Across his four previous Olympic Games—Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, Pyeongchang 2018—there was one essential constant in Shaun White’s snowboarding career: his board sponsor.
White was famously sponsored by Burton Snowboards at the tender age of 7, and the brand was emblazoned the bottom panel of his board for more than two decades. His contract was set to expire just before the 2018 Olympics, and White, not wanting to make a major change right before the Games, called late Burton founder Jake Burton Carpenter and his wife, Donna, now CEO, to ask the company for its support through the Games.
Following the Pyeongchang Olympics, however, White found himself without an equipment sponsor for the first time in his pro career, which allowed the seed of an idea that had taken root earlier in his career to really begin to grow.
Without necessarily realizing he was on a path to launching his own active lifestyle brand, White began trying out different boards and thinking about ways he could modify designs to be exactly what he needed to ride halfpipe at the highest level.
Fast-forward five years, and White has announced and soft launched his own active lifestyle brand, Whitespace, that will eventually release a line of outerwear, snowboard hardgoods and streetwear apparel later this year.
But on Thursday, to celebrate its launch, the brand released a limited number of Whitespace Freestyle Shaun White Pro signature snowboards, which are available exclusively from Backcountry, Whitespace’s exclusive retail partner.
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The boards—50 in all, to commemorate what would be the five times White has competed in the Olympics if he qualifies for the U.S. team ahead in Beijing—are each signed and hand-numbered, authenticated by serial number and wrapped in a leather-embossed case dated with the year of inception.
The board is a directional twin, which is what White has always ridden in the halfpipe, and comes in sizes of 140, 143, 156. (White rides the 156).
Eagle-eyed observers noticed White riding a new board in practice at X Games Aspen 2021, all black with a white stripe running down the center.
There it was again at the 2021 Aspen Grand Prix, White’s first official International Ski & Snowboard Federation (FIS
In the fall, at training camp in Switzerland, the Whitespace branding was visible on White’s board, and then again at Dew Tour, the next Olympic qualifier held at Copper Mountain in December, as he began teasing the launch on Instagram stories.
When White was without a sponsor at X Games, he used the opportunity to affix a photo of his niece wearing sunglasses to the topsheet of his snowboard (which he said “which was so funny, but also reminds me of the love and support of my family when I’m riding”), with that by-now signature white stripe running down the middle of the base.
“I kept having this vision of a white stripe going down the middle of it,” White told me by phone the day before Whitespace launched. When he started using the board in his runs, someone said, “I always know it’s you dropping in because there’s that big white space.”
“All these things came together; I had the thought of, instead of coming up with all these base graphics, I want to have our calling card be the white stripe. That’s who we are,” White said. “Whitespace is obviously a play on my name, but also it means opportunity, a gap in the market, a blank canvas waiting for something new and creative. Snowboarding is one of the only sports where I can invent a new trick and be the best in the world. I love that opportunity and openness about the sport.”
White doesn’t want his boards to trade in all kinds of flashy graphics; if anything, he feels that will detract from the fact that, with his decades of experience and name backing the brand, the boards’ performance is the selling point.
“I like the cleanness of the boards; it’s not like they need to be loud to sell, the performance of them sells it,” White said. “There are some things in my life where I’m very clean and organized—maybe that’s the Virgo in me—and everything has to be perfect, but there’s some chaos in there as well. It really matches who I am and what I’m about.”
Whitespace is a partnership between Shaun and his older brother, Jesse—who is famously the reason Shaun switched from skiing to snowboarding growing up. The two used to work together on various design and ad campaigns, but life had taken them in different directions over the last few years.
But the brothers found themselves in the right place at the right time, and Jesse has steered “everything you’ve seen visually within the brand,” White said.
Jesse’s title? They’re still working on that, White says. For that matter, “What is my title?” White wondered. “Is chairman of the board too on the nose?”
The brand is in its infancy, but part of the motivation for founding is for White to potentially play the role for someone else that Jake Burton Carpenter played for him.
Jesse has two sons; Shaun’s sister has his niece, Charli (she of the graphic on White’s board), and another on the way. White had a “surreal moment” when they took Charli snowboarding for the first time and realized, They’re gonna use my gear, and one day, my kid will, too.
“That’s such a cool thing,” White, who has been vocal in recent interviews about his dream of becoming a father in the next phase of his life, continued.
