Josh Dirksen Answers the Hot Seat Questions

Josh really put in some time to answer the thousands of questions sent for him to answer. You can definitely find out a lot about him even though some of you seem to know a little too much already. Uh, did someone say stalker? No? Okay. Just read below to find out about his one-footed backlflip, sponsorship, histhoughts on Reno, and lots of other good stuff you’ve always wondered about.

Q.

First off, I think you have one of the most progressive styles in the sport and truly kill it. What’s the whole deal with being a big time pro snowboarder and equipment? Do you guys really get as much stuff as you want, or what?–Albert

A.

Yes. We get as much stuff as we want. Everyone in my family definitely gets a lot of snowboard stuff for Christmas.

Q.

This year in the X-Games big air it turned out more to be a 900

competition. Then you busted out a giant one-footed backflip, which I personally thought should’ve won the whole thing. My question is this– where do you see big air comp’s progressing in the future? Do you see the future of big air having more innovative tricks like your one-footed backflip, or do you think we’re stuck with 900 comps for a real long time?–D. Forbes

A.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing the other day. It seems like big air contest are getting a little boring to watch. This year most events were 900 contests. I’m sure next year will be the same thing but with 1080’s instead of 900’s. I think it would be fun to do more triple big air contests. Then you could at least see three niners instead of just one.

Q. My name is Cory Morgan and I live in Big Bear, Cali. I know you know where that is and I know that you have heard this a million times before, but you’re the man. You inspired me to start snowboarding and when my parents or teachers said that snowboarding was for bums I just turned the other cheek or I told them off and got suspended–but that only happened once. I just wanted to say thank you so much for being the dopest snowboarder around, and if you ever come to Big Bear, call me.–Cory Morgan

A.

Thanks for writing, Cory. It’s great to hear you love snowboarding. Try to keep an eye out for me down at Big Bear, I usually make it down there a few times a year. Hopefully we can take some runs down there sometime. Also, take it easy on your parents and your teachers. I imagine that they have good intentions. Just keep riding and having fun.

Q.

Do You think you have to know how to do flips to be pro nowadays? How long have you been getting funky in the air? Nice riding. Please answer!–Evan

A.

I don’t think you have to do flips to be a pro snowboarder. But flips are definitely fun to watch and to try. As far as getting funky in the air, I tried to jump as soon as I could make it up to a kicker without falling down. I always skateboarded launch ramps back when I was a kid, and as a result, my main goal when I was snowboarding was to learn the tricks that I could do on a skateboard.

Q.

Hey, Josh. There’s one thing I’ve got to ask first, do you really like Rio? I saw you wearing a Rio hat in Destroyer. I guess I’m also supposed to tell you that you’re awesome … which you are! I like watching your crazy one-footed tricks and I thought the one-footer backflip should’ve one the X-Games big air gold. You also put together crazy video parts. How do you do all that crazy stuff?–Warren from Toronto

A.

I think the hat said Reno, as in Nevada, not Rio. It wasn’t my hat. Whitey found it and thought it would look good in my hessian skit. But yeah, Reno is pretty fun. I don’t think I would want to live there all of the time–the flashing lights give me a headache after a while–but I definitely have a lot of fun partying it up down there. I’m glad you liked the one-footed backflip and my video parts. Hopefully my part with Whitey in Brainstorm will be longer than it was in the past. I haven’t ever really cared about getting a very good video part until this year–it always seemed like work and not snowboarding. This year, though, has been a lot of fun–we found a lot of really good jumps and really good snow.

Q.

What up, yo? I come from Bend as well and all I want to know is–do you take the park shaken or stirred?–MZ

A.

I usually just miss the landings and bitch about it. Bottom line is I like it, though.

Q.

Hi, josh. My name is Frank and I’m a Canadian boy. I’ve got a question for you. After how many attempts did you get through the one-footed backflip? I saw it when you were at the X-Games and I was just like–ahhhhh man, he’s doing a one-footed backflip! Yeah, that was sick. And your 900 was so solid. So please answer me. Thank You.–Frank, Quebec

A.

At the X-Games, I tried the one-footed backflip twice. In the practice I just tried a few normal backflips and then pulled my back foot out in the contest. I’d feel like a dipshit if I hurt myself doing that trick, so I try not to do them too often. I’m glad you liked it.

Q.

Josh, as a young rider you spent quite a bit of time at Mt. Bachelor developing your unique style of riding. Besides Midas, who were your main influences and what did you learn from them that helped you raise your riding level?–Jonathan Epstein

A.

