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Would you spend over £18,000 on a second-hand snowboard?
Well someone would, and has, with the anonymous bidder ‘winning’ the board on eBay with a bid of US$ 31,313.13.

But this is no ordinary old snowboard – it is a 1977 experimental prototype Burton board which was given to its owner by Jake Burton Carpenter in lieu of payment for helping with snowboard designs.

One of only 100 such prototypes, the board is a piece of snowboard design history – hence the speculation that the mystery winning bidder was in fact Burton itself.

The board was listed on eBay by vintage ski dealer vintagewinter.com, on behalf of its owner, who wanted a transparent auction for it.

Here’s the original eBay listing and the Q and As that preceded the record-breaking bidding war:

Vintage Burton Prototype Snowboard
c. 1977

Wood, metal, rubber, nylon, plastic

Board: 50.5″l x 8″w x 5″d

Aluminum fin: 8″ l x 1.25″w x 1″d

An extremely rare Burton prototype snowboard. Less than 100 prototype boards were made before Jake Burton Carpenter founded the Backhill Londonderry line. In all our years of selling winter sporting antiquities we have only seen two others.

These just do not come up for sale.

This snowboard was given by Jake to its current owner Chris, in trade for helping work on some early snowboards. As the story goes Jake and Chris worked together at the Birkenhaus Inn in Stratton Vermont. I’m told that while the owner Emo Henrich fully supported and mentored Jake’s snowboard development, he didn’t quite know his lodge was being used after hours as a spray room for the paint and stencils seen on the early boards.

This now vintage snowboard was payment from Jake to Chris in trade for his work. It was ridden only a couple times with the majority of its original paint seen on the base of the board. It has been lovingly stored ever since and is looking for a new home.

The snowboards history is well validated with Chris’s family heavily woven into Stratton history.

Chris’s father Joe, met Emo in Innsbruck after the war forming a family bond that lasted generations. Joe talked Emo into moving to America around 1955. Once here he taught skiing at Mt. Hood then moved to Sugarbush then onto Vermont. The photo on the left was taken somewhere around 1977. This board is the real deal not a reproduction.

Please let us know of any questions.

And the Q&A section from the eBay sale.

Q: Have any of the items on this board ever been replaced? Jun-25-14
A: Hi, The owner actually helped Jake make this board back in 1977. He states it’s completely original. He used it only a couple times and has kept it in dry storage ever since. We have seen first hand, repos/fakes of old Londonderry’s and this board along with its power cord, handle and fin all have tell tell signs of true age. Let me know of any further questions.

Q: The photos appear to be from another website. Do you have recent photos of the item? May I come and see it in person? Thanks, Bryan Jun-25-14
A: Hi Bryan, Thank you for your questions. Yes we (VintageWinter.com) are selling this item for the current owner. He really wanted a transparent auction format and our website could not provide this. We have done extensive due diligence and have authenticated this board. It’s currently in our museum archival storage in Bend, Oregon. If you would like to see it in person we can arrange this for you. Commercial and private airstrips are minutes away. The board was meticulously preserved by a trained curation technician with an industry premium microcrystalline wax polish. This is the real deal. Let me know of any further questions. Nick