Women’s Snowboarding Pioneer Kelly Clark Announces Retirement

After 20 years, nearly 200 events, 137 podiums, 78 wins, 5 trips to the Olympics and more pipe laps than she can count, women’s snowboarding pioneer Kelly Clark announced her retirement today. She plans to take her final contest run at Winter X Games this Saturday.

Clark is highly regarded as one of the greatest competitive snowboarders of all time. She helped pave the way for women’s action sports and is ready to let the young guns fill her role.

Moving forward, Clark plans on enjoying the finer things that snowboarding has to offer – like pow turns without a jersey on. But beyond that, she is looking forward to inspiring others through sharing the lessons she learned throughout her double-decade career, much of which are included in her book, Inspired.

She also plans on working with Burton Co-CEO Donna Carpenter on sustainable manufacturing.

Kelly Clark and Donna Carpenter at Big Sky. Photo: Courtesy of Alexadrian/Burton

Clark says of her decision, “For twenty years, competitive snowboarding has been the place to push myself, to see what I’m capable of, and to pursue what is possible. I learned to live and thrive in a performance culture, but not to be defined by it. I’ve learned that true greatness is an inside job and it’s entirely possible you may be the only one who truly understands the depths of your victories.”

She continued, “Today, I proudly step away from competitive riding knowing that women’s snowboarding is alive, well, and in good hands.”

Burton is celebrating Clark’s career by offering a limited-release commemorative snowboard called ‘RISE,’ a board that Clark worked closely on made it one of the most sustainable boards Burton has ever made.

“The RISE is the perfect way to commemorate Kelly’s competitive career and celebrate her future with Burton,” said Carpenter.

“It’s been an honor to collaborate with Kelly on the RISE, and we’re all so grateful that she will continue to work with us on product development and inspiring the snowboard community.”

kelly clark retirement
Kelly Clark in her habitat. Photo: Courtesy of Blotto/Burton

The RISE is a tapered directional shape women’s board incorporating materials that reduce the carbon footprint, which is in line with Burton’s 2020 sustainability goals that include a mandate to reduce hardgoods’ carbon emissions by 20-percent.

With deep Vermont roots, just like Clark, this board was designed and manufactured in Burton’s backyard. The graphic features the Peregrine Falcon, which is found in Vermont and is known to migrate up to 15,000 miles a year, always returning back to its favored familiar places. The Peregrine was once endangered due to harmful chemical pesticides, but thanks to the curtailing of those harmful materials, the Peregrine Falcon population is now booming.

The Burton Rise. Photo: Courtesy of Burton

Only 50 of this very limited edition board will be produced. The board will retail for $599.95. If interested, head to their website quickly, because it’s possible that 49 other people have bought it already.

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