It's a Snowboarder's Weekend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

It's a Snowboarder's Weekend

Back for the 15th year, the Dirksen Derby Snowboard & Sit-Ski Rally Race takes over Bend

Since its first race in 2007, the Dirksen Derby has brought snowboarders from all over to Mt. Bachelor for weekends full of shredding, community and uplifting support.

Josh Dirksen, professional snowboarder of 35 years, was inspired to organize this race to raise money for Tyler Eklund, who was severely injured in the USASA Snowboard Nationals in California. The racing event started with three divisions, 58 total racers and raised $1,160 for Eklund, according to the event website.

It's a Snowboarder's Weekend
Joe Tapper

Fourteen races later, the Dirksen Derby has raised over $300,000 for charities and individuals and has helped stabilize Eklund's hospital bills. This year's Dirksen Derby Snowboard & Sit-Ski Rally Race happens this weekend. The race schedule is listed on the website with specific times at

There will be 20 inclusive divisions, 540 race spots and $27,000 worth of donations to Protect Our Winters, Oregon Adaptive Sports, Central Oregon Avalanche Association and Eklund (who will be racing this year in the adaptive division).

"The Derby has turned into just a community focused event where we all get together and care about the things that are important to us," Dirksen said. "There are a lot of special stories and a lot of people that benefit from the weekend, whether it be fun times, socializing or donation opportunities."

Whether attendees are watching a pro athlete in their prime, a 6-year-old go-getter or the 60+ division, the afternoon will be full of boarders of all ages and abilities shredding down the 100% hand-crafted Parallel Banked Slalom courses at Mt. Bachelor.

The Dirksen Derby features a world-class timing system by CJ Timing that combines times from the red and green courses to present a final time ranking the athletes at the end of the weekend.

In 2007, the race was a, "single 30-second run down the dirt halfpipe with metal fencing poking out of the turns and hay bales to ollie over before hitting a jump at the finish line," recorded by a manual stopwatch, according to the website. After 15 years, the transformation has been notable to say the least.

Get the stoke started at the Patagonia Bend Worn Wear Happy Hour on Thursday at 6pm. With drinks, chili and free minor gear fixes from Worn Wear and Gear Fix, this event will welcome winter athletes as they get to town for the weekend. Check out other related weekend events on the website.

"I see this opportunity for me to give something tangible, face-to-face, that I can offer in snowboarding," Dirksen said.

Central Oregon and pow-loving people from across the state are invited to the races. Sifting through the snow-covered trees off Skyliner, people can take a run, stop, watch and cheer on athletes. Professional snowboarder Ben Ferguson will race in the Elite Men's division along with notable professional athletes.

Dirksen Derby
Fri., Dec. 16 – Sun., Dec. 18
Mt. Bachelor
13000 SW Century Dr., Bend

Allie Noland

Allie graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in journalism and public relations. She loves writing articles that have anything to do with the outdoors and culture. When she’s not writing, you can find her skiing, playing volleyball, backpacking, gardening or sitting at a local coffee shop.
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