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Mark McMorris Photo Nick Hamilton

Mark McMorris Photo Nick Hamilton

Caught Up Mark McMorris

Mark McMorris is a fast eater. He once knuckled a jump and shit his pants. Instead of changing, he wanted to take another run. Is that passion? Is this a harsh intro? Mark competes a lot. Does that make him a contest kid? Yes. No. He got a Silver Medal at his first Winter X Games. He’s having fun. The 17 year-old just came up with the backside double cork 1440. He stomped it third try (on a park jump at Snowmass, Colorado.) What you think of the trick or triples in general is your opinion, just recognize that there’s a lot more to Mark McMorris than this one trick. One hit wonder? Don’t think so.

Okay, the backside triple cork 1440. How long had you been thinking about doing this trick?

I guess after Torstein did it. I’ve been doing a variation of the double cork back ten for quiet awhile and nobody had tried it, so I just wanted to see what would happen if I just started it like a back ten but go a little further, hold my grab—I don’t know. The first one I just didn’t start as flippy, I kinda did a backside fourteen double and just fell. It kinda made sense so I just eased my way into it on the next two. I did it with no injury, so that’s cool.

Break the trick down.

It’s totally different than doing the double. Right from the takeoff you need to give it a lot more. You can’t scrape, you need to get more pop than usual, you need to try to get your grab as soon as you can, so you’re in a small position. It’s like you need to know you’re going to try it from the takeoff.

What’s the most critical point in the trick?

After the second cork you can kinda spot it, so you really just need to trust yourself to go for it. You can’t let go of your grab and look, you need to just hold on. Commit to it.

Billabong Air And Style. Photo Christian Brecheis

Billabong Air And Style. Photo Christian Brecheis

Over the last year you’ve gone from basically unknown to standing on international podiums. How are you handling this new life?

It’s been good. I don’t want to say I knew it was going to happen, but I had a good idea that I could get here. You know, I had the tricks, I just needed to work on style factor and consistency and then linking it all together. I worked really hard last summer and picked up some new sponsors … I’ve been able to go so many different places in the last year. I have a lot of people to thank for the support. Like, sitting on my couch two years ago watching all these movies, I didn’t really think it was possible—and it’s happened so fast—I’m just going with the flow.

Good contests this season:

The Arctic Challenge—I kinda blew it but it was really fun there: the course, a really good riders field. X Games slopestyle—it was my first time, so it meant a lot. The riding level was insane and I did well—good weather, such a good course. I felt like I did one of my best runs and three of us young guys were on the podium—it was cool.

Are your friends in Saskatchewan following what’s going on with you?

Yeah—people are starting to find out because of TV coverage I’ve been getting. They don’t think it’s a joke anymore. Its cool my friends watch the webcasts and TV …

Has your brother Craig been a big influence on you?

I wouldn’t be anywhere without Craig… when we were young, if he did a flip I had to do a flip. If he did a 360, I had to try it.He was always pushing me to try stuff—or I was the loser of the group—so I tried to do what he did and then at some point I was doing tricks he couldn’t do but then he learns them—it’s just like a back and forth battle. It makes it fun for both of us. When we ride we’re always having these little mini-battle on the rails or the jumps. We’re always just trying to push each other in the best direction we can.

First board: An LTD —like a 135, it was way too big. Kemper boots. The boots fit well. I was six. We were in Lake Louise. We saw it and we were like, we’re doing that we’re not skiing.

Favorite Rider: When I was really young, I thought JP Walker was the sickest rider—he’s still sick. In the last four years the person that’s influenced me the most—with powder, parks, and rails—is Torstein. With his style and progressing the sport and keeping the focus on style.

Best Video: Technical Difficulties. I thought that was the sickest movie ever. And then Follow Me Around—by far my favorite movie. Eero’s [Ettala] part when he did the double backside rodeo ten!

Favorite tricks: Backside five Indy and front three stale fish.

Worst trend in snowboarding: Riding in jeans. Aren’t you cold on the slopes? Your jeans get wet.

What are your plans after the contests wrap up for the season?

Film, film, and film. I’m doing three Burton shoots and a shoot with Travis’ movie The Art Of Flight. Maybe even a heli trip …

CHECK OUT THE TRIPLE CORK AND MORE MARK MCMORRIS VIDEOS HERE

And Mark’s Fan Page HERE

Mark’s Sponsors are: Burton, Red Bull, Matix, DVS, Oakley, The Source