Distributor of Ideas

The Inertia

Editor’s Note: This piece is supported by our partners at Ikon Pass.

Russell Winfield is a pioneer, snowboarding’s first Black professional athlete. He grew up playing hockey in New York and learned to snowboard at Stratton, pointing out that he was just one of three or four Black snowboarders in the country when he first began. After moving across the country and riding nearly every bucket list destination, Winfield realized the impact he had on the sport and decided to push his love for snowboarding into a new generation of hopeful kids.

“We want one big, full culture of people,” Winfield says of his mission to make the mountain a more diverse place.


One of these hopeful snowboarders is LJ Henriquez – another East Coaster born in New York City with a natural talent for snowboarding. The 14-year-old athlete has already started changing the shape of snowboarding, known for his unique style of riding, and helping inspire others the way Russell has inspired and mentored him.

Despite their age difference, their shared love for the sport and East Coast beginnings tie them together in this inspiring video. The short film serves as a way for them to speak to the snowboard community and encourages others to follow their dreams.

My Ikon: My Ride” was filmed this season at Palisades Tahoe, Stratton, Crystal Mountain, and Big Bear Mountain Resort and follows the two athletes on their mission to bring more diversity to the mountains, encouraging others to join the culture of snowboarding that they love so much.

Ikon Pass joins their efforts to diversify the snowboarding community and made a monetary donation to the Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund & SHRED Foundation on behalf of Russell and LJ.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.