STIR FRY EAST
Presented by Burton Snowboards With Support from Kikkoman, Roxy, Crab Grab & H MART
Event Dedicated to Won Suh
Last weekend, SOY SAUCE NATION went EAST and had a two-day extravaganza celebrating the spirit of snowboarding and bringing together participants from all over North America. The event, a vibrant blend of camaraderie and high-energy rides, left attendees with lasting memories and a renewed sense of community. Kicking off at the iconic Burton NYC Flagship Store on Friday night, the Welcome Party set the stage for a memorable weekend. Early registration, mingling, the reunion of old friends and new alike created a dynamic atmosphere, embodying the essence of the event. Saturday took the action to Big Snow American Dream in New Jersey; this indoor facility is a snowboarding paradise when you want to escape the sweltering summer heat. Some highlights of the day were conquering "Boxzilla," having a Burton demo fleet available for participants to try new and upcoming boards for the season, and getting to enjoy some snowboarding mid-August. Hot laps in the fridge went all day and anytime anyone would want to take a break, just right outside American Dream provided a slew of snack and eatery options for those much-needed ride breaks.
And that was the first Soy Sauce Nation meet-up?
Yes, that was the one with SnowBoy at Hood.
And you’ve been going ever them since?
Yeah, I’ve made it my goal to get to everyone I can. I think I’ve been to everyone they’ve done so far.
So, having that sticker on the snowboard leans into the Asian representation of the mountain—a place where most people are covered with goggles and hats. What do you feel like the importance of actually having meet-ups?
Now, I don’t care as much about the sticker that we have these events. Which is a better feeling because I know I am a part of something. I am from Michigan. When I would be wearing goggles, I would notice people taking a longer look once I took off my goggles, and then you could tell I wasn’t another white person. When we go to these events, we don’t have to worry about people staring at us. Sure, snowboard events can be standoffish sometimes, but a lot of people were letting their walls down and opening themselves up because we’ve had similar experiences like that.
It is really easy to make friends. I started off with one friend who connected me with other friends. Slowly, that group has gotten bigger and bigger with these events. Our air bnbs get bigger every year. At this last Stir-Fry, I meant like five people from the East Coast and Canada, and they are going to go to the next event.
It’s super cool to hear from you about the friendships you’ve made through Soy Sauce.
Yes, also the inclusivity with Soy Sauce Nation. We have everyone BIPOC going. I am meeting a lot of cool black snowboarders. I’ve never seen that amount of people in one space. It’s not a competition, it's just an event where we hang out, and get clips, and shots from Mikey Yoshida.
For most of snowboarding’s history, it has been a white-male-dominated sport, and seeing other people, with similar experiences, enjoying themselves or doing a trick, it goes a long way.
Not to single any people out, but I feel like white males are the dominant people in the sport. But when I ride with girls or people of different races. We’ve all had different experiences. But a lot of similar ones, where we’ve probably been the only person back home or at smaller resorts riding there. There is this comradery that is really fun when you are riding.
You let your guard down a bit. It makes you better at snowboarding. You can just focus on having fun and progressing. Tell me about the trip to New Jersey.
I’ve seen Big Snow through brands and events using it. We got an email from AK saying, "love you all miss you, there might be something going down soon, keep your eyes open." When the flyer came out, that was really cool. The crew that I usually get a place with, that group chat started going off and we started planning. Most of us are from the West Coast, so not everyone made it, but a good amount did. Rolling up was really exciting. Traveling this time of the year with snowboard equipment is always a trip. The city has a different vibe. It’s loud. There's culture and good food.
I grew up playing hockey, so going to the mall kind of felt like an ice rink atmosphere. But the locker room felt like a gym atmosphere. They were bumping this old-school hip hop, everyone was booting up, getting real hyped.
Looking around most of the people that are in that place are not really white. They are city people. It was super diverse. People were doing it for the first time. It’s so cool being able to do that in the city and at a mall. If that was at malls growing up, I would have found snowboarding way earlier. To have an indoor snow place in the middle of the city brings a lot of opportunities to try it and see if they like it.
THANK YOU TO SOY SAUCE NATION, NIRVANA, AK, MAX, EVERYONE ELSE INCLUDED!
More from Soy Sauce Nation's Desk:
COMMUNITY SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES & CHANGING THE NARRATIVE
Soy Sauce Nation is first and foremost a community. Their mission is to create space for underrepresented people and groups by highlighting them through media, producing events, and partnering with the best-of brands that believe in diversity, equity, and inclusion. They bring people together, celebrate differences, and create connections so that everyone continues to participate in snowboarding with passion. For both days SSN held raffles of products from Burton, Kikkoman, Roxy, Crab Grab, and H Mart. With community in mind, all proceeds are being donated to the Maui Strong Fund. The people of Soy Sauce Nation raised over $2000 dollars for the help and aid to the residents devastated by the recent wildfires in Maui.
A pivotal transformation is sweeping through the industry, ushering in a profound era of change. The groups that come together to create change must be involved at every stage, challenging traditional norms. This paradigm shift extends beyond the production of events and needs to permeate industry roles as well as remain within marketing strategies. The call for authenticity resonates deeply—diversity isn't just a checkbox, but a commitment to meaningful representation. In this new landscape, diverse voices are not only present but are integral parts of the process. We hope that the snowboarding community continues to lead the way, laying the foundation for genuine inclusivity and lasting change.
STIR FRY EAST was Presented by Burton & Supported by Kikkoman
With additional support from Roxy, Crab Grab, and HMART
See you next time ☺.