Snowboarding Changed My Life

How Snowboarding Saved My Life

I struggle to remember any of my birthdays prior to 3 years ago.  My facebook page (joined 2009) had no updates until 2011.  That’s when I was born again; after an old friend spontaneously dragged me five hours out of the city.




My previous years were plagued with heavy alcoholism, drug abuse, and occasional violence.  Although I was never a bad person, never screwed anybody over, I spent years looking over my back.  It seemed no matter how I overcompensated, new beginnings always ended with old stories and occupational hazards.   Depression had been eating away at me for years, as it became less apparent why I should bother to stay clean.  On the outside I looked like any other douche, laughing over normal decibels.  I never told anybody about how hopeless I felt in side.


I really just went to get out of the city and drink in a cabin.  I almost didn’t bother getting on the hill at all.    It had been over 10 years since I last been on a mountain.  I had never snowboarded before.  I was feeling groggy.  It was cold.  One-by-one my friend shot down any excuses I gave him to lounge around.  So I rented equipment and prepared *glug glug glug* to get my ass kicked by the bunny hill.  Bruise after bruise I paid my dues.  Each tumble, a reflection of my life.    staying on my board naturally.  At times I wanted to give up  (also an ongoing trend in my life).  But this time each fall was met with humor, notices of improvement and another swig of my flask.  The more I let loose, the longer I stayed on my board and maintained momentum.  By the time I sobered up, I was tentatively carving, and in love.  Although, next morning I felt every fall from the previous day, I was inexplicably happy.  When I returned to Vancouver, I bought all my gear and continued to snowboard on local mountains every week.  Up there I felt a new person.




One day I came across a YouTube trailer that would forever change my direction.  When I first feasted my eyes on Travis Rice’s incredible feats over nature’s grandest designs, my imagination was overwhelmed with excitement.    I immediately saw that all I ever wanted laid within my backyard —within my reach.  But fiirst, I needed to get better.  There was a lot of catching up to do.  I proceeded to spend every other day on the mountain; each session brought a new surprise.  I descending my first double-black before I did my first black.  I landed my first 50 foot jump shortly after.  Every second of air was minutes of freedom.  Every epic spill, was met with more determination— except for the fractured ribs.


By the next season boarding culture had taken hold of every facet of my life— music, fashion, down time, friends.  My whole lifestyle shifted.  Big city problems gave way to a summer of anticipation.  I did my best to stay clean and healthy.  My hopes were hallmarked by memories of fresh pow, cedar cabins, hot tubs, drinks, fireworks, home cooking, and road trips with loved ones— with the added dream of adventure.  It sounds cliche to say; but everything seems insignificant when you are surrounded by trees and snow.  By December I was spending every other night on the mountain, overlooking the city.




I separated myself from my old night life.  I drifted apart from let go of a lot toxic people.  And as the seasons rolled on, my snowboard circle got bigger and bigger.  It started with just three of us,  always gathering around YouTube videos, whenever we were at a parties.  By spring there was 12 of us.  Soon our frequent, satisfied smiles caught the attentions of more people.  By next season, our road trips involved up to 30 people.  With each new person, my life kept evolving and evolving, spilling over to new Summer past times.


I probably wouldn’t have become a  snowboarder if it wasn’t for the people who continually supported and joined in on my excitement.  It goes to show that friends are the backbone of passions and growth.  Some climbed out of a few steeps with me; others pushed me down them.  Heck, I even loved the countless hours I put in with the newbies.  We bonded over our encouragement and praises.  It’s almost kinda depressing to say, I never really felt that before.  None of us did.  I remember sharing a chuckle about that— I’m starting to have memories too!




At this moment I’m laughing as I compare my driver’s licenses, only 1 year apart.  I could barely recognize myself, nor believe how anybody with common sense could take a mugshot like that.  Every year since 2011, I have been living differently.  Snowboarding was not only an amazing revelation for me; it was an unbelievable impact on the people around me.  Some of us became outdoor, day people— utilizing our weekends.  Some friends eventually kicked nasty habits as well.  I even convinced a few to join me in volunteering time to snowboard with under-privileged youth.  There is a serious trickle effect around inspiration.


It feels like such a long time ago, since I first went on that road trip.  So much has happened since then.  I still have a lot of catching up to do in life.  After a year overseas, I’m home anticipating a new snowboard season.   Right now, even bad days feel like good ones.


