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Based in Portland, Oregon, Erik Leon (he/him) is on a mission to make snowboarding more inviting, inclusive and accessible. We first got to know Erik back in 2014 when he worked at the evo Portland store while pursuing a pro snowboarding career. Now, we’re excited to welcome him aboard as an evo ambassador.

Welcome to evo, Erik. 

Erik's Journey

Erik grew up in Southern California and had his “aha!” moment with snowboarding during a trip to Bear Mountain when he was around 11. Erik decided then and there to set his sights on going pro. Coming up with the money to make it happen wasn’t always easy for Erik and his family, however. Throughout his teen years, Erik relied heavily on hand-me-down gear and catching rides to the mountain with friends. Thanks to his perseverance and creativity, Erik eventually achieved his dream of going pro despite the financial challenges he faced. If you’re interested in a serious dose of inspiration, check out his first snowboarding movie, El Sueño.

Community Outreach Riding Equipment

In 2018, when Erik began working with his sponsors to develop his first pro model products, he decided to use the opportunity as a way to help lower the financial barriers to entry in snowboarding. In addition, he wanted to promote increased environmental awareness within the industry. With those goals in mind, Erik created his own approach to sponsorship called CORE.

CORE stands for Community Outreach Riding Equipment and the initiative has three pillars:
1.    When making CORE products, sponsors should take steps toward producing them sustainably. 
2.    CORE products should be as affordable as possible.
3.    CORE products should be connected to community outreach efforts. 

Erik collaborated with his sponsors Airblaster, Arbor Snowboards and Flux Bindings to release his first collection of CORE products in 2020. The initiative is off to a great start, and Erik tells us that he hopes more riders will become a part of CORE in the future. 

Committed to Community

Erik is dedicated to helping the snowboarding community grow by giving more kids the opportunity to try the sport. He recently teamed up with Joe Sexton and Jake OE’s Cool Meets Cause, a branch of Minneapolis’ Loppet Foundation, to kick off the first CORE Snowboarding event. Held at Trollhaugen in Wisconsin, this event, called CORE Meets Cause, raised $3,500 for equipment and programming. In 2021, Erik plans to get involved with more youth-focused non-profits across the country, including Snowdays Foundation in Portland and the Service Board in Seattle.

“If we give kids opportunities to get outdoors, we might be influencing the future of the outdoors.”  - Erik Leon

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