Originally published in the 30th Anniversary Issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, Mountain GOATS celebrates the most influential snowboarders of the last thirty years (1987-2017), otherwise known as the Greatest Of All Time list. With over 70 men and women riding into the ranks of the Mountain GOATS, check back as we release their bios and celebrated accolades over the course of the next few weeks!
Mountain Goat: Jesse Burtner
Jesse Burtner has been a professional snowboarder for a very long time, and although his influence was felt in other decades, it is within the last ten years that Burtner has solidified his legacy, which is due in equal parts to his time behind the lens as it is to his time in front of it. A native Alaskan, Burtner was one of the first riders from that great state to make it to the big leagues and with a plethora of video parts to showcase his stunts--the biggest of which was Jesse stepping to "The Berzerker," a hundred-plus foot stepdown at Superpark 3 at Mammoth Mountain, California--both in the backcountry and the streets, a severe head injury not only sidelined Burtner, it threatened his life. However, it is post-trauma that Jesse reinvented himself as not just a rider, but as an influencer.
By incepting Think Thank Productions and recruiting his homies to film for the videos, Jesse started a movement that spawned a new type of snowboarding. Their ethos was that they were dead set on riding what lay in front of them--no crazy heli shots, no huge builds in the streets, and most importantly, almost no slow-mo in their edits. The result was a dozen films like Thanks Brain!, Cue The Birds, Patchwork Patterns, The Weather Outside is Weather and many more that focused on the fun in snowboarding, showcasing it in a uniquely artistic and raw manner.
On top of that, Burtner adapted his riding style and started thinking outside the box with unique tricks like Natas spins, one-footers, fastplants, no-footers and finger flips, both paving the way and providing a platform for riders like Scott Stevens to make a career in pro snowboarding. Think Thank isn't just another film company; it sparked a revolution in snowboarding to counter the direction that it was headed. To this day, they're going strong, making kings, and changing the way that snowboarding is approached on all levels. So thanks, Burtner, for all you've done.