Dipify snowboarding 4

I created Dipify to connect people with the experiences my friends and I had.

Seren Dipify

FML! We Are Re-Branding (Again)

Online dating?  No online dating?  Online dating without saying we are online dating?  After tons of feedback, and never-ending social insights, it’s not getting any easier to come to a decision.  Time to go to our quiet places and getting back to basics.


Concert for Love and Soul


The History

Natawon and I created Dipify — an online serendipity messenger— not because we understood singles; we did it because we understood anybody who is impulsively social or in need of a social tune up.  Those are the people we dealt with in 3 years of running singles’ events, not speed dating.

We always believed in order to meet interesting people, you need to do interesting things.  With Dipify we re-created the environment we used to connect people around activities.  So when you talk to somebody on Dipify it’s as natural as doing something and being introduced by a friend.   After all, it’s what you do (not say) that socially rewards you.

Best friends and storied romances can come from anywhere.  (I’ve heard stories of people dating off of WoW).  Social serendipity can happen any day you go out, explore and enjoy— the world is your playground, and the net is a never-ending party.  People just need to find the perfect excuses to come up and say something positive or relevant.


online dating


The Challenges

It’s hard to be yourself, socially or professionally.  One needs courage to experiment; and conviction to see it through.

The initial concern with sticking to our roots is that anything outside of sex and true love have no strong marketable appeal.  Got drama?  On the Dragons’ Den (The Canadian version of ‘Shark Tank‘), Kevin O’Leary asked a young entrepreneur, in the friendship space, “where’s the hot action?”  And Bruce Croxon (Lavalife) agreed.  On the other hand, marketing executives have told us, “there is no room in the dating industry for puritans.”  While another goes on to say, “there is no room in the dating space, Period!”

It’s scary to do something new.  Dipify has never been done before.  People try to understand the world by association and comparison.  And what we compare online interaction with the ick of online dating, such as losers, profile smashing and privacy invasion.  Plus it’s hard for people to imagine not constantly feeding a profile in order to get results; just as it’s hard to sometimes let life take it’s course.

However, Dipify isn’t about invading the dating kingdom, nor advocate platonic relationships.  We are creating another dimension to your online life— filled with new opportunities to chat and be inspired with what’s in front of you— to be connected with this moment only.  We don’t need any more reasons to go to the Superbowl.  We cheer for the ‘right team’ to feel connected with the team and the crowd.  If we get lucky as well… that’s bonus!


Seren Dipify


The Ultimate Goal

We want to inspire people to think of what could be.  There are so many coincidences out there; so many opportunities to be connected.  It’s almost fun to imagine and make shit up.

Who knows what will come from a late night chit chat— storied romance, shacking up with a family in San Jose, waiting for the parents to sleep *Ahem* or maybe be journeying the great america highways in search of clarity from a ‘burning man’ of some sort.  We could find ourselves mixing with a new crowd, or simply finding new hobbies.  Maybe nothing at all.  But one thing is certain our stories are a bit fuller with each passing character.


If  a snowboard clip on YouTube can inspire me change my life, what could it do for anybody else?  Now my friends and I are into new tunes, hanging out with new people, and exploring new terrain.  A year prior to that video, we didn’t even snowboard.  That’s the power of collective excitement.  That is serendipity.

Good things may happen when you live life and Dipify.


Snowboarding Big White, British Columbia, Canada

For me, it’s scary to imagine what may have never been.  I’m blessed with all the characters that crossed my path.



Got suggestions, or simply words of encouragement?  Would love to hear them (below) or on Twitter.


Everyday We Pass By Awesome People

Everyday we pass by awesome people


Each day we pass hundreds of people.  Chances are we pass someone brilliant everyday.  On public transit.  On the streets.  In the coffee shop.  And all we had to do was say something, and our lives would be blown.  Think of opportunities — the could-have-beens— that slip by us in our lifetime.  And the same goes for the internet.  After all, isn’t YouTube a film festival?  Isn’t Facebook like a reunion— food, friends, and stories?  Somewhere, somebody is in the same space, having the same moment as you.


With Dipify, we created a way to cross paths with new people online; as you would bump into a friend at the movies.  You can possibly bump into friends on Dipify too.  With Dipify you have an online presence; the opportunity to give a nod, or simply pass on by.  Explore the world and naturally connect with netizens, simply by doing whatever it is we do online— watching Youtube, or sharing on Facebook.


