SBJ/November 21-27, 2011/Idea Innovators

Greg Dacyshyn, Burton Snowboards

Photo by: BURTON SNOWBOARDS

Define innovation: It’s what’s going to enhance the experience and what’s going to put a bigger smile on people’s faces when they go out on the mountain. What’s going to make going snowboarding more fun. And looking good, don’t get me wrong.

What’s the innovation you’re most proud of? One of the design projects I am super proud of was the snowboard we did with Paul Smith (as in Sir Paul Smith, the iconic British designer). … The result was the perfect blend of form meeting function, a platform that Burton has always perfected.

What’s the future of your industry? The future is bright, I hope. Obviously, we want to get more people out to the mountains, and snow dictates that. It’s about making things somewhat affordable, so trying to do top quality gear at lower price points is something that’s essential.

What inspires you? Travel. I make a point of taking a couple nights or a couple of days on the road getting lost and seeing new things and getting myself out of my comfort zone.


Greg Dacyshyn

Chief Creative Officer
Burton Snowboards

For Greg Dacyshyn, the design of the 2010 Team USA snowboard uniform started with a simple question: What is the most American item of clothing imaginable?

“There was nothing more iconic in my mind than denim,” said Dacyshyn, Burton Snowboards’ chief creative officer. “I have my favorite jeans and I thought, ‘It would be really cool to see my jeans in the Olympics.’”

A lot of steps occurred before that idea became reality. Over the course of 18 months, Burton photographed Dacyshyn’s favorite pair of jeans and then used a process called sublimation to impress the image of the jeans directly on a pair of Gore-Tex pants. The result was a pair of snowboard pants with a worn denim look.

Burton made only enough of the pants to outfit the U.S. Snowboard team for the 2010 Olympics, but the pants were so popular that the company gave in to customer demand and manufactured more for retail.

The entire episode underscores the magic of Burton. The company has been successfully blending fashion and performance for years in ways few other brands have imagined.
In his role as chief creative officer, Dacyshyn manages that process. The fashion-obsessed Canadian — “I have issues. I don’t walk the dog if I don’t feel like I’m looking decent.” — has been with Burton for 14 years, and worked in a variety of roles ranging from outerwear product manager to soft goods designer.

“I like to think at Burton that what we do is that we are innovators that bring true style to the mountain,” Dacyshyn said. “We work with kids that know what’s going on, and you have to be on your game to make sure you’re doing fresh stuff.”
— Tripp Mickle

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