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Soy Sauce Nationals AAPI Event



Over two days at the end of June, the first ever Soy Sauce Nation’als event was held at Mt Hood, Oregon. The event that brought together a passionate crowd of snowboarders all in attendance to celebrate and elevate Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander representation.

Co-founder and ROXY Marketing team member, Nirvana Ortanez gave us an exclusive recap from the event:

On June 24th and 25th an amazing group of snowboarders from around the nation (and around the globe) descended on Mt Hood for the Inaugural Soy Sauce Nation’als event presented by ROXY.



Organized and led by SSN founders Andrew Kelly and myself (Nirvana Ortanez), the event was one that brought together members of the AAPI snowboarding community in a way that had never been seen before.



Some of the SSN participants were already friends and colleagues, others were simply friends through social media, creating a web and network of AAPI pride across the world - linked by their love of snow and snowboarding.




Earlier this season, a dad named Frank had reached out to me on Instagram about his daughter Callen. She was about to head out into the world at the young age of 11 and spend a month away from home to snowboard. She was nervous, as anyone would be, and Frank thought hearing a message from someone other than dad would help out with those jitters. A few words of encouragement, he mentioned, would go a long way in reassuring her that everything would be fine, fun even! So I thought sure, that’s an easy message to send. I typed out an uplifting DM, hit send and went about my day. I would later learn that sometimes the smallest actions can make for a bigger impact.



While I was basking in the glow of our communal excitement, Frank - Callen’s dad who had messaged me months ago, waved me down to say hi. We took the chairlift ride up along with Callen and they told me that my message to Callen had really made an impact on her.

That month she spent snowboarding out on her own was something she needed to experience for herself and she couldn’t have done it without having that boost of confidence from the messages she received from myself and others. My heart melted. I hadn’t thought about that message until that moment and I couldn’t believe it was that meaningful to her.

I thanked them for coming and was abundantly happy that they had made the trip all the way from the east coast.

That small interaction left one of the biggest impacts on me from the event. It was one of the many ways that showed me we were doing the right thing.

We had set out to build ourselves and our community up. Through interacting, encouraging, and staying connected we can grow into something even bigger and brighter for generations to come.



Make sure you check out the full galleries by Mike Yoshida on Slush Magazine and Snowboard Mags’s interview with SSN member and rider Sima for more Soy Sauce Nation’als coverage. Don’t forget to follow @soysaucenation on IG for more. Thanks everyone who came out this year, we already can’t wait to go back!