Questions by Elliot Trout

If you don’t like the tall pines that touch the beginnings of the sky, if you’ve never wanted to leap over a mailbox nor wanted to join a gang of street urchins in making mischief, if you’ve never walked without a destination nor flown without a sense of marvel, then it is likely that you will not quite appreciate the phenomenon that is Josh Dirksen.

Josh, a shy, courteous, quiet man from Bend, Oregon, is the fiery complex ingredient in the exciting cauldron of freestyle snowboarding. Put down by no one, whether peers or followers; put on by nothing, whether fame or wealth; put off by neither pressure nor competition, Dirksen is indeed very special. He plays on both sides of the warring worlds of competitive snowboarding¿placing well in many “big air” contests and avoiding contests altogether for the sake of having fun. It is very easy to praise Josh because he does the snowboarding thing so effortlessly well. As a rider and as a person he’s created his own unique and graceful style.

In this article, his first in-depth interview, you will be introduced to the real Josh Dirksen¿the complex individual inside the shy, candy-addicted exterior. Be surprised, you may find that “Eye of the Tiger” is playing within this man and he is getting ready to pounce!

Where did you grow up, and how’d you entertain yourself?

From the age of five until I graduated high school I lived in Creswell, Oregon. My friend Travis Yamada always tells me that it seems like I was born in a box, and I think I have Creswell to thank for it. There wasn’t a lot to do in a small town without very many people, so in fifth grade I started skateboarding, which pretty much kept me occupied for the next seven years. My typical day in Creswell usually involved going to school and then going skateboarding for the rest of the day. My parents tried to get me involved in a lot of other activities, but most of them didn’t last long. I was in gymnastics for a couple of years and a few random school sports, but I lost interest pretty quick.

What got you into snowboarding?

Oregon in general is notorious for rain, so throughout the fall, winter, and spring there wasn’t much skateboarding to be done. In all of the skateboarding magazines there were a lot of snowboarding ads; they’re what got me interested in snowboarding. It just looked a lot like skateboarding, but you didn’t need good weather to do it.

So when did you first go?

The first time I went riding was on Christmas Day in 1988. I rented a Burton Cruiser that was taller than me and I think it weighed more, too. At the time I was only four and a half feet tall. I wasn’t able to ride up the normal lifts because the board was so heavy¿it was more work riding up the chair than it was snowboarding down. After my first time, I learned the size of the snowboard made a difference, so it worked out better the next time I went.

Where do you live now?

For the last five years I’ve lived in Bend, Oregon. There isn’t much to do here, but I guess that works out well because I don’t do that much. The mountain is kind of flat, and there’s a poorly built skatepark, both of which I go to a lot when I’m home. The best thing about Bend is all the friends I have and ride with there. For some reason Mt. Bachelor makes a lot of really good riders. Some of my favorite riders in the world are from Mt. Bachelor.

Who are your favorite riders?

I respect the people I get to ride with every day, and who I know really well, the most. When you ride with a person every day it’s easier to realize how good of a rider they are. You know how they are as an overall rider and that they didn’t miss a powder day to get a photo in the halfpipe. So to answer your question, I think my favorite riders are my buddies: Marcus Egg Jason McAlister, Todd Richards, Crawfs Andrew Crawford, and Chad Cooksey. I also love the riders I grew up seeing in the magazines; I know I’ll never stop liking these guys. They were just so influential to me when I started snowboarding and they made snowboarding what it is today. Still, when I meet people like Craig Kelly, Damian Sanders, Chris Roach, or Jeff Brushie, it’s a huge shock. While growing up I never thought I would have the opportunity to ever meet a pro snowboarder. I’m not trying to overexaggerate, but I thought I had a better chance of meeting an alien before I’d ever meet a pro snowboarder. These guys seemed too cool and good at snowboarding to actually exist¿kind of like the Bones Brigade. Nowadays, when I get the chance to meet or even get to go snowboarding with these guys, it’s like a dream come true. The best day I’ve ever had snowboarding was at Island Lake Lodge with Craig Kelly and two feet of fresh. I can’t imagine that day ever getting topped.

How much sugar do you eat in a day?

Everyone thinks I eat really unhealthy, but it isn’t that bad. I don’t really like to cook much, so I eat whatever is convenient. It doesn’t always include rice cakes, but I do try to eat somewhat healthy.

Do you like music?

Until about a year ago, I didn’t have any CDs. I finally got sick of listening to shitty country stations in Bend, so I broke down and bought a bunch of CDs. My CD collection consists of a little bit of everything. I bought most of my CDs because one of my friends had one of them and I liked it. I don’t have anything that’s weird or original. Most of it you could probably find on a top-ten list or hear on the radio, but I’m into it.

Do you know how to play any instruments?

Nope. I played the saxophone in middle school for a couple of years, but eventually I got sick of it. That’s the only instrument I’ve ever tried to play. I don’t think I have enough patience or enough interest to learn how to play a musical instrument.