Hey, Midas. Hope the East Coast is treating you good. To answer your question quickly, I’d like to thank sushi dinners and bottles with wax on the top. No, actually, I’m just kidding and probably nobody thinks I’m being funny or making any sense. So to answer the question seriously, I think my main influences were everyone that I’ve ever snowboarded with–especially Justin Stafford, Allister Shultz, and Chad Cooksey. These are all people that I looked up to when I first started snowboarding.

Q.

What up, dogg? A while ago in this season I heard that you were at Hoodoo (a really small Oregon slope, near Bachelor). Is that true? It was for some competition that the slope was holding and my friends said that you were helping “reconstruct” the horrible jumps that Hoodoo had built.–Robb

A.

No, I’ve been there plenty of times in the past but this year I didn’t have the chance to make it up there. That sucks they don’t know how to build decent jumps. Hopefully they’ll figure it out soon.

Q.

Hey, Dirksen! This is pretty sick I can e-mail a big name pro … hopefully getting a reply. First of all, your one of the better riders out there and I’ve seen you in all the movies and mags since I started. My question is–did you have a time that you really blasted out and became a better rider or were you always good and have just progressed to your level now? How old were you and how long had you been riding when you got sponsored? How did you get sponsored? And one last question, what’s your favorite trick? Thanks, buddy, write me back. Oh ya, I’m Johnny and I’m fourteen and have been riding for three years and I shred Whistler/Blackcomb and I’m hoping to be sponsored some day.–Johnny

A.

To answer your first question, I don’t think there was ever a time when everything just all of the sudden came together. I just always try to learn new tricks and see what happens. To answer question two, I’ve been riding since 1988. In the summer of 1994, I got a job up at High Cascade Snowboard Camp and met Todd Richards. He’s the person who got me sponsored by Morrow Snowboards (which is unfortunately no longer a company). Morrow was my first and only board company I’ve ever ridden for up until now. As far as getting sponsored goes, I’d say the best way to get sponsored is to ride a lot and have fun. Most snowboard companies want to sponsor snowboarders who make snowboarding look as fun as possible. So, if you want to get sponsored just try
to have a good attitude and snowboard a lot. My favorite trick is probably whatever trick I learned most recently. Right now it’s cab 900’s. I don’t know why, but I could never really do them well in the past–or at least not make them look good. I think the answer to that question changes daily. Even after writing this I think of other tricks that I like even more.

Q.

Hey. I’m a sponsored rider and I want to know how to pimp. So when you approach the ladies, do you tell them your sponsored right away or do you give it a while? Tell me what’s up and then I can try it out in Hood this summer to all the ladies standing outside of Exit. Thanks–Derek

A.

I don’t know if I have too much good advice for you, but I don’t think that you should start out the conversation with “I’m sponsored.” It just seems a little bit kooky. Good luck though with all of the ladies outside of the Exit shop.

Q.

Hi, Josh! I saw your part in Destroyer. It’s very nice riding. I want to know why you’re not doing lots of contests and pipe contests?–Jordi

A.

I did a few big air contests because they’re fun and you get to see a lot of friends at them. I don’t do pipe contests because all I do in the pipe is straight airs and it usually ends me up in last place. Maybe someday I’ll do more, but for now I would rather go ride powder.

Q.

Do you think that the media is doing a bad job portraying snowboarding and that it’s sending snowboarding in the wrong direction?–Tony Pearce, Toronto, Canada

A.

Well, there’s definitely some stupid companies doing stupid stuff in snowboarding. I don’t think that it’s heading in the wrong direction, though. I just try to do my part and only support the companies and events that make snowboarding look good.

Q.

Hey, Josh. How do you get amped before a big jump or a new trick?–Jake Stangel

A.

I usually think about new tricks or jumps that I want to do beforehand. I try to work it out in my head before I try it on the snow. I think this betters my chance of not screwing up and landing on my back. I also try tricks and jumps for the first time with other friends so you can watch each other and get stoked.

Q.

Tell me one thing you love about snowboarding and one you hate? Keep up the good work.–Mike Estes

A.

I love riding bottomless powder at Mt. Baker and I hate Mt. Bachelor being stingy.

Q.

Hey, Josh. You’ve got great style and its nice to see you contributing so much to the Morrow team. You guys have a really well rounded group of guys working for you. Keep it up. My question is, how far in advance do you start designing boards? How far are you already into designing for 2003? And how are you involved in the whole process? I know a lot of us wonder. Thanks.–Tim Hopkins

A.

