Park Affair Tri-State Trifecta
WORDS BY HAILEY RONCONI - PHOTOS BY MACKENZIE HENNESSEY
THE TRI-STATE TRIFECTA
Women-owned Business, Park Affair, is Making
Waves in A Male Dominated Industry
With the additions of skateboarding and surfing into the Tokyo Olympics, there has been a lot of talk around board sports hitting the mainstream. What’s special about these activities is that they are more than a sport, they are a lifestyle, a community, and it all happens on the ground. This is hard to convey
on a TV Broadcast. Park Affair, a women-owned business, is an organization that is fostering that community among a diverse group of women, disrupting the male-dominated, historically not very diverse, action sports industry.
Park Affair, a women’s organization rooted in snowboarding, is designed to inspire and encourage women to push their limits on and off the mountain. Co-founded by life-long snowboarders, Mercedes Ortega and Hailey Ronconi, Park Affair started as a women's snowboard camp in 2012 and has
evolved into so much more. From mentoring and networking programs, to ride meet ups, gear reviews, and now their latest project – The Tri-State Trifecta.
What happens when you bring together a diverse group of 15 women, bonded by snowboarding, on the ultimate boardsport journey to surf, snowboard, and skateboard all in one day in the New York Tri-State area? The Park Affair Trifecta. Something that has likely never been done before.
The Park Affair Trifecta took place on August 7, 2021, and included surfing on Long Beach, snowboarding at Big Snow American Dream, and skateboarding at Thomas Jefferson in Harlem. If you took the accomplishment of completing these three boardsports in one day, in the Tri-state area, alone, that would be impressive. But what Park Affair did was so much more than that. It was about the community of diverse women. Bringing them together. Fostering empowerment and progression. By shining a spotlight on these individuals, Park Affair is aiming to inspire a broader group of diverse women, who through this can see people like them participating in these sports and be inspired to do the same.
“What makes Park Affair special is our
community. When we dreamed up the Tri-StateTrifecta, a day of surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding with a tight-knit group of women, we couldn’t help but think of the connections and friendships we have made, bonded together by snowboarding. People we might have never met otherwise. This is a dedication to our community and the faces of Park Affair.”
Co-founders, Mercedes Ortega and
“With Park Affair I feel like I’ve found my people, which can be and has been tricky as a woman in athletic spaces. I look forward to it every year and cancel all things that might interfere with my attendance. It’s legit like a reunion. I’ve tried to make it my business to give back to Park Affair too, hoping to reciprocate the positive energy and inspiration. I think that may be the driving force behind Park Affair, reciprocity.”
Muhammadu, 8-year Park Affair Attendee, Ambassador, and Creative
“Park Affair is a group of really rad, genuine women who are all driven and allshare the same passion for uplifting one another. Hailey and Mercedes have cultivated a welcoming, athletic, creative, environment for anyone who has that itch to try action sports. This community is built upon true, honest, welcoming people. A network of strong women supporting each other insuch male dominated sports is long overdue. Park Affair’s presence organically demands your attention and turns heads not only by our ability
on the snow, surf or skatepark, but also from our characters! Park Affair is that much needed breath of fresh air in such trying times.”
Lisa Surf School in Action
Sammy - Amanda - Jamie
“Park Affair is all about community over competition, and that has been such a big influence on me as I progress my riding. I’ve met women from all over the northeast who share the same passions I do, and it has been such a treat to experience my own accomplishments alongside other women who are also pushing themselves while cheering on and supporting others. It’s so unique and I think Mercedes and Hailey have outdone themselves to curate a mental and physical safe space that allows women to push their boundaries.”
“This event was really fun and super special. All of the girls/women were ripping! I learned two new tricks on my snowboard and learned to drop in on the skateboard! It was so sick doing all three sports with awesome, inspiring women, whom I finally got to meet in person.”
snowboarder, Burton Northeast sponsored rider
“My favorite part of being involved in all female events is the ability to encourage and inspire more women to get on a board and to progress their skillsets. It’s not just about motivating the girls who are a part of the event, it’s also about hopefully encouraging those who may be a little bit intimidated by the current environment to get involved. After seeing a large group of girls skating or riding at their local park, they may feel more comfortable to give it a shot!”
Park Affair Crew at Lido Beach
Hailey and Amanda in NYC
Maggie at Big Snow NJ