Ambassador for women’s riding branching out

A magical photo by Zuzy Rocka

Introverted ambassador seems like an oxymoron, but Zuzy Rocka has learned to make it work.

The 26-year-old Sun Peaks resident is launching her own photography business and doubling as a Burton ambassador, promoting women’s snowboarding across B.C. and Alberta.

“Oh, man. It was really hard,” Rocka said. “I was always so scared and my parents would always push me to try to push my photography, but the scariest thing ever was to take photos of people I didn’t know.

“I would say it has been a struggle, but it has been really good, too, going into these Burton events with all these people and I have no idea who anyone is. You have to throw yourself in there and learn.”

Rocka works for Alpine Images Photography, but announced in a recent Facebook post she is branching out on her own as well.

A self portrait in her Burton gear. Photo Zuzy Rocka.

“I will always be a little awkward, mind you, but I have passion and I’m excited to be diving into this world of being an entrepreneur and pushing my work,” she said.

“I really enjoy doing those crazy surrealism photos. Stuff like that is what I love to do the most, to make a scene or a concept.”

Rocka’s sponsorship duties with Burton have changed over the eight years she has been with the company — flying off jumps and rails isn’t her bag anymore.

She writes articles, takes photos, tests products, coaches and promotes events.

“They’ve asked me to send them a lot more lifestyle photos with my art,” Rocka said. “They want to promote strong women in every aspect.

“They always look after me really well. Everyone who is part of the family is so kind. Everyone likes to have fun. Snowboarding isn’t serious. It shouldn’t be.”

One of Burton’s latest marketing ventures is crafted around a mantra — Get Down. Rise up.

“I’m not really sure exactly what it’s all about yet, but they want to get girls to feel a little more confident in their riding,” Rocka said. “It’s about empowering women.”

And, yes, they want to sell product, Rocka admitted with a laugh.

Rocka has wintered at Sun Peaks for most of the last decade and been a full-time resident for four years, working like so many of her friends at a plethora of places along the way — Mountain High Pizza, 5Forty Cafe and Sun Peaks Golf Course, to name a few.

Zuzy repping Burton as she shreds the back country. Photo Adam Bullock.

But she is finding her niche with photography, working for Alpine Images, running a business out of her apartment and putting an artistic stamp on work for Burton.

“I guess I just always knew I was going to be an artist,” Rocka said. “It’s never not been a part of my life. I just kind of see things differently. I hope that does sound like I’m full of myself, by any means.

“Creativity just kind of comes to me all the time and I love it, especially being here in Sun Peaks. Everything is so beautiful.”

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