Snowboarding Icon and Innovator Shaun White Visits Oakley HQ
The men and women from LensCrafters oooooh’d and aaaaah’d. Instagram photos were shot; autographs were requested. The mass of people that created a standing-room only setting in the Oakley auditorium rose to their feet and cheered and shot more Instagram photos. Shaun White Day at Oakley Headquarters in mid-November elicited all sorts of excitement throughout the office over the course of the day.
And why not? It’s not every day a snowboarding icon walks by your cubicle.
Though Shaun has been a part of the Oakley family for over a decade, it was the first trip to HQ in quite a few years. He was a teenager then, already gaining acclaim for his X Games success. These days, he’s got quite a bit more on his resume and in his portfolio.
Sitting on stage with Matty Swanson, one of Shaun’s former Team Managers who’s now the Director of Action Sports, Shaun shared stories of early trips with Oakley – the scary yet stunning border agent in Moscow; the trips to China for Oakley Shaun White Air + Style Beijing; the road to the perfect score at X Games; and the evolution of his tricktionary as he’s ascended to snowboarding royalty. He even recalled his introduction to Oakley.
“I was with another team at the time, and I remember I was persuaded to try some Oakleys – it was like being granted the gift of sight,” Shaun recalled. “It was like, ‘Look through my glasses’ – ‘Jesus! You had HD the whole time!’ It was just insane. It was like this whole new world had opened up. Now that I could see what I was jumping off. And my skill level went up. Plus, I had this amazing support. It’s a great family to be apart of.”
Though the majority of the day was a celebration of the relationship between Shaun White and Oakley, it was also an opportunity to get some work done. Design meetings and product meetings and a tour of the office where his popular snowboard goggle and sunglasses (the Holbrook) were created and produced.
Though the calendar year is coming to a close, Shaun’s season is just beginning. After returning from China for Air + Style, he’s in Colorado this weekend for Dew Tour, which will soon be followed by a return trip to Colorado for Winter X Games in January. There he’ll be competing in Superpipe and Slopestyle, just like he’ll do in Russia in 2014 for the Winter Olympics. Many long days of training and trick-refinement are soon to follow. Becoming an icon doesn’t happen by mistake, which is why the Oakley family was so happy and fortunate to take a day to celebrate all that Mr. Shaun White brings to this company and this sport.