Dusty talks about his winter, being named the overall slope champ from '23, and more.
Dusty Henricksen made a name for himself in snowboarding after taking silver at the U.S. Open in a t-shirt and gold at X Games a few seasons ago. Since then, he has been a regular on podiums, and has been signing the sponsorship contracts that come along with those results. While Dusty is only 20 years old, he has been on different levels the contest circuit for years and it seems to all be paying off. Named the 2023 Overall Slopestyle Champ and now the owner of a new house in Southern California, we tried conducting a text interview, but Dusty would never respond even though we saw the “read” receipts. So we picked up the phone and called Dusty like it was 2018 to ask him about his new project, Salomon Week, this past winter and his famous energy drink-wrapped pickup truck. – Mark Clavin
I thought everyone your age liked texting?
Yeah, definitely not a texter. Sorry, homie.
All good, just shocked.
I’m the brown eye of the crowd.
That is not the saying.
Precisely. Is that off the record?
Well then, yeah. Brown eye, black sheep, whatever.
So you are filming right now?
Yeah, so right now we are up in Donner Pass working on a film project. It’s going on Monster’s YouTube with me, Denver Orr, Lolo Derminio, and my brother [Dillon Henricksen] riding, and our buddy, Cal, filming.
Why Donner? Mammoth has a ton of snow right now and aren’t you from there?
Mammoth has a bunch of shoots lined up with the big companies, so Donner was down to let us do whatever with a small crew and poke around. No, I’m actually from Big Bear, until I was 13 and then my family moved to Mammoth. My dad was driving me up every single weekend to Mammoth since my tricks for the jumps at Bear were too big. I needed bigger jumps. And after they saw I could actually hit those jumps, we moved.
You wearing t-shirts instead of coats at X Games makes a lot more sense now knowing you grew up in Big Bear.
Yeah, not a wannabe. I just run hot.
Who was your favorite snowboarder growing up?
Bradshaw and Gooner.
Is this the latest you have filmed for a project, May 15th?
Yes. Just out here trying to hit some booters.
Have you been working on it all season?
Yeah, just a little bit here and there. We went on one Finland trip, two-and-a-half weeks, and then we got this trip lined up. Finland was full street, we are out right now at Donner doing some side country weird shit. Have a cat pushing a mound of snow for us and then some natty lettings, kind of like some stuff they used to do a Big Bear. We are just shaping it with our own shovels. Everyone was pretty busy doing their own thing for the season but we didn’t really have projects to put our clips in, so we figured we would put all our clips together and make something.
I thought you guys were all surfing from what Denver and Lolo were posting on Instagram.
Haha yeah, Lolo and Denver were surfing in Mexico. We had this plan, but those two said “Fuck off, we will see you halfway through the shoot!” So they just got here!
How is it filming with your brother?
It’s weird, for sure. He is pretty argumentative, but fun haha.
What is the biggest argument you have gotten in so far?
The biggest? What angle should the lip be.
Who was right?
I am always right.
You have a sleepy style that is called out at just about every contest, but your brother’s nickname is “Sleeper.” How does that make you feel?
We have to clear this one up. I am not the sleeper. Everyone comments that on my shit. Dillon sleeps eighteen hours a day, and is low key really good. He is always sleeping around, comes out of nowhere, and blows your mind riding.
So you didn’t get to go on the surf trip with the rest of the crew?
I did not. I bought a house in Oceanside though, so I get to go there for a little bit.
You didn’t want to stay in San Clemente with your grandparents?
Haha. No, Oceanside is more my vibe. San Clemente is e-bikes everywhere, in Oceanside you see some dudes wheelie-ing dirt bikes and cool shit.
Dirt bikes and cool shit. Haha.
It’s a nice mix.
Didn’t look for a house near a mountain were you can go snowboarding?
No, definitely not. I have to travel so much and get to go to so many beautiful places every week, how am I going to top that? When I done snowboarding and I get to go home, it’s nice to take a break from snowboarding for the week. Just be done. Go surf and then go back to snowboarding. Seems to be working out for all my buddies too, haha.
Could Oceanside be the next Salt Lake since pros seem to be flocking there and buying houses?
Haha, with the climate stuff who knows! Oceanside got six inches this past winter?
You got six inches of what this winter?
There was like three or four inches of snow in Huntington.
