Oakley's Seth Morrison Interview
Oakley’s legendary skier, Seth Morrison, gets interviewed by Marko Phyhajarvi on homeboyski.com.
People talk to radio phones, helicopter pilots start their engines, film crew performs final equipment check.. A big mountain skier looks down the line he is about to ski. Few minutes are needed to focus and prepare, and then he drops in.. Rockered skis dive deep in the fresh powder as the skier charges the huge mountain face in Haines, Alaska. After dozen turns he sees a little jump, turns his course towards it, and sticks a front flip. He continues skiing fluently towards the next jump. It all looks so easy, at least for him. The skier is Seth Morrison, a famous big mountain skier. One of the best.
They say Seth Morrison is a quiet and may be a bit shy man, but I believe Seth is just a humble dude who doesn’t want to make too much noise of himself. We bombarded Seth with a truckload of questions hoping that he would open the doors to his life, but no. It’s not that easy. Seth provided short, sharp and direct answers with no emotional blah blah. What else could you actually expect from a man who sticks 60 foot cliffs at the high Alaskan mountains? You must be sharp, focused and effective up there, and Seth is just like that.
Good morning Seth Morrison. Going to work again?
Seth Morrison skis about 170 days a year, and he goes off the Calendar Year. Skiing almost every second day might sound much, but how often do we regular people go to work? Skiing is Seth’s profession, his job. Although it doesn’t feel like a job for Seth, the fact is that he does skiing for living.
Being in Seth Morrison’s boots is probably a big dream for many kids out there, and some might consider that he is living in the spotlight. Seth disagrees and doesn’t think that that’s the case. Seth is not a typical celebrity-type person, and that’s probably one of the reasons he’s so well-liked.
The difference between Seth Morrison and regular people is that for Seth his work doesn’t feel like work, while for a lot for us it does. Regular people need to take time off from work, but Seth wants to “stay at work” in the mountains.
When Seth Morrison takes a day off from “work” he actually goes back to “the office”.
Life is life – also for Seth Morrison
Seth has survived avalanches, a helicopter crash and mountain faces most of us would never even try to ski. He has traveled across the world and has experienced things many of us only dream of. Although Seth is in his “best age”, one day it is his turn to leave the snowy playground, but he doesn’t take aging too seriously. When asking about his “retirement plans”, Seth replies by saying “Don’t know, age is what you make of it”.
Life in the mountains can be dangerous and deadly. Bill Briggs, the godfather of American backcountry skiing, has said “if there is no risk, there is no reward”. Late Trevor Petersen wrote in his notebook “There comes a time when one must risk something, or sit forever with one’s dreams”. Seth Morrison says “fear is your only enemy, and even that you can overcome”.
Doug Coombs and Shane McConkey knew the risks, but for some reason they had to go. Although many great and well known skiers have passed away during the years, Shane McConkey’s death stopped us thinking about the risk and rewards of big mountain skiing. During his early years Seth Morrison learned much about big mountain skiing from people like Dean Conway and Kreitler, but also Doug and Shane.
“Beyond being well know skiers they were cool guys that I enjoyed skiing with. I learned a lot from both of them about being a person and a skier.”
Life can be difficult. Anyhow, the sport keeps on developing. Seth Morrison has lived in the world of skiing longer than many of us, and he is recognized from pushing the sport into new direction. Now we’ve already seen skiers ripping gigantic mountain faces, newschoolers spinning huge amount of degrees and ski baser jumpers doing some crazy stuff. What next?
“Faster, bigger, more technical tricks in the Big mountain arena”, says Seth Morrison.
We can’t wait to see.
Shaun White has figured out totally new snowboarding tricks in the backwoods of the Silverton mountain, and we are about to see those new tricks during this season, but how about skiing? When do we see something totally new? While “freestyle skiing” was the trend back in the 80s, and “newschool” was the trend in 2000, what is the next trend?
Although we might have to wait until 2020 to see the new trend, one thing is clear. We think that nobody is going to try to break Fred Syversen’s world record on cliff dropping. Although it was an accident, 107 meters is so much that it would be totally crazy to try bigger. Seth Morrison agrees.
“Jamie’s jump was a few years back and Fred’s was an accident. Not many people are going super big anymore, but more people are working on their tricks of cliffs, more rodeos and 720’s. People’s fear is the only limitation; you need to have perfect conditions to do jumps like that. It just doesn’t happen every day.”
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