“What if I could be that helping hand like Jake Burton was to me? I hope that could be one of the ripple effects of starting this company. The reasons for doing it are obvious; my entire career I’ve ridden for companies and had various endorsements and things, and I won’t say anything bad about it—it was an amazing learning experience. You learn so much about product development and what it takes and what you want people to see and understand about a company.
“But when you join an existing company or brand, the goal is to be yourself but then fit their mold—‘this is our logo, this is our slogan, these are the charities we work with, here are the products we're thinking for you.’ You start thinking, ‘What if I did this from the ground up and we were able to steer the brand ourselves?’”
White hopes to ride his Whitespace pro model right into the Beijing Olympics—but first, he has one more hurdle in a season that has been filled with them.
White pulled out of the men’s superpipe final at X Games last January when he tweaked his knee in practice. He started his Olympic qualification campaign on a high note, with his fourth-place finish at the Aspen Grand Prix in March 2021, but was disappointed with his eighth-place finish there.
At Dew Tour last month, White finished fourth in qualifiers before a freak occurrence during his final as his binding snapped on the third hit of his first run. He was still in his own head during his second run but managed to stomp a clean third and final run to finish in seventh—still earning valuable points for the U.S. Olympic team qualification, but not enough to be comfortable.
After the holidays, White revealed that he had tested positive for Covid and had experienced symptoms. Though he tested negative before heading to Mammoth for the U.S. Grand Prix last weekend—the final U.S. qualifier for the Olympic team—he wasn’t back to 100 percent.
He did not start in the final, and wasn’t included on the initial Olympic team naming.
“The lingering symptoms were still there,” White told me. “My lungs were full, I had trouble breathing—it’s closest thing I’ve ever gotten to the ‘twisties.’ During the qualifying of that competition, I landed really hard on my back ankle, and at this point I’m thinking, ‘I’m already feeling kind of under the weather, now my ankle hurts; do I push forward?’ The signs were telling me to back off the gas, take it to the next event.”
The U.S. can name up to four athletes to its men’s snowboard halfpipe team. White is currently sitting in fourth place among the American men—the bubble spot. So this week, he set off to Switzerland to compete in the Laax Open, the final global Olympic qualifier, to firm up his selection. (Qualifying criteria include a rider’s three best finishes from the season, so White is looking to replace his finish from one of the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper, Dew Tour or the Grand Prix at Mammoth).
“I just wanted to get here and make sure everything’s buttoned up and go forward from that,” White said. “Either way, it’s great practice; the pipe here is the one they’re modeling the China pipe after, with the same cut and shape. And now I can have the final say for the last spot there on the team.”
“That’s the Olympics and the road to get there,” White continued. He knows that fact well; in November 2017, just two months before the 2018 Games, he clipped the edge of the halfpipe while training in New Zealand and faceplanted into the halfpipe wall, requiring 62 stitches.
“I always describe it like Rocky,” White said. “He didn’t even win in the first movie. It’s who he has to become to get to that place.”
White qualified for the Laax Open final on Thursday, and the American who is fifth in the rankings, Chase Blackwell, failed to advance. That means he’ll remain ranked fourth through the final Olympic qualifier and should be the fourth rider named to the men’s halfpipe team later this month.
Revealing that this would be his last Olympic run has been “bittersweet,” but in other ways, a weight has been lifted. It will give him more time to focus on his family, as well as his businesses, like launching Whiteout and spending more time mentoring the next generation of snowboarders.
He’s mentored close friend and fellow U.S. Ski & Snowboard teammate Toby Miller, 21, for years, and though the two are competitors now, he’s excited to take a step back and watch Miller’s and other young riders’ careers flourish.
“It’s sad in many ways, thinking, ‘I’ll never do this again, I’ll never do that,’” White said. “It’s like when you graduate high school, and you think, I’m gonna miss my friends and this and that, but then you realize, dang, I don’t have to get up early and be worried about the tests. Once you peel back the curtain of the sport—just like anything; a musician, a soccer player, whatever it is—there’s things that happen along the way and there’s a grind to it. I feel so excited to turn a page and be able to be at the events and not compete. We’ll watch Toby stress,” White said with a laugh.
“I’m embracing it with open arms and feel like I’ve accomplished so much already. I’m so happy with my career. That last Olympics in Korea was the icing on the cake, the comeback story of my career. I’m so proud of that moment; anything else is wonderful. To be 35 and get to Beijing and win a medal would be even crazier. But I’m happy with how it’s all kind of unfolded.”
