Asians Beginning to Surface in Action Sports

Growing up as a kid, I was always an action sports enthusiast. In this time of adolescence I religiously watched motocross races, wakeboard competitions, snowboard competitions, and the X Games. . With the action sports market dominated by Caucasian athletes, I hadn’t realized the absence of minorities participating in these action sports exhibitions. I now know that Asian’s, as well as other minorities, were symbolically annihilated from any of these events mainly these athletes were Caucasian.

Until this year when watching the Winter X Games, (which was in Aspen, Colorado), is when I saw one of the first Asian action sports athletes to make a presence in a highly televised snowboard event. Many watched to see if any of the other riders would be able to top the six time X Games Super Pipe Champion Shaun White. It came as a surprise when a 5 foot 2 fourteen-year-old Japanese boy named Hyumu Hirano threw down an amazing Super Pipe run. Ayumu Hirano stunned the action sports world by placing second and showing off his gravity defying flips and spins. Finishing with a core of 92.33, Hirano had a podium finish right behind Shaun White. Hirano’s amazing display of athleticism shocked the action sports world.


Switching seasons, there are also Asian’s beginning to emerge in the wake-boarding scene. As of recently, wakeboarding cable parks have been popping up all over Asian countries. Such as the Camsur Water sports Complex and Republic Wake park in the Philippines and Phuket Water Park in Thailand. Since these amazing cable parks have sprouted up, the wakeboarding community is beginning to see many Asian professional wake boarders surface. When searching through videos on, I came across this video of a Korean professional wake boarder. This professional wake boarder is Kim Yongil a Korean wake boarder who rides both cable parks and behind a boats. Kim Yongil is definitely not as well known as Ayumu Hirano, but is one of the first Asian professional wake boarders that I have ever seen.

Many Asian action sports athletes are beginning to emerge and become recognized as professionals, many of these athletes are breaking away from the model minority theory. Instead of pursuing stereotypical jobs where occupy jobs in the medical field or studious jobs, these amazing Asian athletes are proving that they competitive athletes. Ayumu Hirano and Kim Yongil are not only rising stars in the action sports community, they are athletes who are opening doors for other Asians in the action sports world.


One thought on “Asians Beginning to Surface in Action Sports

  1. Thanks for covering some of the Asian/Asian American athletes–especially in some sports that aren’t typically covered. It would also be interesting for you to discuss how the wakeboarding enthusiasts might operate as a “subculture” and ways that new media have promoted connections.

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