What was your thoughts on Hollywood High getting hit by a snowboarder?
Fucking badass! Get a U-Haul, some snow…. I wish I could be the guy that says I hit Hollywood high first on a snowboard.
You eyeing up street spots in Oceanside for when global warming puts a ton of snow down there?
I am! Haha. I’m gonna redirect off the pier into a 20-foot set wave.
Have you ever filmed for a project before?
No, the only thing I have ever filmed for was Real Snow, so this is my first time getting clips with no timeline or weird shit. Was trying to always do more contest before…filming without the time and the plan…you need friends, it’s a big process. We have just all been waiting for the right time, even though this one is actually pretty spur of the moment.
What’s the motivation behind doing the project?
For the fun of it. And nobody makes dope snowboarding videos anymore, so we are going to make the dopest, haha.
Quite the callout, haha.
Haha. I wouldn’t say NOBODY. But we are trying to make some OG shit, haha.
How’s that OG shit at all the FIS contests you did this year?
HAHA, OG vibe is at a negative two. One out of ten? It is a negative 2.
Did you like any of the contest you competed in this year?
We talking FIS or we talking rail jams?
All of them. Did you like any contest you did this year? You said you were filming for fun, so why do you do contests?
I do contests so I can make money, so I can go film for fun. I can enjoy the contests most definitely, because I was doing pretty good in them this year. I just don’t like the spins. The courses are fun, the people are cool, the judging sucks and the spins suck.
Did you win any this year?
I won Mammoth Grand Prix, then second at LAAX and second at Calgary.
Wait, Mammoth was a cancelled event?
Yeah! Won by default. I won the qualifier and finals was cancelled, haha.
Is that like home field advantage? Winning a qualifier at a mountain you grew up riding?
I don’t think so. I think I just won, haha. Everyone knew it was probably going to get cancelled so we rode well. My favorite course was actually Mammoth this season. It was really fun.
You also took the overall FIS points globe home for slope?
Yeah, I won the overall slopestyle points in the world. It’s the only award that actually says you were the best in the world for this year at slope. The yellow bib. Actually meant a lot to me. It will be cool to tell people when I am a grandpa.
Do you like big air?
I do, but I did not do the best this season. I like slope a lot more than big air. I’m not the smallest spinner when it comes to slope, but I am in big air.
What rail jams did you do?
Grit in Salt Lake, and DIYX out in Finland. I got third at GRIT and won the streetstyle at DIYX.
Was third at Grit a better payout than third at a slopestyle contest?
It was really close actually. That is psycho.
Do you ride the same board in slope contests and at rail jams?
Yes, the Salomon Huck Knife Pro. I love everything about that board. The shape, square nose and tail, stiff with a soft point directly in the center of the board to unlock flex, but inside of binding-to-tail it is stiff, so you get that snap as well.
If rail jam payouts were the same as slope, would you just do rail jams?
I would probably do both still. I like to hit big jumps and do flips.
How was Salomon Week?
Salomon Week was awesome. It was actually one of the funnest weeks I have had snowboarding in a little bit, out in Klappen. We didn’t get great weather for most of it, but the two days we did, the riding was all time. Slush, phenomenal, fun, bunch of homies. Cant get much better. Hard to describe. But yeah, and then on the down days just boozing.
Did you wrap your truck just because you wanted to or did Monster pay you [editor’s note: Dusty drives a Monster billboard]?
I love this rumor. Haha. All I will say is I wanted to protect the paint job…
Did you ever think snowboarding would give you the opportunity to buy a house in Southern California?
Fuck, no. Absolutely not. It is mind-blowing how this has all shaken out over the last few years. The contests are sick and you can make a lot of money if you are winning, but if you aren’t winning you aren’t making anything. It is insane what you can do if you are getting lucky. Snowboarding is my life, and I’ve breathed it since I was born–only thing I have ever known and wanted to work out for myself. Can’t be more thankful for what it has given back to me.
Win or lose, every time you are competing you are risking your life. What is your thoughts on all that?
Risking your life on a shitty day at a contest is definitely not worth it at all unless you win, haha. It gets scary out there, days where you don’t want to put yourself on the line, but you just play to your advantages, stay on your feet, and try to not get too out of your comfort zone. If you can just have a bit of fun, you can get comfortable and that’s when you start riding good and get some results. I find the harder you try, the more often you fail.