Summit County’s Kiana Clay, who lost right arm in motocross accident, joins Burton Snowboards team
EAGLE — Burton Snowboards, which presents the annual Burton US Open in Vail, announced the addition of Kiana Clay to the team. Clay is a successful rider on the U.S. Adaptive Action Sports Snowboarding Team competing in both para-banked slalom and para-snowboard cross.
Clay lost her dominant right arm in a motocross accident and since then has overcome major challenges to continue racing motocross as well snowboarding. She is currently competing through the World Cup series with the goal of qualifying for the next Winter Paralympics.
Clay has worked closely with Burton over the years, providing insights for the Step On bindings that feature “no straps, no fuss.” Her feedback was incorporated in the product development for the system that benefits riders with disabilities by making it simpler to get into and out of the bindings. The Step On bindings also allow for customization; in Clay’s case, she repositions the release lever of the binding to the inside of the foot that allows for easier release.
“Joining the Burton team is beyond a dream come true,” Clay said in Burton’s announcement. “When I started snowboarding at 4 years old, my first board was a Burton. I’ve been working with Burton for a few years now, and they have become family to me. I’m excited to expand inclusivity to the adaptive community through snowboarding with these incredible people.”
This winter, Clay is living in Summit County and competing locally at USASA events. In addition to competition, Clay is simultaneously working to bring more women with upper-limb impairments into competitive snowboarding worldwide. She’s also lobbying for inclusion for female upper-limb impaired athletes as a class alongside the men’s in future Paralympics.
“Having Kiana involved in development from the prototype phase of Step On has been priceless,” Chris Cunningham, SVP of product at Burton, said in the announcement. “Thanks to her feedback, Step On has become a valuable tool to improve the snowboarding experience for adaptive riders.
“Kiana represents the core values that Burton stands for and is a role model for all snowboarders on the mountain,” Cunningham added. “We look forward to her continued input as part of our ongoing modifications of hard goods and soft goods to better serve para snowboarders. Welcome to the team, Kiana!”
This story is from VailDaily.com.
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