Got a vintage board with a serial number under the ptex on the base? That is another interesting bit of history. Compare the numbers on the top with the numbers on the base. They are probably different. In the 1990’s, when snowboarding was growing by leaps and bounds there was a lot of competition between retail stores who all wanted to carry Burton boards. Burton would often sign exclusivity contracts with local shops, agreeing to sell boards to one and not their competition. The serial numbers on the bottom of the boards were linked to individual reps who sold Burton to the retail shops. Often times, businesses that weren’t supposed to sell Burton would end up with Burtons on their shelves, disrupting the edge that shops with an exclusivity contract. By adding these often hidden numbers to the base of the boards, a burton employee could track down exactly which rep sold the boards to the store.
Prototypes have always had their own set of numbers. Somewhere at Craigs is a file that records each number and lists the exact model and features of a board. Not all prototypes are made in Vermont, factories in Austria, China and Dubai have the ability to make prototypes as well. On older BMC protos, you will often find something as simple as sharpie writing, denoting either a number, or if you are lucky, an actual description of the board. In many situations the boards are either straight black on top or a topsheet for an entirely different model.
Over the last few years, the Craig’s prototype facility has stamped its name into the boards it makes. Typically it is accompanied by a job number, which if you could access, would tell you what was unique about that board.