VIDEO: Amado Stachenfeld

LOCATION: Mt Bachelor, Bend, Oregon

‘The vibe [at Dirksen] is all of these elements that the people create. It’s really pure, really approachable, and pure fun.” -Rip Zinger

Rumours of ‘Pineapple Express,’ the storm that would bring buckets of fresh snow, spread like wildfire as we headed to Mt Bachelor. Unfortunately, the storm ended up getting as far as Tahoe, so it was all the more reason to make the most of the 8th annual Dirksen Derby, for those who made the trek up.

The banked slalom course was the center of the good vibes, it being the hangout spot for many as they waited their turn.

The Dirksen Derby not only marks the beginning of the season for many – a time to gather and ride with friends from all over, but it is also symbolic of a major paradigm shift at the core of snowboarding right now. At a talk put on by Patagonia, surf and snow legend Gerry Lopez said, “It comes down to the art of a turn.” The biggest joy comes from the turns and the transitions between each one to carve the perfect track, whether in powder, on fresh corduroy, or down the wild berms of the Dirksen Derby course.

Drawing perfect lines, harmonious with the terrain beneath you, leads to the flow that lies at the root of snowboarding. We saw more directional surf-inspired boards with moon tails and stances that were forward facing and narrow just enough to still follow friends off side hits and powder kickers.