Last weekend you may have been caught up in a sugar high of mayhem going down in Colorado. However, beyond the bright lights and over-sized cans of Mt. Dew, there was another competition taking place with some of the biggest names in Snowboarding. Emerging from central Oregon is a challenge that defines the true aspects of snowboarding; speed and stoke. A banked slalom course that pushes your capabilities while creating an atmosphere of pure fun that is only found in the side country of Mt. Bachelor. Pro shreds go head-to-head against unknowns and legends like Terje arrive to compete for bragging rights not coin. It’s called the Dirksen Derby and to be crowned an Elite is quickly becoming a coveted honor.
Josh Dirksen created the Derby as a way to help Tyler Eklund, a young grom on the come-up who suffered a traumatic neck injury, paralyzing him from the shoulders down. For the past five years it has been growing steadily and as the berms were hand carved for the sixth year, the registration was already exceeding 400+ participants. A roster packed full of names that riddle the homepages of Snowboarder Mag and Transworld on a daily basis. A true showing of how snowboarding has become a community, a culture, and in some ways a family that is willing to take care of their own.
Since I am now a transplant to Vermont from Oregon, it felt like it was time to pack up and make the journey home to once again compete in the Derby and try my hand at walking away an Elite but not without bringing Bjorn Leines, MFR, Derrek Lever, Viktor Simco, Jordan Phillips, and Cody Booth with me. So to wrap up the December section of the 12 Months Project, Rome Snowboards made the trek to Bend, OR to partake and support the 6th annual Dirksen Derby.