Dear Rider

There’s already a fair bit of buzz building in the snowboarding world about the Fernando Villena/Red Bull Media House documentary Dear Rider on Jake Burton Carpenter, which will premiere on HBO on Nov. 9. Burton Carpenter, the founder of the Burton company, did a ton to build snowboarding as a winter activity, a cultural phenomenon, and a sport, and the film covers that history and also his personal battles with nerve disease Miller Fisher Syndrome and cancer (which claimed his life in 2019). HBO released a full two-minute trailer for the film Wednesday, and it shows off some of the remarkable interview and archival footage they have of Burton Carpenter. The trailer includes discussion of his company’s modest beginnings, but the high hopes he had for snowboarding even then:

Burton Carpenter’s early comments there show just how tough of a sell snowboarding was when he began. “So I started the company in ’77, and I remember I went out with 30 snowboards and I came home with 40, because one dealer said ‘I don’t want this crap.'” The trailer also includes interviews with his wife Donna, who continues to own and run the company, and her “He had the spark, he was so damn determined” line stands out.

In there, Burton Carpenter talks about his efforts to make snowboarding a sport, and how he always believed that would happen. The trailer also shows off some of the many top snowboarders interviewed for this, including Shaun White, Kelly Clark, and Mark McMorris, and it presents a look at how this will cover both the past and present of snowboarding. And it suggests this is going to be a compelling documentary for anyone interested in snowboarding.

Dear Rider will premiere on HBO on Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 9:00 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, and will also be available to stream on HBO Max.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.