Full Interview with the British Rider that Just Made Snowboard History
After nearly breaking the internet by landing the first-ever backside 1800 quad cork, many are wondering, who the heck is Billy Morgan?
You may have heard of him during the Sochi Olympics, when the 26 year old English ripper placed tenth in slopestyle. Or perhaps you remember him from the contest circuit, or when he stomped a nasty triple rodeo back in 2011. But do you really know anything else about the British rider that just made snowboard history?
We had Chris Moran from All Conditions Media chat with Mr. Morgan immediately after landing the legendary trick. Read on for a glimpse into what went into stomping the insane trick, and who Billy Morgan really is.
Billy Morgan WTF? Where did you come from?
Right, I’ll give you my standard line. I was an acrobat when I was younger. Like a circus acrobat, climbing on people and getting thrown around, doing floor routines with four other blokes and standing on each others shoulders. That got me an aerial awareness and I can hold myself and know where I am in the air. Then I went skiing with school when I was young, and one of my best mates convinced me to try snowboarding and that was it. I just loved it and was at the Alpine Centre in Southampton on the plastic as much as I could.
Then you got really good at snowboarding, and went to the Olympics?
Well that’s not for me to say, but yeah something along those lines. I finished 10th in the Slopestyle in Sochi.
You did the Quad on April 15 in Livigno, Italy. How long have you been thinking about it?
I’m not sure, a couple of months maybe? It just sort of happened.
You did this without an ACL right?
My ACL is intact, it’s just completely ruptured. It has been loose for so long it’s smashing my cartilage in my knee. I’m getting it fixed on Monday.
Does that mean that the quad was basically your last run of the season?
Yeah kind of. It was my very last day on the hill and we happened to get it done. We rocked up that morning and it happened. I mean, I didn’t know 24-hours before that it was even on. It just all happened so fast.
So how do you feel about having broken the internet in over the past 12 hours?
It’s not broken! It’s just overloading! It’s not my fault.
It’s pretty cool though right?
Well, it’s mainly hate. (Laughs)
Yeah loads mate, just people going around saying, ‘Quad corks and triple corks are not cool and are ruining snowboarding for the masses.’ But all good, it doesn’t matter. Snowboarding carries on. It’s a free sport, you can do whatever you want. So don’t give me grief for going upside down lots because I love it!
We heard that Max Parrot has been going for the same trick, almost on the same day over in Whistler. You heard that rumor and did it spur you on?
Yeah someone told me about an hour ago, but no, I had no idea when we were in Italy. Have you heard if he’s done it? Someone said he’s done it. I don’t know if he has but hoping to see an edit soon if so.
If he has/hasn’t done it, do you have a message for him?
Well, I just that I hope he landed it better than me. My landing was a bit greasy. You know I’d just ask him if he’d done it legit. It’s mad because he got so much hate after X Games. Max absolutely killed X Games Big Air and he got hate from it… What do people want from snowboarders? He is so rad.
You’re on the GB Park and Pipe team with coach Hamish McKnight, did he help out?
In all seriousness, I couldn’t have done the quad without Hamish. He got everything organized. He sorted everything out so I didn’t have to stress about a thing. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this without Hamish. He said, ‘you can do this, you should do this.’
So all the hate should be directed at him, yeah?
Ha, exactly! Yeah, hate Hamish! Don’t hate me. He forced me to do it. He had me at gun point… There were snipers on the hill.
We heard that the celebrations were cut short?
Ah mate, it was gutting. I’d just landed the quad, and we kept lapping as Rowan Coultas, 19 year old fellow GB Park and Pipe rider, was going for a frontside triple and he almost had it but the kicker was getting a bit soft, so he got hooked and made an error and dislocated his hip. Apparently it’s the most painful injury and did not look good. So he was given some heavy tranquilizers and yeah it was a massive dampener on the day. Gutted for Rowan.
What’s the reaction been from your nearest and dearest?
To be honest, I don’t think they have any idea what’s happening. Dad’s just like, ‘Cool. Well done man. Awesome. Thumbs up.’ You know, one million people have just watched the clip in the last 12 hours, but they’re all good, they’re not as bothered as me about how many likes the Instagram post has.
So where are you right now?
I’m on a train into London going to get an oral swap in hospital so they can make sure I don’t have AIDS and can have my operation on Monday.
Not celebrating then?
No, me and Hamish were saying that after the jump we’d go out in Innsbruck and get rectified, but Rowan busted himself up and so everything changed. Now I don’t have any of the crew that were involved to celebrate with and it seems like the moment has passed. I’m just gonna hide under the hate blanket for a while and read my head in a few weeks and see how the land lies.
Make Billy’s day and send him some love or follow him on Instagram at @BillyMorgan89