Usually everyday is a snowy day in New York City during the winter, but this year has shown different weather patterns. On February 1st, NYC was finally hit with a snow storm, one of the biggest they’ve received in the past five years, and the native snow enthusiasts were ecstatic. But, these sporadic weather forecasts are becoming more and more popular due to the consequences of climate change. As climate changes rise, so do adverse and abnormal weather conditions. This has become an increasing concern for avid skiers and snowboarders, as well as the companies that support these groups. 

Over the next upcoming years into decades, the winter season window is subject to shrink, casting out many business and hobby opportunities. In a proactive response, many snow sport companies have developed new products and changed supply angles to keep their business afloat. For instance, Salomon, largely known for skis, have become an outfitter for running shoes, and snowboard manufacturer Lib Tech has turned to the ocean for sale production with the creation of surfboards.  

According to a recent study from 2021, researchers form the University of Waterloo predict by 2100, only one of the 21 previous locations for the Winter Olympics will be available to hold the games. 

“Our season is certainly shorter than it was in the past,” stated Chief Strategy Officer for Burton Snowboards, Ali Kenney. “Before, you could depend on a Thanksgiving and Christmas rush. Now, most of our activity is from January to March.”

Burton Snowboards, founded in 1977, is known for being the pioneer and leader of snowboarding, popularizing the sport enough to make it a main activity in the Olympics. This deeply rooted winter company has found a stand still, attempting to find the balance between the cold and warm months. From transcending snowboarding, Burton continues to fight to save the cherished sport through a combination of environmental practices, the promotion of winter saving policies, and increasing efforts to expand and diversify snowboarding.

Since being founded in Vermont, the state’s snowboarding population has increased tremendously, with the main athletes traveling to the Green Mountains and Stratton Mountain. But, unfortunately due to the ever increase of the Earth’s surface temperature, along with rising atmospheric heat, warm rains have become common. Vermont winters were reliably cold with fruitful snow storms, but now Burton has loosened its snow day rules and shuts down their slopes if a foot or more is projected. 

“There’s a lot less energy around here when no one is feeling like they can get out and ride and experience the feeling that we are all seeking. The positive is that it increases the energy and commitment around our climate work. But it’s hard for it not to take a toll emotionally,” stated Ms. Kenney. 

Indoor snowboarding and skiing establishments have increased in popularity, one being Big SNOW in New Jersey. These establishments are relatively more accessible, cheaper, and offer consistent snow for those who ride. But, there is a strong difference between fake synthetic flakes and real fallen powder, and many enthusiasts know. 

According to another study conducted by the University of Vermont, the light fluffy snow that boarders rely on, will become more rare as the winters become harsher. Another grave concern is the disappearance of low altitude snow fall, leaving the higher and more expensive resorts accessible. The low slopes are used to improve talent and skill, countercultural flair, and build a strong community between the boarders. 

Burton has now created various pathways to attract new and experienced boarders to the sport, with various programs to introduce and bring comfortability to diverse boarders in the world of snowboarding. The company’s ethics lie in the true, authentic version of the sport – the fresh air, the outdoors, and the thrill of the ride.