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Surfers paddle-out for late snowboard legend, Jake Burton Carpenter

Posted at 6:53 PM, Nov 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-24 11:34:33-05

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV)-- Dozens of people joined a paddle-out for the late "godfather of snowboarding" Saturday. Many thanked Jake Burton Carpenter for his legendary contribution to snowboarding.

Surfers hit the waves at Swami's Surf Spot to honor a man they said changed their lives. But Jay Saling brought his other favorite board.

"Two things I love most in this in the world are snowboarding and surfing, and he helped created both of those," Saling said.

Saling organized the paddle-out shortly after the announcement of snowboard legend Jake Burton Carpenter's death on Wednesday. Saling carried a Burton snowboard into the waves and placed it on top of his surfboard as he paddled out.

Burton is credited for reinventing the sport and culture of snowboarding. Friends and former Burton Snowboards employees now living in San Diego shared their memories with Carpenter.

"At my interview, his first question was, 'Do you snowboard?' And I actually lied to him. I said, 'I did.' I was a skier. And then from that moment when he hired me, I never skied ever since, so I owe my life to Jake," former employee Mike Hoefer said.

Many who knew Carpenter said he was a man who thought outside of the box. Not quite turning things upside down, just sideways.

"You could get on the mountain, but he turned everything sideways and just made everything more fun," surfer and snowboarder Chris Dodds said.

It was so much fun that snowboarding became an Olympic sport in 1998. San Diego-born Olympian Shaun White's parents joined in the paddle-out Saturday. Their son paid his respects on Instagram, sharing a photo of the embrace he shared with Carpenter after his gold medal win in Pyeongchang.

From Olympians to recreational boarders, Jake Burton Carpenter's impact on snowboarding will live on forever.

"His passion really created this world for us that we all share, and now we all have in common," former Burton employee Jenny Sehic said. "It's pretty powerful."

Carpenter's funeral is scheduled for Tuesday in Vermont.