Diversity in Snowboarding: #02 Loui Purucker

Loui getting noticed in Mayrhofen, 2006.

We reached out to our friends to what can be done to encourage and broaden diversity and to tell their story. Up next is the naturally talented Loui Purucker, who was raised in Wanaka, NZ before exploding on the European Scene. In 2006 Loui notoriously won the British Championships before having his title stripped for not owning a British Passport. Here is his story.

My initial motivation to follow a career in Snowboarding actually came from the fact that Snowboarding can be a great escape from the pressures of today’s society.

Having grown up in India, England and arriving in New Zealand when I was 9, it was already easy enough for me to feel like an outsider.

Racism is everywhere and even resides in our subconscious. I have experienced it in every corner of the globe that I have been in, and having spent my life mostly surrounded by white people, I have even observed myself subconsciously reacting in racist ways. Whether it be a feeling of being unsafe, or even thinking I’m making someone else be uncomfortable just by being there.

The awesome thing about snowboarding is it was all about leaving bad energy like that behind, and just having fun, living in the exact moment in your run/day/life and ultimately just feeling pure appreciation. Whether I was riding alone or with others, that’s what it was about.

It seemed 98-99% of the people up there with a board or skis or whatever, had already made the decision to leave all that other shit behind. As far as my career is concerned I would be lying if I said being a minority didn’t have its market-able advantages. And as far as it (the snowboard industry) being a predominantly white sport, I think the fact that it’s a luxury commodity, and how little time that has actually gone by since the slave trade ended, speaks for itself.

Without being a sensationalist, I’m finding it hard to think of what more I can say. My intentions with the words that I have written are kind of of to pull people’s attention away from the negative, and kind of inspire to move on from our dark past and create a new positive reality, because at the end of the day, I believe it’s our responsibility to manifest the positive. Acknowledge the past, learn from it, and move forward.

You can follow Loui on his Instagram here.