Shaun White Expands Whitespace Brand With New Snowboards And Apparel: 'I Want To Keep Pushing' Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I cover action sports and the Olympics and Paralympics.Did Shaun White start Whitespace? ›
Founded in 2022, Whitespace is an active lifestyle brand created by Olympic gold medalist, Shaun White. The signature brand inspires focus and motivation that clears the noise, turns doubts into drop-ins, and unlocks the send.Who manufactures Whitespace snowboard? ›
In partnership with the outdoor retailer Backcountry, White is launching Whitespace, a new gear label inspired by the unique culture of snowboarding.What kind of snowboards does Shaun White use? ›
What does Shaun ride? Shuan snowboards regular (not goofy) on a Burton White Collection 156 snowboard. He uses Burton bindings and boots. His home mountain is Park City, Utah.Is Whitespace made by Burton? ›
Shaun White Parts Ways With Burton To Launch Signature Brand "Whitespace" “I've wanted to start my own brand for as long as I can remember.” The media could not be played.What is Whitespace brand? ›
The athlete launched Whitespace, an active lifestyle brand, before embarking on the fifth and final Winter Olympics of his career. White announced the soft launch of Whitespace — which he partnered with his brother, Jesse, to create — on his Instagram page in January.Who owns Whitespace? ›
Shaun White has launched his own active lifestyle brand, Whitespace, with Backcountry as the ... [+] The brand's soft launch includes a signature pro model freestyle snowboard that is available for sale on Backcountry's website.How tall of a snowboard should I get? ›
Snowboard length: As a general rule, if you stand a board on its tail, the nose of the board should reach somewhere between your nose and chin. You can use size charts and recommended rider weights to get more precise.Is Shaun White the most decorated snowboarder? ›
But White said he was not upset about missing the podium even though he wanted to win “so badly.” White has made a huge impact on the sport—his three gold medals make him the most decorated Olympic snowboarder ever.What is the most popular brand of snowboard? ›
1. Burton. Perhaps the most well-known of all snowboard brands, Burton was founded all the way back in 1977. Bob Marley, Jeremy Jones, Shaun White - they've all had deals with Burton.
OKX adds four-time Olympian snowboarder Scotty James as brand ambassador.Do snowboard brands matter? ›
Brand matters, especially when hunting for the next snowboard you'll use to shred powder. While there are many well-known snowboard brands â€” and even more lesser-known, up-and-coming brands â€” your safest bet for purchasing the best snowboard is to go through the best snowboard brand.Should I get a wide or narrow stance snowboard? ›
Until you develop a defined favorite riding style, most riders will find a slightly wider than shoulder width stance to be a good starting point. A just wider than shoulder width stance offers good stability and a powerful jumping position.What binding angle does Shaun White use? ›
|name||stance angles||stance category|
There, he also invented the double-cork, involving two off-axis rotations, or diagonal flips. The double cork has become the “premier” move that Olympic snowboarders aim for. It took Shaun three full days to invent and finally land the double-cork, but nobody else can yet do the Double McTwist 1260.Where are Whitespace snowboards manufactured? ›
The boards are made in the same locations as Kemper Snowboards which is at GP87 factory in China.Is Burton owned by Nike? ›
Burton Snowboards is a privately-owned snowboard manufacturing company that was founded by Jake Burton Carpenter in 1977.Who is the largest snowboard manufacturer? ›
Burton. The Burton brand is the most famous name in snowboarding and is the largest snowboard manufacturer in the world. Burton is credited with creating widely used technologies in the snowboarding industry, such as the EST binding system, which makes riding much more comfortable for athletes.Why is it called Whitespace? ›
(2) Any area on a document page that does not contain text or graphics. Also called "negative space," the term was derived from printing on white paper and any part not printed remained white.How long has Whitespace been around? ›
Whitespace is an esoteric programming language developed by Edwin Brady and Chris Morris at the University of Durham (also developers of the Kaya and Idris programming languages). It was released on 1 April 2003 (April Fool's Day).
White Space Improves Readability and Comprehension.
Studies show that white space leads to better readability and understanding. This can be in the form of leading between lines of type or between graphic elements. Making it easier for a viewer to read your message leads them to keep reading and not leave.
