Kevin has been a part of the Burton family for years, receiving his first snowboard from Jake Burton himself back when he was just five years old. In 2004, Kevin earned his first official sponsorship with Burton Snowboards after a Burton team manager was impressed with his riding during summer camp at Mt. Hood. From that point on, Kevin started showing up on podiums everywhere, with career highlights like consecutive Arctic Challenge victories, a pair of Air & Style wins, multiple X Games medals and back-to-back European Open wins.
Everything changed in an instant when Kevin suffered a traumatic brain injury while attempting a Cab double cork during a halfpipe training session on December 31, 2009. Since then, Kevin has spent nearly two years putting all his energy into rehab, re-learning things we all take for granted like eating, walking, talking, balancing and seeing.
Until recently, Kevin didn’t know if he would ever be able to snowboard again. So when he got the green light from his doctors it was a dream come true, and everything came together last week as he strapped on his board for the first time since the accident. Jake Burton was honored to join Kevin for his inaugural runs at Vail, after this Kevin headed to Breckenridge to ride with friends and fans.
“To get to this point in his recovery, Kevin has worked harder and has had more determination than anyone I know,” said Jake Burton, Founder and CEO of Burton Snowboards. “His positive attitude and sense of humor through it all has inspired millions of people, including me personally in a big way. I couldn’t be happier to be here with Kevin to get back on snow with him. It was a day I’ll never forget.”
In a pretty historic moment yesterday, Jake switched out his ‘I Ride for Kevin’ snowboard sticker (the grassroots campaign Burton created back in 2009 to show support for Kevin) with a new Burton sticker that says ‘Ride with Kevin’.