That’s a good question. I’m always surprised how early the snowboards are designed and sent into production. Nearly every company has their new boards designed and graphics chosen before the current model hits the shops. For example, the 2002 boards are finished when the 2001 boards are for sale in the shops. This is because they want all of the photos that are shot of the snowboard to come out when the board is in the shop. Most snowboard photos were taken about six to twelve months before. Getting the boards done early also gives them time to make all of the snowboards that go out to the shops. When Morrow designs boards I just focus on the things that I think are important–like shape, flex, and graphics. Usually the board designer will ask for ideas then design the board. After everyone makes comments and whatever, changes are made. I definitely feel lucky to be able to design boards because I always have a lot of fun doing it.

Q.

When you go to Alaska where do you ride and do you go to any shops?–Ken

A.

I’ve been to Valdez twice, and Alyeska once. I love it up there–the weather is a little hard to predict sometimes, but overall it’s a lot of fun. I’ve been to the Boarderline shop in Anchorage before–that’s it.

Q.

Do you think you can drink as much beer as Chad Cooksey?–C. N.

A.

Could and would.

Q.

How does it feel to have your own pro model!–Broadster

A.

Well, officially, it’s not my pro model. We just put "designed by" either myself or Todd Richard’s on all of the truth boards. It’s almost the same thing though. I liked having it this way rather than a real pro model. I think that having a real pro model would stress me out too much because I would always question if I was worthy of having one.

Q.

Josh, this is a three part question. One–what the hell where you thinking with the one-footed backflip? Insane! Two–who do you like to ride with the most and why? And finally, three–can I have your number, baby? Just kidding … actually, no, I’m not.–Faye Pang

A. Question one–I was thinking, don’t crash and break my knee off on national T.V. Question two–I like to ride with my buddies Marcus Egge, Jason McAlister, and Shroder Baker. Question three–(541)867-5309.

Q.

Hey! Alyssa and I are wondering if you could help us out with a few questions we have on a school project. These are a couple questions we have for you–Do you think the media influence on snowboarding is good or bad and why? Who are some famous snowboarders and their impact on the sport? The Cultural importance of the sport and how it reflects certain American values? Problems within the sport, and their impact–drugs, scandals, bad sportsmanship, etc. Changes you predict. So if you could please help us both out, Ericka and ALyssa that would appreciate it greatly. Thanks a lot.

A.

I think I’m going to answer this one later. I gave up writing research papers a while ago.

Q.

Good evening, Josh, from not too far away. My name is Zach from northwest Washington, Seattle. I’m surrendering my attention to you by stepping through your shadow here! I know that your experience from riding with friends and family has made you really talented. My question is, how do you become well rounded at snowboarding and in your personal life? Is practice what makes perfect? How do you come out of a front or backflip without landing on your ass like me? Thanks for your advice.–Zach

A.

Hey, Zach. You’re kind of confusing me with the “stepping through the shadow” stuff. But yes, I think my friends and family have made me who I am today. I’m not sure if practice always makes perfect but it can’t hurt. I try to work hard at things I want to accomplish and see what happens. You should do the same on the flips. Try as many as your body can handle and I’m sure you’ll learn them.

Q.

Hey, dude. Just wondering how many times you rock your bell in a botched attempts per year, on average. Thanks.–drjcy

A.

I crash a lot and get really sore a lot, but I’ve never had a concussion. I hit my head sometimes, but never very hard.

Q.

Yo, Josh. What’s up? I was up at Hood last summer and met Todd and P.L., and Bozung, along with Kyle Clancey and a bunch of other dudes and they did a bunch of filming up there for shit like the Resistance and Destroyer. Where do you do most of your filming? Have you ever ridden in the Midwest, AKA Tyrol Basin?–Weston Radford

A.

This year I did most of my filming in Utah and Oregon and a little bit of Alaska. Every year it changes depending on the snow. I’ve never been to the Midwest, but I’ve heard it’s fun. I have a bunch of friends who head out there ever year for that event they have in the spring.

Q.

Hey, Josh!
I can barely get off the lift and go to a bench with my back foot out of my binding. How long did it take you to do a jump with your back foot out of yours and how do you control your board? You should have gotten at least second at the X-Games.–Allan, San Diego

A.

I guess I just got used to it over the years. I fool around on small jumps a lot with my back foot out. After you get used to crashing it’s just the same as having your foot in the binding. I’m glad you liked it, though.

