Legendary Canadian snowboarder Chris “Duff” Dufficy seems to have a bit of Benjamin Button about him.
While the man they call “King Duff” has amassed a list of achievements almost as big as his ear-to-ear smile in his 15 years as a pro, he’s still riding his heart out, training to be a firefighter and will be hosting the inaugural Rip Curl Duff Invitational in the Sun Peaks Terrain Park on Sunday, March 17.
It all started for Dufficy growing up in Kamloops and spending plenty of time skateboarding and riding at Sun Peaks, or as he refers to it with a laugh, Tod Mountain.
In a career that spans decades, having ridden for numerous brands, hit thousands of gnar tricks and been a member of the original Forum 8, it’s clear Dufficy has seen snowboarding go through a lot of changes in his time on the board.
“(Snowboarding) was definitely a lot different . . . snowboarding didn’t get the full respect back in the day. There was definitely more of a party scene back in the day,” said Dufficy. “Now people are getting more serious about it, standards are definitely set higher and the consequences are up there as well. Riding, and the progression of snowboarding, has gotten to the next stage . . . people are taking it seriously as they always should have.”
Dufficy says what keeps him going is what originally brought him to snowboarding.
“Now I just focus on the things that drew me into snowboarding — powder, sunshine, big jumps and going out with my friends and having a good time. It’s the feeling of weightlessness in the air that still draws me back.”
Named by Snowboard Canada Magazine as one of Canada’s most influential snowboarders, he was the first Canadian snowboarder to wear a helmet full-time and, after some bad accidents, he’s a strong helmet advocate. Along with this legacy, Dufficy will also leave an impression on the next generation of riders as he was head coach of the Camp of Champions in Whistler, a summer snowboarding program on the Blackcomb Glacier, for over a decade.
Dufficy’s message to riders current and future is simple.
“Just have fun. If you’re not having fun there’s no point in doing it, that’s what it basically comes down to,” he said.
Although retired from competition, there’s no stopping Dufficy as he’ll turn back the clock at the Duff Invitational.
“I’ll definitely ride the jumps with everybody else. I’ll get on the microphone for a little bit,” said Dufficy adding that there would be a swag of prizes including outerwear from Rip Curl, snowboards from Signal, underwear from My Package, wax from Beaver Wax, helmets from Sandbox, boots from Celsius and clothing from RDS.
The Duff Invitational is open to entry for skiers and snowboarders of advanced terrain park ability. Each rider will receive two judged runs and the top scorers moving to the finals. Cost of entry is $20 and advance registration is a must.