Have you ever been in a fight?

One time in third grade I got beat up. It wasn’t really a fight; I tried to let a girl I liked cut in front of me in the baseball line. I thought letting her cut in line might help out my chances, but instead I just got my ass kicked. The beating didn’t last too long; it was over after a few shoves and my face being ground into the dirt. After that, I’ve steered clear of fighting, especially in middle school and high school when I was half the size of all the other kids. I figured I didn’t have the slightest chance of winning so I didn’t even try. Somehow I made it all the way through school without getting beat up again.

What happened with the girl?

Well, my tough act didn’t work out too well; nothing ever happened with the girl, but nothing ever happens with girls when you’re in third grade anyway. I was too concerned with my BMX bike and cartoons, not with kissing girls.

What happens with the girls nowadays?

Now that I’ve learned how not to start fights, I have better luck.

Yeah, Diggler. What else consumes your time?

My main activities are snowboarding in the winter and skateboarding in the summer. I don’t want it to sound like I don’t do anything but skateboard and snowboard, but those are really the only activities I do all the time. There are a lot of activities like basketball or “bait” fishin’ that I’ll do for a month or two, but I always move on to something different. There are a few sports I love doing, but don’t really have the chance to do them. I’ve been stoked on surfing for a long time, but because I live so far from the ocean, it’s hard to do very often.

Isn’t one of your new hobbies going to be spin fishing?

It would be spin fishing if the bionic minnow I bought off of a TV infomercial would ever catch me a fish. The bionic minnow is a fishing lure that guaranteed I’d catch at least one, if not a hundred, fish. I’m not usually the type of person who gets sold on infomercial products, but the lures looked like a fish magnet. They had a professional fisherman talking about how sick the lures were and how he wished he could use them in all of his fishing competitions. My roommates are really into fly fishing, so I thought I’d try to do my own thing with the spin reel and catch some huge lunkers¿that’s what the pro fisherman called the real big fish that I’d catch. So far it hasn’t caught me anything except a bruised ego. I’m going to stick with it, though, I’m hoping one of these days I’ll get lucky.

Have you ever gotten a ticket for fishing without a license?

No, but I’ve gotten speeding tickets, skateboarding tickets, and supposedly I got a powder violation¿that one isn’t official. None of my tickets really have any interesting stories behind them though.

Have you ever wrecked a car?

I’ve gotten in a few “fender benders” with my cars, but nothing crazy. I’ve rallied a few rental cars, too, but that’s what you’re supposed to do with them. That’s what full coverage is for.

Can you change the oil in a car?

Yeah, you learn those things when you run out of fun stuff to do in Creswell.

Tell me who won the 1999 Stanley Cup, Best Female Boardercrosser, Superbowl, Skater Of The Year, and Baker Banked Slalom.

That team from Texas, Leslee Olson, can’t remember who won the Superbowl, it’s at the same time as the Baker Slalom, so I never get the chance to watch it¿I don’t think I would watch it even if I did have the time though, Muska, and Matt Goodwill.

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Are you a messy guy?

I go in stages. I don’t think I’m a very messy person, but my roommates would probably disagree. I let my room pile up with junk until you can’t see the floor then give it a good cleaning. It usually stays clean for a couple of days. I like being organized, but hate cleaning things up.

How do you feel about traveling?

Traveling is the most educational thing I’ve done in my entire life. Living in the States it’s so easy to get a false image of what every other country and its people are like. But when you actually get a chance to go to other countries and see how different and unique people and cultures really are, it can change your opinion 180 degrees. I feel lucky that I get so many chances to travel every year.

Sponsors and shout outs.

Well, I don’t think this is going to be a very small list. There are a million people who’ve helped me out over the years I’d like to thank. I better apologize now to people who I might accidentally leave out¿sorry. First of all, I would like to thank, Morrow snowboards, Spy, Gravis footwear, Westbeach, Volcom, Exit Real World Snowboard Shop, and especially my parents for helping me get the best job in the world. Also thanks to Chris Owen for all the fun travels; Trevor Graves; Todd Richards; Billy; Tyler Brynn; Ross Steffie; Kurt Heine; Mike at MDP; Dave and Shem, the check is in the mail; Beaver and Junior at Spy; Twitty at Volcom; the corvette-driving spaz who goes by the name Trouble; my bros Egge and McAlister; Vic at HCSC; Pat for the sick kickers and halfpipes; Alan Ricardo; Ann Marie; Pooky; Rob Morrow; Jones for the Power Bait props; all of the art guys at Nemo; Whitey; Quinn; Embry “the Pong playing” Rucker; Rebecca; Greg Hughs; Sanders; Mr. and Mrs. Hauseworth; Jurel; Ardue and Jerry; Chad Cooksey; Adam; Cambell; and the best mountain in the world, Willamette Pass.

What are your plans for the millennium?

