Children are the future of the sport, and no other brand has done more to push the progression of kids' snowboarding gear than Burton.
In the early years, the Burton Snowboards employees would have never considered themselves "family oriented." They were rebels and hellraisers looking to plunder the hillsides of Vermont of all its untouched powder. Fast forward ten years, the outlaws now had inlaws and children of their own. Naturally, they wanted to spread their love of snowboarding to the next generation. However, there was one problem. There wasn't any quality gear for groms.
The team got to work, kicking off the long history at Burton, of developing the best gear possible for girls, boys, and toddlers—to have as much fun as possible alongside their parents. We had our Global Archivest, Todd Kohlman dig deep in the archives to pull some of his favorite grom gear from over the years.
When we looked back through the product catalogs from the last 40+ years, a few kids’ items caught our attention. And with the assistance of Burton Archivist Todd “TK” Kohlman, we dug out our favorite pieces of kids’ snowboarding gear from the Burton archives.
- 1987 Burton Woody 135 Kids’ Snowboard
- 1990 Burton Kelly Micro Air Kids’ Snowboard
- 1995 Burton Kids’ Work Snowboard Boot
- 1997 Burton Backhill Upper Mountain Kids’ Snowboarding Jacket & Pow Pants
- 2015 Burton Riglet Toddler’s Snowboard
- 2023 Burton Grom & Mini Grom Kids’ Snowboards
1987 Burton Woody 135 Kids’ Snowboard
Retailing for only $149 USD at launch, the 1987 Burton Woody 135 snowboard is widely considered the first modern board manufactured specifically for children. Designed for “off ski area use,” the Woody Series featured a wood core reinforced with fiberglass laminates, a P-tex base, and Burton’s trusted Backhill binding for easy entry/exit by even the youngest groms.
1990 Burton Kelly Micro Air Kids’ Snowboard
It’s not so difficult to design the best freestyle snowboards in the world when you have the best freestyle riders on the design team. Named after Craig Kelly (arguably one of the most influential snowboarders of all time), the 1990 Burton Kelly Micro Air snowboard featured a stance and sidecut that were perfectly centered along the midpoint of the board, translating to smooth predictable landings in the halfpipe. Available in a 145cm for riders under 145lbs (65kg), the Micro Air is credited with creating an entire generation of freestyle riders.
Craig Kelly taught us to lean in when it comes to pushing progression and performance—that doesn't end with adult product. The Kelly Air allowed that same push towards freeride progression to happen for much smaller feet.
1995 Burton Work Boot Kids’ Snowboard Boot
Available in US kids’ size 11 through US men’s size 2, the 1995 Burton Work Boot included all the premium features of the adult sized snowboard boot in an (adorably) small package just for groms. The waterproof leather upper provided excellent temperature control and consistent flex while the liner (called a bladder at the time) featured Room-to-Grow footbeds and contoured heel cups for maximum heel hold. And as one of the most comfortable snowboard boots in the line for that season, the kiddos were guaranteed a full day of shredding without sore feet.
1997 Backhill Upper Mountain Kids’ Snowboarding Jacket & Pow Pants
The 1997 Burton Backhill youth outerwear collection included jackets and snow pants that were waterproof, breathable, stylish, and warm. Available in youth sizes with reasonable price points (less than $140 each), parents could kit out the kids for the season without breaking the bank.
The Burton Upper Mountain Jacket included kid-friendly features like a removable hood, glove loops, and a removable pass holder, while the Pow Pant was built with removable knee pad protection, tons of pockets, and reinforced cuffs around the ankles.
2015 Burton Riglet Toddler’s Snowboard
It’s a saying that snowboarding families around the world have come to understand and appreciate: if they’re old enough to stand, they’re old enough to stand sideways. But until the launch of the Burton Riglet snowboard, there were few options for getting toddlers started with snowboarding.
Then in 2015, the Riglet snowboard dropped, allowing parents the ability to teach their infant groms the basics of snowboarding at home in the backyard, in the living room, and everywhere else in between. With a built-in Riglet reel for towing, safe and forgiving edgeless construction for tiny hands, and a grippy top for learning foot placement, the Riglet board provided an easy way to develop snowboarding fundamentals in a low-risk environment.
Pro Tip: Check out The Handlebar for an even easier way to get kids started with snowboarding.
When we first started working on the Riglet snowboard we had no idea what we were going to create. But we quickly realized we could create a product that was durable, reasonably priced, and super easy for kids to maneuver.
2023 Burton Grom & Mini Grom Kids’ Snowboards
Sized specifically for growing kids, the 2023 Grom Snowboard collection from Burton is available in lengths ranging from 80cm to 130cm and can accommodate riders as light as 25lbs. But where some other kids’ snowboards are made with only plastic, the Grom and Mini Grom both feature full wood cores for a realistic riding experience. This collection is sure to instill a lifelong love of snowboarding in anyone who gives it a try.
Yes, we made the Grom and Mini Grom just as much for the parents as for the kids.
Burton & The Future of Kids' Snowboarding Gear
Burton kids’ snowboards are designed to deliver fun, and we will continue to explore new ways to make snowboarding accessible. Popular boards like the Burton Chopper, Burton Chicklet, and Burton After School Special will stick around for as long as little shredders like them, and new products are already in the works (check back soon).
For more information about what Burton is doing to get kids on snow, check Everything You Need to Know about Burton Riglet and 5 Reasons to Visit a Learn to Ride Center. Also, please consider making a donation to Chill, where the mission is to get kids on boards.