Q.

How long have you been snowboarding? Did you catch on fast? How did you get your name out there and get sponsored? I think you have really smooth an awesome style. Thanks.–Keaten

A.

I’ve been snowboarding for about thirteen years. It took me a long time to catch on. I didn’t leave the bunny hill for the first week, at least. I thought this was a normal amount of time until I saw my friends start snowboarding. Over the years I’ve never seen anyone take as long as me to catch on to snowboarding.

Q.

Hey, wassup, Josh? I’m moving to the East Coast soon. What mountain do you like the best? I don’t know much about the East Coast snowboard scene. What do you recommend and where is the best to go. Thanks. Oh, and how’s Travis Yamada doing? Does he still ride with you?–Masato

A.

I don’t know were to go on the East Coast. I’ve been there a few times for the U.S. Open and X-Games, but I’m not sure where’s the best. I think Stratton is one of the better mountains over there, but I’m the wrong person to ask. All I know is there are a million people on Burton snowboards everywhere over there, so if you want to be different ride a different brand. Yamada is doing really good. He still rides a lot.

Q.

Hey man, nice to see you doing some interviews! Anyway, my question is about being a little gun-shy with regards to a nasty accident last winter. I was doing a rail and broke my arm in two places. Surgery, metal plates, the whole works. I’m not afraid to board again, I’m just a little freaked about rails for next season … maybe longer. Any thoughts from experience? What do you think? Thanks man, stay cool.–Andrew, Ontario, Canada

A. That’s too bad about your arm. It sounds like you’re on the comeback trail, though. I would say just start off slowly on smaller rails and try to get your confidence back. I’m sure if you just take your time getting back into rails, you’ll lose your fears quick. Just go at your own pace. Good Luck.

Q. What’s up? I was wondering how you went about towards choosing your shop sponsor and what they did for their riders–whether they pay you or just give you free stuff. I was curious because I knew some pros in Mammoth who had shop sponsors all the way in Huntington Beach. I didn’t know whether if it was some rule that you have to ride for a shop from the town your from? Just curious, thanks.–A.K.

A. I’m not sure how all shop sponsors work. Usually riders try to ride for the shops that supports the companies they ride for. Or sometimes the shops pay a bunch of money. I ride for the Exit Real World snowboard shop because they’re really nice. They’re a couple of hours from my hometown but I’m never at home anyway, so it works out perfectly. They give me free skateboards sometimes, which has been my dream since I was ten. I just like the people there and I want their shop to sell a lot of stuff. As far as people from Mammoth riding for shops in Huntington Beach, I imagine that Mammoth Mountain is the local mountain for a lot of people in Huntington, so it works out good.

Q.

Hey, Josh. I’m fourteen years old and this upcoming winter I really want to progress. I really need to learn how to spin, frontside and backside. I can already do backside three’s but I always stop spinning when I get to 360 because my eyes just focus on the landing. I was wondering what are some tips to do bs/fs 540s and 720s. P.S. Your part in destroyer is dope–A.N.

A.

It sounds like a dumb answer that I’m going to give you but just concentrate on doing a 540 from the start of the jump. A popular tip that they give up at High Cascade, is to look with your head and the rest of your body will follow. I’d give that a try.

Q.

Yo, Josh. Hey man, I bet I’m one of the few fans you have down here in Venezuela! I just wanted to say that you are one sick mofo. You’re like my idol, man. Anyway, I’m a pretty good snowboarder and I’m learning inverted frontside fives. I just wanted to ask what are some key points I gotta have in mind as I’m getting launched off that kicker. Thanks, man. Keep rippin’. I could probably get that info from somewhere else but I wanted to get it from the best.–Alex

A.

Well, there are a bunch of ways to do inverted 540’s (backside, frontside, corkscrew, rodeo). One thing that will help out a lot is to learn backflips really well. Some people might disagree with me and say that this will give you wack gymnastic style, but I think it’ll help out a lot. Once you get good at flipping and landing on your feet, you’ll be able to think about adding spins into the mix. This is what I did over the years and it has worked out pretty well. I’m definitely a lot more comfortable doing inverted tricks.

Q.

Josh, who was your first sponsor (shop or company) that helped you realize that you had the potential to be a competitor in the snowboard industry?–Jon

A.

The first company that I ever rode for was Jaro clothing. They were a bunch of really good friends that started a really cool snowboard clothing company. They helped me out with everything from snowboarding to fake ID. I’m definitely thankful for all they did over the years.

Q.

