The Duff Man cometh
Duff is coming home — and he’s doing so with a purpose.
The Duff Invitational Slopestyle — hosted by professional snowboarder Chris Dufficy, a Kamloops product — will be held at Sun Peaks Resort on Sunday, March 17.
“It’s basically just a contest I’ve wanted to do for a while, especially in my hometown,” said Dufficy, a 1997 Kamloops secondary graduate who left for Whistler in 1999 to pursue a snowboarding career.
“Sometimes at these contests, people come and they win prizes and money and it’s just about snowboarding. Using my name, hopefully we can make it for a better cause.”
All proceeds from the event — which will feature professional and amateur riders competing in the Rockstar Energy Terrain Park — will be donated to the Kamloops Brain Injury Association (KBIA).
“It’s something I’m backing 100 per cent because of my background with brain injury,” Dufficy said.
“I’ve had a few [concussions], that’s for sure. I’m very lucky to have come out of my brain injuries unscathed.
“Some people come out different people, altogether.
“It’s made me an advocate for helmets and safety.”
It costs $20 for participants to register for the event, which begins with a Harlem Shake at 11 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m., with the finals starting at 2 p.m.
There is no admission fee for spectators.
Dufficy is known as one of the most progressive riders in snowboarding history, earning his stripes by attempting daring tricks and starring in movies like True Life and Return of the Wildcats.
Not all of those tricks landed, though, and the River City product has compiled an extensive injury list — broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a broken arm, broken wrists and multiple concussions, to name a few.
The daredevil was told to never snowboard again after doctors ruled it was too dangerous, given the beating his brain had taken.
After about two-and-a-half-years on the shelf, he was cleared by a neurologist to ride again.
When Dufficy returned, he wore a helmet, one of the first pro riders to do so at a time when wearing a lid was looked upon as supremely uncool.
“It’s not me going out and telling people to wear helmets. It’s just showing people,” said Dufficy, a former member of the Forum 8, one of the most influential stables in snowboarding folklore.
“It’s a lot easier to prove a point by showing people than speaking to them. With kids, I’d like to be the reason why they wear a helmet.
“That’s helping the cause.”
Dufficy and the rest of the Wildcats crew earned a reputation for partying hard and pushing the backcountry limits.
“It’s definitely not as much a part of my lifestyle now,” Dufficy, now 33, said of the after-hours exploits.
“A lot of my friends are married and have kids. It’s a little different when you go over to your buddy’s house and he’s gotta go change diapers.”
But, Dufficy conceded, it’s nice “every once in a while to get together with your friends and have a good time,” and there will be an event pre-party held on Saturday night (March 16) at The Club.
The shindig — at which Vancouver rap artist Kyprios will perform — will double as Dufficy’s stag party. He is getting hitched in the Mayan Riviera in less than a month.
Dufficy earned his firefighting certificate in 2010 and he, like many in his new profession, is searching for a job.
“It’s a new passion for myself,” said Dufficy, who lives on Vancouver’s North Shore.
“I would love to be able to come back home and be a firefighter here and support the Kamloops Fire and Rescue team.
“But, I’ll take a job anywhere I can get one.”