Retiring at age 35, he has now shifted from action to business. Last year, White partnered with the Utah outdoor retailer Backcountry to launch Whitespace—a lifestyle brand that features snowboards, jackets, ski goggles, and more.What is Shaun White's brand? ›
By Shaun White
Shaun developed the Whitespace gear alongside our product developers utilizing state-of-the-art 3D tech to engineer the kits and apparel. This collection combines Shaun's expertise as the most decorated snowboarder in the world, his unique style & our industry-leading product development.
You Can Own Olympian Julia Marino's Prada Snowboard For a Cool $3,600. Marino's Prada Linea Rossa Snowboard ($3,600), which is available in both white and black, is an in-store exclusive. Designed for all types of terrain, the board features a twin tip, poplar wood core, and a medium soft flex.Is a shorter snowboard easier to ride? ›
Generally, smaller snowboards are easier to manoeuvre, allowing you to carve smaller turns. Longer snowboards, on the other hand, will be harder to control when going slow but will be more stable at high speeds.What size snowboard for 140 lbs? ›
|Rider Weight||All Mountain Length (CM)||Freestyle Length (CM)|
|Up To 80 lbs (36 kg)||137||132|
|80-120 lbs (45-59 kg)||140||135|
|100-130 lbs (45-59kg)||143||138|
|110-140 lbs (50-64 kg)||147||142|
Using regular snow boots for snowboarding will not provide the required ankle support and binding fit. Compared to true snowboard boots, you will have a lot less heel and toe control in turns and the boot may slip out of the binding. The result is a high risk of foot, ankle, and leg injury.Who is the #1 snowboarder in the world? ›
He has won numerous competitions, including the X Games and the World Snowboarding Championships.
Shaun White: The most widely known snowboarder of all time is Shaun White. He is highly decorated with 18 X Games medals as well as 3 Olympic gold medals.Whats easier skiing or snowboarding? ›
Skiing Or Snowboarding For Beginners? Skiing is generally easy to learn initially but is harder to master. Snowboarding is harder to learn but reaching an advanced level is easier. Although there are exceptions to this rule, it generally holds true and you can use it to inform your snow sports choice.
- Shaun White.
- Mark McMorris.
- Max Parrot.
- Terje Håkonsen.
- Danny Kass.
- Travis Rice.
The average snowboard lasts between 150 to 200 days of riding. A snowboard's performance peaks during the first 75 to 100 days of riding, after which performance starts to gradually decline. The lifespan of a snowboard is largely influenced by the care, usage, location, and quality of the snowboard.Is snowboarding losing popularity? ›
The number of people snowboarding has steadily dwindled over the last decade and the number of days a snowboarder makes it to the ski hill has also declined, according to the National Ski Area Association. The sport that was once an unstoppable growth engine has sputtered.What is the fastest snowboard brand? ›
#1 best snowboard for speed: Burton Custom X (camber)
|Key features||Burton Custom X|
|Profile||Traditional camber (directional)|
- 2019 Burton Deep Thinker. The 2019 Burton Deep Thinker is one of two of Danny Davis' brainchild snowboards for this season. ...
- 2019 Arbor Bryan Iguchi Pro. ...
- 2019 Capita Scott Stevens Pro. ...
- 2019 DC Media Blitz. ...
- 2019 Nitro X Volcom Beast. ...
- 7 Alaska Ski Resorts Worth Visiting.
All the highlights from the the Nines event in Crans-Montana, Switzewrland including the world's first 2160 from Hiroto Ogiwara and Reira Iwabuchi's NBD frontside triple 1260.Do bigger snowboards go faster? ›
Length by itself will not make a snowboard go faster. It is mass that matters. Assuming that two boards are made of the same material and the same thickness, then a longer board will have more mass and will therefor be pulled down by gravity a bit faster.Do snowboards hold their value? ›
The more expensive the snowboard at retail, the more it will be worth used. However, like all gear, snowboards and boots still depreciate. You could expect to get back around half of the original price on this year's top-of-the-line snowboard.Should I get a snowboard based on weight or height? ›
Since most snowboarders ride a board that is 85% to 92% of their own body height, plugging a couple numbers into a simple formula can tell you the board length that might fit you best. The formula is as follows: Your Height (in inches) X 2.54 X 0.88 = Your Recommended Board Length.Are most snowboarders goofy or regular? ›
Indeed, 75% of snowboarders ride Regular (which is why they are known as "Regular").