I think you’re asking what I’m doing on the actual night of the millennium¿I don’t have any wild anding if the bionic minnow I bought off of a TV infomercial would ever catch me a fish. The bionic minnow is a fishing lure that guaranteed I’d catch at least one, if not a hundred, fish. I’m not usually the type of person who gets sold on infomercial products, but the lures looked like a fish magnet. They had a professional fisherman talking about how sick the lures were and how he wished he could use them in all of his fishing competitions. My roommates are really into fly fishing, so I thought I’d try to do my own thing with the spin reel and catch some huge lunkers¿that’s what the pro fisherman called the real big fish that I’d catch. So far it hasn’t caught me anything except a bruised ego. I’m going to stick with it, though, I’m hoping one of these days I’ll get lucky.

Have you ever gotten a ticket for fishing without a license?

No, but I’ve gotten speeding tickets, skateboarding tickets, and supposedly I got a powder violation¿that one isn’t official. None of my tickets really have any interesting stories behind them though.

Have you ever wrecked a car?

I’ve gotten in a few “fender benders” with my cars, but nothing crazy. I’ve rallied a few rental cars, too, but that’s what you’re supposed to do with them. That’s what full coverage is for.

Can you change the oil in a car?

Yeah, you learn those things when you run out of fun stuff to do in Creswell.

Tell me who won the 1999 Stanley Cup, Best Female Boardercrosser, Superbowl, Skater Of The Year, and Baker Banked Slalom.

That team from Texas, Leslee Olson, can’t remember who won the Superbowl, it’s at the same time as the Baker Slalom, so I never get the chance to watch it¿I don’t think I would watch it even if I did have the time though, Muska, and Matt Goodwill.

.

Are you a messy guy?

I go in stages. I don’t think I’m a very messy person, but my roommates would probably disagree. I let my room pile up with junk until you can’t see the floor then give it a good cleaning. It usually stays clean for a couple of days. I like being organized, but hate cleaning things up.

How do you feel about traveling?

Traveling is the most educational thing I’ve done in my entire life. Living in the States it’s so easy to get a false image of what every other country and its people are like. But when you actually get a chance to go to other countries and see how different and unique people and cultures really are, it can change your opinion 180 degrees. I feel lucky that I get so many chances to travel every year.

Sponsors and shout outs.

Well, I don’t think this is going to be a very small list. There are a million people who’ve helped me out over the years I’d like to thank. I better apologize now to people who I might accidentally leave out¿sorry. First of all, I would like to thank, Morrow snowboards, Spy, Gravis footwear, Westbeach, Volcom, Exit Real World Snowboard Shop, and especially my parents for helping me get the best job in the world. Also thanks to Chris Owen for all the fun travels; Trevor Graves; Todd Richards; Billy; Tyler Brynn; Ross Steffie; Kurt Heine; Mike at MDP; Dave and Shem, the check is in the mail; Beaver and Junior at Spy; Twitty at Volcom; the corvette-driving spaz who goes by the name Trouble; my bros Egge and McAlister; Vic at HCSC; Pat for the sick kickers and halfpipes; Alan Ricardo; Ann Marie; Pooky; Rob Morrow; Jones for the Power Bait props; all of the art guys at Nemo; Whitey; Quinn; Embry “the Pong playing” Rucker; Rebecca; Greg Hughs; Sanders; Mr. and Mrs. Hauseworth; Jurel; Ardue and Jerry; Chad Cooksey; Adam; Cambell; and the best mountain in the world, Willamette Pass.

What are your plans for the millennium?

I think you’re asking what I’m doing on the actual night of the millennium¿I don’t have any wild and crazy plans. I’m just treating it as another New Year with a little bit more champagne. So instead I will tell you what my plans are for after the millennium. I want to continue to snowboard and skateboard as long as my joints and muscles let me. I would also like to get some more hobbies so the next time I get the chance to do an interview I’ll have more things to talk about.

 

 

Pull Quotes

I’m not trying to overexaggerate, but I thought I had a better chance of meeting an alien before I’d ever meet a pro snowboarder.

I’m not usually the type of person who gets sold on infomercial products, but the lures looked like a fish magnet.

I’ve rallied a few rental cars, too, but that’s what you’re supposed to do with them. That’s what full coverage is for.

I like being organized, but hate cleaning things up.

and crazy plans. I’m just treating it as another New Year with a little bit more champagne. So instead I will tell you what my plans are for after the millennium. I want to continue to snowboard and skateboard as long as my joints and muscles let me. I would also like to get some more hobbies so the next time I get the chance to do an interview I’ll have more things to talk about.

 

 

Pull Quotes

I’m not trying to overexaggerate, but I thought I had a better chance of meeting an alien before I’d ever meet a pro snowboarder.

I’m not usually the type of person who gets sold on infomercial products, but the lures looked like a fish magnet.

I’ve rallied a few rental cars, too, but that’s what you’re supposed to do with them. That’s what full coverage is for.

I like being organized, but hate cleaning things up.