery Series events versus one U.S Open for kind of the same price.”

Burton Mystery Series; (photo/Burton)

Stops Around the Globe

Burton tested the format for the Mystery Series last season at Theodore Wirth Ski Hill in Minneapolis. It stops there again on March 4. The first season of the global tour has already included stops in Boreal, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; and Ontario and Saskatchewan in Canada, as well as in Japan, China, New Zealand, and throughout Europe.

All events are free to enter and include a banked slalom competition with adult cash prizes and product prizes for kids.

“Banked slalom is unique to snowboarding and has been around a while. It’s inclusive of all levels — a 3-year-old or a 40-year-old who’s only gone snowboarding a couple of times — it’s about doing your personal best. Every event has a banked slalom, then all-level park features. We’re encouraging kids to hit their first rail or first jump. On every course, there are also expert-level rails and jumps. We’re inviting pro athletes to all of these stops. We’re inspiring the next generation of riders, showing them this is what you can eventually do on your snowboard. [It’s] really creating something that hasn’t existed in snowboarding.”

Carpenter’s mom, Donna Carpenter, ripped the banked slalom course in Denver. At one of the Japan stops, George nailed a new trick of his own. The announcers, not knowing he was Jake Burton Carpenter’s son, threw him a pair of gloves (that he regifted).

To find out more or register, visit Burton.com/mysteryseries.

Where Is the Mystery Series Stopping This Spring?

Burton Mystery Series; (photo/Burton)

North America

  • Theodore Wirth Ski Hill, Minnesota – March 4, 2023
  • Woodward Park City, Utah – March 25, 2023


  • Arosa Lenzerheide, Switzerland – March 5, 2023
  • Kläppen, Sweden – March 11, 2023
  • Sveitsi, Finland – March 18, 2023
  • Flachauwinkl, Austria – March 26, 2023
  • Solheisen, Norway – April 29, 2023


  • Lake Songhua, Jilin – March 18, 2023

New Zealand

  • Snow Planet, New Zealand – May 6, 2023
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