Dirksen Derby

Posted on Dec 20, 2011
Dirksen Derby

Rider: Austin Smith | Photo by: Meg Haywood-Sullivan

This year was the 5th annual Dirksen Derby, a foundraiser held by Josh Dirksen in Bend at Mt.Bachelor.  Prime powder conditions at mt.Hood in years past has kept me from attending this event but this year’s rock hard, thin snowpack, left me with no excuses.

Tara, Kelso and I drove to Bend for what is a mini-shred/banked slalom spectacle.  We rode Bachelor for two days in thin, firm conditions.  We opted to watch the slalom from the sidelines so we could make laps in the park and down the backside of Bachelor which had just opened.  We found pretty fun powder runs on the edges of the fresh trail off the back of the mountain. Really unexpected, fun leg burning runs.  We made the right choice to spectate this year as our riding was a good warm up for the season being that none of us are riding enough right now.

Dirksen’s course was a hand crafted marvel of super technical berms back to back down a short distance of trail and woods.  There was a very short high speed tuck at the end of either lane.  Racers took a lamp on course lanes one & two and their times were combined for an overall fastest time.  The roster of racers is truly star studded as the snowboard community flocked to Bend this year from literally all over.  We had traveled to watch Montana buddy Shane Stalling ride.  Despite what the nights prior to racing had delivered, Shane looked fast and rode really well, placing 20th out of 180 competitors.   See the final results here >

There was an Aaron Robinson tribute film his brother Jason took to finishing after Aaron’s death this summer.  Check out Aaron’s Manifesto which should be out soon, see the teaser > The riding in the movie is strong, clear and creative.  Amazing powder lines, huge drops and even some sweet rail shots out of last year’s Northface Master’s champ.  There was a lot of love in the room that night, multiple standing rounds of applause from what seemed to be the entire NW snowboard community and beyond.  Thanks Liam and ESPN actionsports for the quality edit of the weekend.

The highlight of the weekend for us was Sunday afternoon watching some amazing riders rip down the courses, tossing snow as they cranked corners.  We then followed right behind them as the courses opened up for a few free laps.  Thanks Josh for the hand built slalom courses.  I’ve never ridden ditches that technical and difficult enough to flip me off my feet.

Read about the event at ESPN and YoBeat, both Liam and Brook were there all weekend riding and documenting.