Todd ‘TK’ Kohlman, Burton Archivist

TK leading the tour. Photo Jesse Dawson

They say that some people are born for the position and after talking to Todd ‘TK” Kolhman, it quickly because obvious that TK was a natural choice for the Burton Archivist. His ability to name any Burton product and reveal a fun fact about it was impressive and interesting in equal measures and his love of snowboarding is radiating when he talks. We wanted to find out more from TK about his position, his favourite products and what items Jake was most proud of. Keep reading to find out more.

You are Burton’s archivist, for those who don’t know- what does this job entail and how did you get it?
It entails organizing the all the product we save every season. Giving public tours through our Craig Kelly Prototype Facility. Exhibits, old photography and history. It was Jake himself that brought up my name for the position.  

Is it true that the Burton archive contains one of every single burton product ever made from boards to beanies and everything in-between? That’s a lot of product where is it stored? 
It’s true, not every colorway but there is always one of each style.  It’s stored on campus here in Burlington, VT, which makes it real easy to find the product to reference it. 

93/94 Squared L/S Tee from the Burton Archive.

With that entire product to choose from, do you have a particular favourite product and if so why?
Jake’s prototypes are my favourites but I like the 1993 Brushie and 1994 Haakon Air a lot too.  It’s really cool seeing how much time and effort Jake put into about 100 protos before even settling on one production board.  

One of Jake Burton’s 1977 Prototypes.
TK in his natural habitat. Photo: Jesse Dawson

Does the archive get updated each year with new products or is there a time period where it stops?
Every year archives get new products, even the spring/summer seasons are added too.

Are the items in the archive stored so they can be tried on or ridden or are the protected, are the public allowed to view the archive?
The jackets are in polybags on racks so they can be referenced easily, everything is saved but not to be ridden. We do have ridden product in Archives from Jake and our riders. We do have a museum that is home for some of the archive product and is viewed on each tour, sadly the archive itself is not open to the public.

A lot of people say the old days of snowboarding were better, do you believe that to be true and do you think that in 15 years people that have just started snowboarding will say that 2020 were the best days of snowboarding?
I think it’s what you make of it.  You can have just as much fun now as you could back then and the product is better than ever. Sure, some people will say that 2020 is the best year. I think the days you start snowboarding are very memorable and special. I personally have favourite product years of 1993 and 1994.   

The 1994 Haakon Air is a lot of people’s favourite ever board.

Is there any product that is missing from the archive, if so which?
There really isn’t anything missing we are lucky to pretty much have it all.

And finally, did Jake ever share with you what his favourite burton piece in the archive was? If so what was it?
I would say his favourites were the Protos, they are also the most valuable items in the archive too, because of their uniqueness and rarity.

TK showing some of Craig Kelly’s pro model throughout the years. Photo: Jesse Dawson.