Isabella Cybulski, an avid snowboarder and fashionista, not only loves being on the mountain but looks good doing it. So when an opportunity arose for her to combine her two favorite hobbies, she jumped at the chance.
In November of 2019, Burton, a company that manufactures snowboards, announced a contest for unique snowboard designs. Specifically, Burton asked their followers why they loved to get outdoors, and told them to incorporate that in their designs.
Cybulski’s dad was the first to notice the contest. He read about it in a catalog that the family received from the company, and immediately knew that his daughter would have great success with it.
“That catalog sat on the counter for like three weeks,” Cybulski says. “Every day, my dad would tell me I should do it, but I kept pushing it off.”
Cybulski, a Woodland sophomore, began taking design classes during a summer program in fifth grade. Since then, she has broadly expanded her knowledge of design, and she has even been attending fashion design classes in South Norwalk during the week.
In addition to fashion, Cybulski has been active on the mountain for three years. She started with skiing, and then “made the switch to the darkside” with snowboarding. Ever since, Cybulski has been a loyal customer of Burton, and she couldn’t wait to compete in their contest. So she finally decided to stop procrastinating, to just sit down and start designing– and her resolve paid off.
Cybulski spent two weeks creating the design for the snowboard. First, Cybulski came up with the orange and yellow color scheme over the back of the board. She then designed the lotus and the eye, which are the focal points of the design. Cybulski created the entire design using Adobe Photoshop.
“I kind of wanted that zen feel,” Cybulski says, “because I just feel calm on the mountain and I wanted to connect that.”
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Namaste, @burton I bow to the mountain when riding a snowboard. Snowboarding allows me to connect to nature. As a fifteen year old with a background of fashion design this was sure a challenge made for me to connect to my roots and to literally think outside. Though I didn’t start on the mountain through snowboarding I feel as though bowing to the mountain gives me the balance I need to fulfill greatness. I feel empowered to take on the mountain. Shoutout to the girls of darkside. @girlsofdarkside #feelgood20
Cybulski recounts that the designing process of the board was a lot more difficult than designing clothes. She says that she is used to instinctively knowing which patterns she wants to use, and where, but the execution was a bit more complicated with the snowboard. She was worried that the board wouldn’t have the right look for the mountain sport.
“You actually have to ride it,” Cybulski says, “and you have to worry about the vibe it’s going to project on the mountain, especially when doing jumps and stuff.”
Despite her misgivings, in December, Cybulski found out that she was a finalist for the competition. Her board was one of ten chosen by judges at Burton to be voted upon by social media followers.
On January 15th, Cybulski won the contest with a total of 1096 votes.
“I never expected to even be a finalist, let alone win,” Cybulski says. “Just being noticed by Burton and knowing that the people who run their page actually saw a piece of my work… and liked it… it’s crazy.”
Cybulski is currently in contact with Burton through email to manufacture her board. In the meantime, she will continue to hone her design skills– both on and off the mountain.