The Mammoth Grand Prix wrapped up last week and a local Mammoth Snowboarder named Dusty Henricksen managed to capture a first-place finish in the Slopestyle event in February.
The 17-year old is a rookie on the U.S. Snowboard team competing in the Slopestyle event. Henricksen competed in his first event as a professional at the Laax Open in Switzerland just three weeks ago.
“I grew up in Big Bear and my dad got me into snowboarding when I was two years old. I was ripping in Big Bear with all the boys but we made the move to Mammoth when I was 12 because we needed bigger jumps,” said Hendricksen in a conversation with the Sheet.
He then joined the Mammoth Snowboarding team and eventually earned a place competing on the Revolution tour, which is geared towards younger riders aged 13-19. Revolution is set up as a stepping stone for athletes to eventually compete in the top competitions around the world.
Henricksen was a part of the Revolution Tour until he was 15 and this past year was placed on the professional squad.
“Yeah, the Laax was my first world cup. I did pretty well, I did decent in the qualifiers and I made it to finals,” said Henricksen. He placed first in the qualifiers but ended the finals in ninth place. “I was trying to prove to them what I can do.”
Next on the tour cycle was the Mammoth Grand Prix. Henricksen’s family and friends came out to support him at his local stomping grounds.
Henricksen was the last competitor in the finals and needed an 83.83 to beat out Ryoma Kimata of Japan. Henricksen got through the rail section while the announcers described the run as, “[he’s] handling this upper section very technically with a lot of style.” Henricksen carved his way into the shark fin-feature in the Main Unbound park at Mammoth Mountain and pulled off a double-cork 900 followed by a double cork 1260 nose-grab. He ended his last run with a triple-cork 1440. All the announcer could say was “Oh my!”
Henricksen nervously waited for the results and when the screen showed 84.51, he let out a joyful smile and shook his snowboard in celebration. “It was crazy, dude. I didn’t think my run would put me in first place but I ended up winning,” said Henricksen, “I was super stoked. It’s my home mountain and my family got to see me compete.”
Henricksen beat out X-games medalists, world championship medalists, and professionals who have been competing for over 10 years. And the day after the finals, Dusty turned 17. Not a bad way to end your 16th trip around the Sun.
But he doesn’t get star-struck at the events or meeting snowboarding legends, “I just treat everyone the same, take everything in stride. Everyone (I’ve met) has been super chill,” said Hendricksen, “I am enjoying the lifestyle of it. I get to travel to all these cool places that most of my friends have never been.”,
Henricksen will be competing in World Cups and other events throughout the year trying to get a place on next year’s Slopestyle team. He told the Sheet he is home sparingly and getting school done whenever possible or as Henricksen described it, “squeaking it in.”
The last question the Sheet asked Henricksen was ‘what is your favorite part of Mammoth Mountain’ to which Henricksen said, “Honestly the powder runs off of chair 23 are insane. I’ve been doing those since I was six.”
Six-years-old hitting powder off of black diamonds or double black diamonds. Go Dusty.