Josh, how often are you in Encinitas?–T.

A.

About two or three weeks ever year. Just about everyone in the snowboard industry works there so it’s fun to go surfing, skateboarding and chillin’ in the sun.

Q.

Josh, I heard that Version is giving you a signature goggle. Do you think that this will help drive sales for them? How come you would have a signature goggle but share a signature board? Thanks for the time.–Micah

A.

I just think it’s a cool looking goggle. I don’t really care about the whole signature model thing.

Q.

Josh, sick movie parts this year! I was wondering if you believe more strongly in rider owned companies or a more “corporate” owned company. I hope I’m being clear. Keep up the good work.–Steve Spindler,

Halifax Nova Scotia

A.

Good question. Hopefully I answer this question clearly enough so that I don’t sound like a hypocrite. I support rider owned companies over most corporate companies, but I don’t think this is the only requirement for a good snowboard company. I just try to support the companies that have good intentions and who want to make snowboarding better and more fun. Just because someone has been snowboarding a few times and can claim that their company is "rider owned" doesn’t make them automatically cooler. I think the most important thing for a any snowboard company, rider or corporate owned, is to listen to the riders and to use there input to make the product better. If they’re able to do this, then I’d support them.

 

Q.

Hey, Josh. Don’t you ever get sick of Bend? My friends tried to get me to move there but there’s nothing to do.–Ian Kesterson, MT Hood shredder.

A.

Yes, you’re right. There isn’t a lot to do here. I think I would go crazy if I was here all year long. Most of the time I’m traveling around, so I don’t spend much time here. The snowboarding is a lot of fun, though, but that’s about it. If you live in Portland, I would suggest staying there.

 

Q.

< /b>What’s up, Josh? I was just wondering if you ever have those days where it feels like your a beginner again and everything you try you either sketch out or crash. Anyway, congrats on getting to where you are, you know, livin’ the dream.–Ryan G., Minnesota

A.

Yes, I definitely have those days. Usually when they happen I just call it a day and go home. I know that "giving up" is not good to do, but I figure if it wasn’t meant to happen that day, then why force it.

Q.

Do you work the pro-snowboarder angle on chicks?–Dudley

A.

Sometimes.

Q.

Hello, Josh. My name’s Jeremiah, I’m seventeen and live in Eagle River, Alaska. This fall I’m going to be coming to bend to go to school at COCC, and I was wondering if you went to school there. If you did, what do you think is the best way to go to school full time (because of loan contract, I have to take twelve credits a quarter) and still be able to ride as much as possible? I came down there for spring break and rode Bachelor for two days and it was rad. You guys have a much better park then here. Thanks a lot for your time and keep ruling it.–Jeremiah

A. Take night classes. There’s not much to do here at night, anyway.

Q.

What up, Josh? First, I just wanna say you rip and I look forward to your video parts each year. They just keep getting better and better. Anyway, now to the question. How do you manage to show up in just about every big video of the season? Do you just have filmers follow you like paparazzi?–Jamie

A.

No. They’re not like paparazzi, but they usually come on all of the trips and to all of the contests. A lot of people get small parts in other videos because the film companies use contest footage. That’s usually what happens with myself. At the beginning of the year I decide which film companies I would like to work with and then do my best to film as much as I can with their filmers. In the past I’ve tried to get a part with Mack Dawg and Kingpin Productions, but this year I decided to just focus on one video part with Kingpin. Hopefully this will work out better. It’s hard to finish two good video parts in one year. Some people can pull it off, like Andrew Crawford or Kevin Jones, but I think I’m too lazy. It’s definitely a lot of hard work and time.

Q. Josh, you’re an incredible freestyle rider and very inspiring! I read in your EXPN athlete bio that you were born in Ottawa, Ontario–that’s in Canada for all you blockheads! Is this true? How long did you live there? Have you been back since? Thanks for your time, and don’t worry, dude, you’re well loved! And that was a kick ass one-footed backflip! Talk about innovation! Luv ya.–Skye, Ontario, Canada

A.

I was born in Ontario, Canada, but only lived there for about a year. My parent are both American but were working up there when I was born. So my citizenship is both–I’m half American and half Canadian, at least as far as paperwork goes. I haven’t been back there since but would love to go back sometime and maybe one of these days I’ll have a chance.

Q.

Who (or what) inspires you to push yourself?–T.L.

A.

I have a lot of fun snowboarding and want to improve at it. I think it’s pointless to do something for no reason, so learning new tricks and improving is my reason.