Words by Soy Sauce Nation
Photos by Mike Yoshida
One turtle had a dream - to bring people together through snowboarding and its magical ability to set the mind free, make connections, and have a good time sliding on snow. An activity done collectively as a group, or the solo lap one might need to lose themself in the moment, heels to toes, maybe even pop an ollie or do a spin. This turtle sanctioned three days to the ones who felt that being a minority was an expectation, to grant them a space to establish and expand relationships with others that are similar looking, with alike backgrounds and experience. This turtle’s name is Kame, and he is the mascot and leader for this year’s Stir-Fry.
For year three of the annual Soy Sauce Nation family gathering, the room with the registration table started to fill, Kame is excited. The nerves subsided immediately, these are now familiar faces that he’s seen year after year, some are new, but the majority he has made a prior connection with. For day one, it’s a snow globe outside. The winter in Tahoe won’t let up, and we’re not complaining as visitors, although I’m sure the locals are more ready for spring-like temperatures. Thankfully the Boreal crew isn’t afraid to work in these conditions, they were able to build an incredible park for our community. Our community for the first two days is made up of invited riders that identify as AAPI, BIPOC & LGBTQ+ from all over the world! Everyone brings a unique perspective to snowboarding and life in general. The third day of Stir-Fry is open to anyone and everyone, come check out the custom course and catch a vibe with us, it’s our Community Day :-)
Back to day one, it was a powder day, riding with two feet clicked in, floating above the Earth’s surface on a fluffy white layer of frozen water particles, Kame is used to water so this is new, but so fun! Especially with his friends and family. A delayed course opening allowed for everyone to check out Boreal + Woodward Tahoe with a fresh layer of snow, possibly expanding their views on the mountain beyond the Accelerator chair. From Cedar Ridge to 49er, the mountain had an energy, we deemed today as day one of Snow Sauce Nation. With a delayed opening of the course, the anticipation had risen to a new level to see what Mizzle and his crew came up with. Jibs, jumps, the sushi barrels made an appearance, the Kikkoman Bottle Blast Hip was looking prime, kink rail, tree stall, and a course-wide quarterpipe as the cherry on top. Kame’s mind was blown away by the possibilities, this frozen water stuff is crazy cool!
The session ensued, everyone getting a first feel for the course. With the lap mindset in place, people took their runs through, blasting airs, grabbing their boards, laughing, hooting & hollering. The soft snow was still out there. Just over the edge from the course were mini-golf style cliffs and rainbow trees, legend is that Hiro Sun conquered a big one, the shouting because of his precise branch duck at the apex still lingers in the woods, safe to say everyone got some of the goods and had a blast. With legs needing a rest, the heart says one more run is out there… ah, two more days ahead. Be present, respect the time that you had out on the mountain and return tomorrow, well-rested. We got it good, Kame is now a powder hound :-)
Day two, ready to rock n roll. Kim Woozy brought her speaker, it’s time to get down to business. Speaking of rock n roll… hip hop, dance tracks, and whatever Hiro had cued up got the course jumpin’, literally. Setting the pace on the Kikkoman branded Hip was Miles Fallon. Fully extended methods, Kame, check that out! Right on his tail was Lily Dhawornvej, taking her Methods over the entire hip, a young show stopper. Simultaneously, the tube session popped off. Iris Pham everyone… eyes up when she drops in. Styled out back blunt same ways, back lip 270s, all in a really cool pair of sunglasses. The whole gang was doing their thing, Devi Gupta, Nali Prevedel, Caleb Dhawornvej, Keyser Murphy… everyone got a piece of the action. And perfect timing! The snow cat is arriving with, Kame, drum roll please…. Kikkoman! Let’s show them what we’ve got. The snow transitions started to get going, the QP and the tree stall. Boreal + Woodward Tahoe put their special touches on these pieces. Steven Lauder kept it real, backflip to fakies and a full array of tree stall moves, his toe edge had an appetite for bark. Did someone say appetite? Kame, Mo is still cooking for everyone, we will eat soon enough, grab a seaweed snack. Back to the action, we have almost tapped the entire course by now, no feature has gone untouched. The crowd gravitated to the sounds of Kim’s speaker, features within proximity of the roof came alive. The kink rail and a jump over a dumpster-jib-box. Irie Jefferson took control of this zone, a variety of rail tricks along with a Backside Rodeo over the dumpster jump. Miles Fallon put on a show with front flips while dragging his hand on the snow. Jen Ngo powered a few board slides through the kink while Alex Grumblatt handled a front lip slide down the piece of steel. Cool moves, what do you think, Kame? Swiftly moving along into the group photo, Mike Yoshida on the camera, everybody say…. SOY SAUCE!
Alright Kame, it’s time to eat. Shout out to F+B at Boreal for the Pork Bao Buns, Lo Mein, Fried Rice, and Kikkoman Thai Angel Wing buffet! The people gotta eat. Awards next, we had a bunch of awesome stuff to give away from our sponsors and supporters. Major shout out Kikkoman, Burton Snowboards, Roxy, and Crab Grab for coming through! “Awards,” in no way is Stir-Fry a contest, but in order to give away all this gear we gave out a variety of “awards” to people that ripped the course, traveled from a far distance to be with us, Wild Style, Put The Team On Their Back, If Your Name Is Lily… a few fun ones, for fun! A raffle ticket was given to all to give away the rest of the goodies, and Kame called an audible, what’s that? A Dance-Off for the Burton Pow Surf? How could we not! Cue up a track Hiro!
Day three, our Community Day! Come one, come all. Discounted lift tickets, Kikkoman product booth, Burton demo fleet, snacks, Soy Sauce Nation t-shirts for sale, and sunshine! Needless to say this day rules, we continue to keep the tradition of the first two days of STIR-FRY exclusively inclusive. To grant minorities and underrepresented cultures/ orientations a stage to do their thing on snow. We appreciate everyone for acknowledging their heritage and allowing the AAPI, BIPOC & LGBTQ+ riders the safe space to rip up the private course for days one and two. Now join us! More laps on Accelerator, flying through the course, eating snacks, making new friends… Kame didn’t want the fun to end.
And just like that, the third annual (did we just say annual again, holy moly) Stir-Fry is wrapped up! With three days of fun, mixed cultures & weather, we pack the show up and get ready for the next one. THANK YOU to everyone that came, snowboarded their brains out, lent a helping hand, danced the night away, sponsors and supporters, Kikkoman, Boreal, Woodward Tahoe, Mizzle, Tucker, the lift ops…. Everyone! Thank you, seriously. From the bottom of our hearts, we love you soy much. Keep in touch!