that article brought nothing new to the table, other than proving burton's point. yes, burton went way over the top in describing fascist ski resorts and equating not being able to snowboard at alta with racism. anyone who has experienced true discrimination should be offended and pissed at burton. however, what was clearly a marketing gimmick has proven to be more, if solely for the fact that Hans Ludwig, after calling out burton, gave the most bullshit reason yet for why alta should be skier only. Whose the gaper now, Hans?
Will snowboarding be better off without burton, so all the ski companies that make snowboards can fill the void? No. Ski companies should either be sending Jake Burton thank you cards every christmas, or death threats. Burton did what every ski company failed at doing, reviving skiing. Burton and Sims changed the entire ski industry more than shaped skis did. Now, Burton is a global leader in outerwear, making products that rival and sometimes are better than arcteryx (owned by salomon), cloudveil, mtn hardwear, etc and use their huge R+D budget to make cool shit (burton came up with welded seams). burton is still a small (relatively) private company and, most importantly, snowboarding is the priority. ask k2, quiksilver (they own lib tech, rossi, DC), volcom, solomon, what their priorty is. if they say the integerity of snowboarding/skiing their shareholders might be just a little bit pissed.
while, i don't agree with burton's team managing style, or how they throw their weight around the industry and i think most of their products are overpriced, they are a much better ambassodor for snowsports than the random dude whose shareholders own k2. in fact, they are better ambassadors than powder mag or hans ludwig, the gaper that he is (according to his own definition).