Well, as you may well realise, a wide snowboard makes it more difficult to initiate an edge change, therefore making it more difficult to turn.What happens if a snowboard is too wide? ›
Know your snowboard waist width
The waist width of a snowboard is a critical performance dimension. If your board is too wide, it will feel slow moving edge to edge. If your board is too narrow, you will drag the toe cap or heel cup of your binding in the snow when you turn sharply.
Generally, you want to hot wax your board every 3 to 4 days of riding. This ensures better glide in varying snow conditions and an overall better performance. Just make sure you're using the right type of wax for the specific conditions.What snowboard stance is best for all mountain? ›
If you are interested in all-mountain freestyle, yet want to venture out of the park without making adjustments, you will want to go with a duck stance. However, while park riders often use a mirrored duck stance, you should set your bindings somewhere in the neighborhood of +15 / -3 for all-mountain freestyle riding.What is the best snowboard stance for knees? ›
Start with 15, -15 (equally duck) and then adjust every 3 degrees based on how your knees feel with the back foot always being equal or less than the front foot in angle. Adjust the width as well based on what feels right - start with a width that is equal to the height between your knee and the ground.What is the hardest snowboarding trick? ›
- Backside quad 1980.
- Quad cork 1800.
- Half-cab quadruple backflip.
- YOLO flip.
- Backside 1260 off-the-heels.
- Backside 540 rewind.
- Double McTwist.
- Chuck Taylor.
Double Cork 1080
A 1080 consists of three full rotations in the air. Chloe Kim was the only woman to ever land back-to-back 1080-degree spins in the halfpipe at the Olympics, helping Kim clinch her gold medal in 2018.
But one move has become synonymous with the American superstar: the Double McTwist 1260. The move combines three-and-a-half twists and two flips in one piece of air all with a snowboard strapped to his feet, and he first competed it at the Olympic Winter Games during his victory lap at Vancouver 2010.Who is the owner of Whitespace? ›
PARK CITY, Utah. Shaun White, three-time Olympic gold medalist and winner of the most X Games gold medals in history, has partnered with premier outdoor specialty retailer Backcountry to launch Whitespace, his new active lifestyle brand inspired by the freedom to create and find your greatest potential.What companies does Shaun White own? ›
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and San Diego native now owns a minority stake in Mammoth Resorts, which recently acquired Bear Mountain and Snow Summit—the SoCal resorts where White, 29, began riding at age 6. "It's amazing that I'm now an owner of the mountain where I grew up riding," White said.
In a press release, Backcountry says it will carry the Shaun White Pro, the Park Twin, and the Powder (as well as the accessory line). The Pro Youth Snowboard is also available on the site.What is Whitespace selling? ›
White space analysis is the process companies use to evaluate their existing products, services, and markets to address unmet customer needs. The “white space” is the opportunity itself—the area where a business can innovate, expand, upsell, and cross-sell its products and services.What is a Whitespace customer? ›
White space in business refers simply to any gaps in a customer's needs, which includes product features and uses, audiences, and any other differentiators.How much does a pro snowboarder get paid? ›
Most salaries range between $29,000 and $55,000, though many pros make significantly more or less. Outside of instructors, there is no pay scale to speak of. It's going to depend on your talent, your promotional skills and luck. Some professional snowboarders make six-figure incomes or more.What is a snowboarder salary? ›
The average snowboard salary in the USA is $40,950 per year or $19.69 per hour. Entry level positions start at $36,075 per year while most experienced workers make up to $55,000 per year.Does Shaun White own Big Bear? ›
“It's amazing that I'm now an owner of the mountain where I grew up riding,” said White. “As an owner I'll be able to make changes and shape the future of the mountain and how people enjoy it–whether they're beginners or professionals.” White's presence will be felt everywhere from the boardroom to the halfpipe.What company is the leader in snowboard industry? ›
Burton, the company that pioneered and popularized snowboarding, is viewed as the sport's leader. It has nurtured the sport in important ways, including by helping bring snowboarding into the Olympics, and then supporting many Olympic snowboarders.How much does Shaun White make from sponsors? ›
Shaun White's 2022 Net worth and Endorsements
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Shaun has a net worth of $65 million. He earns a salary of $10 million per year. Whereas he also has a 10-year multi-million-dollar endorsement deal with Burton Snowboards.
Shaun White is a five-time Olympian with three gold medals to his name. He also became an icon in action sports by winning the most gold medals of all-time in the ESPN X Games. With his many endorsements and iconic snowboarding legacy, Shaun is worth a whopping $65 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.