It's been about 4 months since my last competition which was the Crankworx Monster Energy Slopestyle in Whistler. I achieved a respectable 4th place finish in the super finals and was stoked to have been able to end my season with a top 5 at the biggest slopestyle event out there. I'm so happy to now be on board with Norco and I think it's time I write about how my first year went while being a Norco Factory Team Rider and what things are looking like moving forward
.My season started off awesome with traveling to California in April for The Sea Otter Classic
. While I was wandering around the grounds checking out all the booths I came across a company called Demon Dirt
. I was very interested in what Demon Dirt was and I ended up meeting the owners Nick and Audrey Moore. We chatted a couple times here and there during the week and I quickly knew that they were awesome people! Nick and Audrey ended up recruiting me as one of the team riders for Demon Dirt apparel.A month and a half later it was time for my first slopestyle competition of 2010
! The Teva Mountain Games in Vail Colorado. The course was dialed and I was getting excited to ride my new Norco 4Hun! The Teva Games were cool because the course was quite a bit smaller than the other slopestyle comps I've competed in, so I thought it was a good chance to try out the hardtail on this one. I had a lot of fun riding during the practice with my friends and getting a good feel for the course. I found that it was a very stress free competition, it just felt like another good sesh with the boys. I ended up getting 6th place and was really happy with the way I performed.After my successful trip to Colorado, I went back to school for graduation
! Finally I was done high school forever and I could focus all my time and energy on my biking. Time flew by and all of a sudden I was in Creston, BC for Goat Style. This was another contest that had a really fun vibe to it, with the course still being small enough for me to want to use my hardtail. There was an awesome group of riders who were up a whole week before the contest building the course and they did an amazing job! I had a great first qualifying run which in the end put me in second place! I was stoked, but I wasn't as lucky in the finals. On both my final runs I ended up falling on the dirt jump section. With that I ended up with a 10th place finish. I wish I wouldn't have fallen and then maybe I could have done better, but that was okay. It was a good over all experience and I can't wait till next year!A week or two later it was time to pack the bags and head off to Winterpark Colorado for Crankworx Colorado
! Last year I had such a great time and ended up with a 5th place finish. This year I wanted to do just as good, but everyone brought their A game and were just killing it. I then changed my attitude a little bit and tried to focus more on having fun and not worrying too much about winning. My goal was to shoot for somewhere in the top 10. I was already pre-qualified for the finals because of my 5th place run the previous year so that took a lot of pressure off of me.During the qualifying I fell on both my runs attempting to land a 360 off the starting drop and I was getting a bit frustrated
. I said to myself, "it's all good, I'm still in the finals no matter what". When finals came around I wanted to strait air off the drop and have a clean run top to bottom, but to my surprise I fell again - off the drop without even doing a trick off of it. I was like, "this can't be happening!", so on my last run all I wanted to do was just stomp the 360 off that damn drop and do the run I had been planning in my head for the last 3 days. I was determined and confident that I was going to do this and I finally landed my 360 off the drop followed by the run I wanted to do the whole time. I was so happy to have made it to the bottom of the course. I didn't even care what kind of score I got after that. I went home stoked with 9th and a confirmed invitation to Crankworx in Whistler!I was pumped that I had another opportunity to compete at the world's biggest slopestyle competition - Kokanee Crankworx in Whistler, BC
. I went into the contest strong and healthy and needed to be strong and healthy after the contest because I had plans to go on a 75km hike on the West coast of BC, known as the West Coast Trail only 3 days after the event. Having that hike in the back of my mind during Crankworx definitely made me more nervous than usual, but that wasn't going to stop me for doing my absolute best. This competition was a lot bigger than all the others
. The stunts were big, the prize money was bigger and the riders were dialed! I felt really comfortable with everything on the course except for the huge monster launch pad. It was the biggest drop that I have ever seen in real life and the fact that I had to ride my bike and throw my body off of the end of it gave me goose bumps, but I knew that I was going to have to hit it sooner or later so I got comfortable with the jump onto the tower and once I felt good I committed and hit the drop. It felt better than what it looked like.
My qualifying runs were good enough to get me into the finals! I ended up getting 4th place in the end and winning 2000 bucks!
I couldn't believe how well I did and I was still in once piece and ready to take a little break from competitions to go on my 7 day hike in the forest with nothing but a 50 pound pack and some friends.A while after my hike I went to ride the Dream Land Jumps in Kelowna with Casey Groves and all the other Kelowna boys
. Everything was going good until I ate it on a superman seat grab, a trick that I do all the time. The crash resulted in me separating my collar bone from my AC and damaging some soft tissue, so I was out for a little while. I wasn't able to attend AT's Showdown in San Francisco so that was a let down. Nearly two months went by where I wasn't able to ride. I was feeling pretty cool just last week so I decided it was time to get back on the bike. I made a little video of myself riding some local jumps and trails in Chilliwack. It felt really good to be able to ride again and still being able to ride in December when conditions aren't at there greatest is amazing in itself.I'm now off with the Norco crew for a two week road trip to California
. We are going to be riding the new Norco Range bikes and I will also have a chance to ride Woodward for a couple days. It should be an awesome trip. I'm so excited to leave the Winter in BC and shred some bikes in the California sun. I will let you all know how my trip goes.
-Sam DueckBig thanks to all my sponsors out there
-Camp of ChampionsThanks to Dustan Sept, Kai Wendt, and Long Nguyen for the pictures