Created: 04 August 2020

Hinojosa family four-pack. Southwest Freeride Series Directors Tiffany and Tony with kids Ela and Diego.

The Southwest Freeride Series is a family affair for series directors Tiffany and Tony Hinojosa. “Our series, be it participants, parents, volunteers, and judges, all come together to support one another on the snow and off.  We are more than a series.  We are a family.” says Tiffany.

For the last five years, Tiffany and her husband Tony along with son and daughter Diego and Ela have run the Southwest Freeride Series but long before that, when Tiffany and Tony were just teenagers they were competitors in that very series. Tiffany, now a mother of two up-and-coming USASA competitors, still competes in both snowboarding and in roller derby as part of the Los Alamos Derby Dames and her experience as a lifelong competitor combined with her series director chops, gives her great perspectives on all sides of competition and how through competing on winter weekend as part of the Southwest Freeride Series bonds as thick as blood are formed on the hill and in the gates. We sat down to learn a little more about Tiffany and what makes her tick. 

We know that series directors wear many hats and that running a series is a passion project, what does your life look like and what do you do when you’re not running USASA events?  Helping to run our series takes up the majority of our time for about 4 months.  In the offseason, I play Roller Derby with the Los Alamos Derby Dames to keep me active.  I also enjoy reading, drawing, dancing, and playing my guitar when I have downtime.

How did you become a series director?  My husband talked me into it.

Husband and co-series director, Tony Hinojosa, lining up the next generation.

What is your favorite part of being a Series Director?  The best part is knowing that we are giving back to the snowboarding/freeskiing community.  Snowboarding has been a huge influence in my life and the directions it has taken me.  I wouldn't be who I am, where I am, or whom I'm with if it hadn't been for snowboarding. 

Do you have any standout moments or memories from events?  Probably the best memory is the one with a little girl who was scared to take one of the jumps.  I got down on a knee to explain to her that taking the jump wasn't for everyone else, this was for her.  I told her that she could choose to roll over the jump or go for it, but either way, as long as she was proud of what she had accomplished, that's what we were here for.  She put on her goggles and went for it.  I was so excited that she decided that she wanted to step it up, for herself. 

What is a typical “day in the life” when you're hosting an event? Typical days are actually typical weeks.  Tony and I have a routine that we follow each week to ensure our events go as smoothly as possible.  Each day of the week we follow a checklist of things to do before the event.  Some of what I do is getting change for the event, determining prizes for the week, purchasing snacks/lunches, posting event info on Instagram, etc.  We then head to our location on Friday after I get off of work to make sure we are there early in the morning for unloading and set up.  I work closely with Tony the entire time to coordinate the events.  I'm on the inside/behind the scenes with things like registration, start lists, judge sheets, website updates, results, names for drawings, and also supporting Tony throughout the event.  After the event, either that night or the next, I'm making sure results are uploaded, verifying, saving judge sheets/timing sheets, and ensuring all paperwork has been completed, verified, and stored. 
The Southwest Freeride Series family in full effect!

How do you see USASA impacting the lives of your community of competitors? Not every kid is a team sport kind of kid.  It's great to see individuals that can excel as an individual but have the support of a team with our series.  Our series, be it participants, parents, volunteers, and judges, all come together to support one another on the snow and off.  We are more than a series.  We are a family.

Favorite part of USASA Nationals?  Best part of Nationals is that it takes our little events and puts it over the top.  Being able to see kids, and those young at heart, riding from all over the country together, is an awesome sight. 

Tiffany and Tony taking home some USASA National Championships hardware.

I've seen you and Tony on the podium at Nationals, can you talk about your experience as a USASA competitor too?  I started competing with Tony when I was in High School.  And continued to compete on and off throughout the rest of my life.  It's been a wonderful experience to see both sides of the events and be able to use that experience to improve how we do things as series directors.


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