The Burton Blog

Culture Shifters: Creating a Radically Inclusive Snowboarding Community

Culture Shifters started with a simple idea: take A$AP Ferg and his crew snowboarding with the #BurtonTeam to share the magic of standing sideways and the joy of being outdoors. That spark lit a fire, Selema Masekela and Zeb Powell ran with it, and here we are for the third year straight with the biggest and most diverse crew yet. What started as a meetup with friends has turned into a movement with musicians, designers, artists, community organizers, nonprofit leaders, and advocates. All sliding on snow. And all having an absolute blast no matter what their skill level.

Having as much fun as possible is the easy part. The real work at Culture Shifters is in leading conversations about what can be done to create a more radically inclusive snowboarding community. The goal is to build a community of riders that represents what we hope the future of snowboarding will look like—diverse, inclusive, and empowering.

Thank you to everyone who joined this year’s gathering and shared their perspectives on Culture Shifters, the joy of the outdoors, and how to make snowboarding an inclusive sport that welcomes everyone. We’re excited to share a few of the highlights below.

We also want to express endless gratitude to our friends at Fat Tire, Red Bull, Aspen Snowmass, UAG, Ikon, and Anon for their support in helping to push snowboarding culture in new directions.

Zeb Powell
Event Visionary & Burton Team Rider

P: Jesse Dawson
P: Jesse Dawson

“The idea of Culture Shifters came from inviting A$AP Ferg and his crew to go snowboarding. The energy they brought to the mountain was infectious to me. And I think the future of Culture Shifters is showing that this energy is okay to bring to the mountains. It means a lot to bring it to snowboarding since it's something that's never been seen before. It’s about harnessing that energy with everyone and touching everyone with an energy that they didn't know snowboarding could have.”

“And I think the other thing that Culture Shifters is starting is the conversation of how do we grow that aspect of seeing is believing, you know? How do we get more people on the mountain and how do we touch snowboarding everywhere with our culture.”

Ashley Laporte
Burton VP of Purpose & Impact

P: Jesse Dawson
P: Jesse Dawson

“This year, one of the things I was so excited about is we invited a bunch of grassroots orgs and nonprofits. Folks who have been doing the work on the ground to make the outdoors accessible and welcoming for people of color - black indigenous and other people of color. Watching them all come together and talk about the work they're doing, how they can support each other…for me, that's what this is all about. Then watching musicians and celebrities and people from the brands meet with those folks and start to scheme on what we do after this week, it's really powerful.”

George Burton Carpenter
Burton Special Projects Coordinator

P: Jesse Dawson

“This event really started as an experiment. My friend TJ Mizell hit me up. His crew and A$AP Ferg’s crew wanted to go snowboarding. I invited some pro riders and some of the folks at Burton and the energy of hip-hop culture mixing with snowboarding was something that felt new and exciting. Then we tapped Zeb and Selema who were part of that first one and we're like. ‘Hey, what do you guys want to do to create change in snowboarding?’ They really latched onto that trip.”

“This is year three and I think we're still growing it, we're still seeing the effect it has, and the positive change it can create. But I think more than anything, it's just representation. I heard a lot throughout this trip how much it means to the people who are here to be surrounded by a group that looks like them. When we can create that space and just have fun together…get people together and talk about it and ride together, that’s how we’re going to create change in snowboarding.”

Jacque Quinene
Director of Shred at EDGE Outdoors

P: Jesse Dawson
P: Jesse Dawson

“Snowboarding, for me, is about being able to create a community of people where we all look out for each other. We keep each other safe when we’re on the mountain and push each other to try things. It's affected my life in that it's helped me realize I can’t and don't need to do any of this alone. I can have people with me who are going to light the way for me, going to gas me up when it's not as fun or too scary. It all just means community to me.”

“And [Culture Shifters] is a whole new community for me. I have been very comfortable being the only person of color in white spaces and I look around here and everybody kind of looks like me or different shades. I'm learning what it feels like to be surrounded by people of color because all the spaces that I usually participate in are predominantly white. This is a new feeling and I love it.”

Selema Masekela
Event Visionary & Member of the Burton Board of Directors

P: Jesse Dawson
P: Jesse Dawson

“Culture Shifters for me is one of the ways to grow and expand the landscape of what it looks like to be a snowboarder. I want somebody who never thought they'd ever want to snowboard to see the fun we're having. To hopefully see themselves represented in the pictures of the people here at Culture Shifters and make a decision that this is for them. That they want in on the joy festival that is snowboarding.”

“That's really what I hope for, you know, if you can see it, you can be it, and this is an opportunity for us to share an experience, but to also create content that people normally don't see of what the mountain lifestyle and snowboarding looks like. Hopefully it makes it appealing for folks to be like, ‘yeah, I can be that, too.’”