But beware.  After 10 minutes, your history erases from Dipify, and you are gone.  Your moment becomes a missed connection.  So speak up when you can.  Don’t be another could have, should have, would have been.


Social serendipity happens more than you think when with Dipify.

The Net Is A Real Place

The Internet Is A Real Place!

The Net Is A Real Place


The Internet may feel like sitting home, head propped up against our hands.  But we have indeed traveled somewhere remarkable—like a dream, or an alternate reality.  It may not be physical; but the internet is a real place because the people and the emotions are real.


Everyday online personalities have an affect on us.  They stir up our emotions, unexplained desire, or hatred towards things—- where to eat; what to buy, who to point the finger at.  So it’s also possible to feel an emotional connection to an individual you never physically met.  There is infinite examples of the online affect of human cruelty and compassion— emotional cases of bullying or anonymous acts of kindness.  Just because we aren’t physically on site, doesn’t mean we can’t find trouble, surprise, or growth.


With Dipify, we created a way to cross paths with new people online; as you would bump into a friend at the movies.  You can possibly bump into friends on Dipify too.  With Dipify you have an online presence; the opportunity to give a nod, or simply pass on by.  Explore the world and naturally connect with netizens, simply by watching Youtube, or sharing on Facebook.   After all, the net is a party, a celebration of human’s greatest accomplishments, with tons of awesome people.


Although there is no online replacement for physical chemistry, our emotional connection is authentic— uninhibited by insecurity, shyness, or even fear of getting asses kicked.  When the excitement of discovery, or hurt of rejection, occurs, we find ourselves wondering what is wrong with us?  Nothing.  Because when we deal with real people, our connections transcend physical location.


Social serendipity can really happen online when you ‘step out’ with Dipify.


Photo credit:   Mount Moses by Goran Tomasevic / Reuters


Connect With People Through YouTube



Meeting awesome people is as natural as going to a film preview.  It’s as convenient as sitting your lazy ass home.


That’s Dipify.  When you watch YouTube, Dipify alerts you to people who are watching anything, similar or the exact same thing on Youtube.   Just set and forget.   Connect your YouTube (and set your match preferences too if you are a selective person).  And you are good to watch whatever you want anywhere you want.  That simple.  Dipify works casually in the background.

Meet People Through YouTubeWhen you are notified of somebody having the same moment as you, it’s like bumping into a friend you haven’t met.  After 10 minutes you history deletes, and people pass you by.  So speak up.  Don’t be another missed connection.


There is no public profiles or creeping.  Dipify isn’t online dating.  It’s everyday serendipity— a natural excuse to make friends and “maybe more”.

What is better than tinder?

Better Than Tinder?

What is better than tinder?


Tinder is a brilliantly simple hook-up app.


Dipify is a messenger that finds online coincidences.


What’s more simple than swiping-left and right?  

Doing nothing and being yourself.  Save your thumbs.  Dipify introduces you to people through online serendipity— based on what you do.  Simply set and forget.  When somebody is doing the same things as you, Dipify will provide you the tools to engage your wit.  It is as everyday as watching YouTube.


Granted, you may (or may not) have a Tinder hack to automatically swipes right every time for.  But you still have to find something to say.


What’s more natural than a pick-up line?

The right excuse to talk to someone.  No more copy+paste pick-ups everyone has already heard— because they are all from the same pick-up app.  Dipify introduces you to people at the right moment to talk.  In a situation where you are checking out the same motivational video, or a cheesy short, you’ll realize finding the right words comes naturally.


And the profile?

Reading profiles are over-rated.  That’s why Tinder barely has one, and still nobody reads them.  Dipify saves you from publish a public curriculum vitae.  You are safe from judgement.  Dipify is as natural as bumping into somebody at a pub brawl book club.  Forget the meat market.  It’s so casual you’ll be like…


But what about the sex?

Ah yes, despite what pundits say, Tinder really is how people meet hookup in real life the club.  But Dipify saves you time, proactively filtering out the hot-and-bothered from the just bothered.  You know exactly who to hit on (or not).  You can finally flirt free from worry of your Facebook pic circulating #TinderLines.


Dipify doesn’t replace the addictive voyeurism online dating provides; it creates a whole new approach to life.  And Dipify fits so easily into everyday life, you can still have your cake and eat it too.


Check out Dipify now.