Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of Burton Snowboards and a pioneer of the sport, died Wednesday night after a lengthy and recurring battle with testicular cancer. He was 65.
"It is with a very heavy heart that we share that Burton founder Jake Burton Carpenter passed away peacefully last night surrounded by his family and loved ones as a result of complications from recurring cancer," his company wrote on Instagram. "He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much."
Burton, a long-time sponsor of the U.S. snowboarding team, currently sponsors many of the most popular snowboarders in the world, including Olympic medalists Red Gerard and Ayumu Hirano. Olympic champions Shaun White and Kelly Clark also have used Burton snowboards throughout their careers.
Carpenter was originally diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but was healthy months later. According to the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, he emailed his staff earlier this month and said, "You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back."
Carpenter, hoping to bring snowboarding into the mainstream, started Burton Snowboards in 1977 after he quit his job in New York. Snowboarding has since evolved into a billion-dollar industry, and he was later enshrined in the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame.