Professional snowboarder and New York native Justin Morgan stopped by the Liftopia HQ a few weeks back, and we got to ask him some questions! From his first day on a snowboard to the upcoming road to the Olympics, we got the inside scoop. Here’s what we learned!
Did you learn to ski first, or have you always been a snowboarder?
I skied for 2 hours before I retired and switched to snowboarding. Apparently the pizza, french fry thing was too much for me to handle.
When and where did you first learn to snowboard, and how long was it before you realized you wanted to compete?
I first stepped on a snowboard at age 12 at a small resort in upstate NY called West Mountain. I still ride there when I’m home, reminiscing the good ole days with my ice-coast shred crew! Growing up, I bought every snowboard DVD and loved to watch the pros kill it. I reviewed their tricks over and over – every little detail – and headed up the hill to attempt the tricks myself. Competing never really crossed my mind until I graduated high school. I did a couple USASA competitions when I was in high school, but it really wasn’t my thing. When I was 18, I was doing similar tricks to what the pros were doing, so I figured, why not try for the high level competitions? You learn quickly when you compete with the best.
Which athletes did you admire most growing up, and who do you look up to now? Why?
[When I was growing up] I looked up to many professional athletes in snowboarding, football, baseball etc. Today, I look up to the people who push the sports/hobbies they love and continue to do it for themselves. In snowboarding, I admire the kids on the mountain who are having fun; snowboarding is a canvas with no paint, waiting to become a masterpiece. It brings the creativity out of people and I respect that!
What’s been your most memorable moment in snowboarding so far?
I have been so fortunate to travel the world with my friends and have awesome learning experiences that will stay with me for the rest of my life. So to pin one moment is almost impossible. Gotta live that dream.
What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had and how did it happen?
I was 17 riding on the East Coast, tried a front flip off this little roller, landed on my head and ruptured my spleen. That was a bummer. But aside from that I have had many injuries, I guess my grandpa was right when he said, “You play, you pay,” especially in snowboarding. But that passion keeps driving me back!
What’s your training regimen like? Do you try to stay on snow year round, or do you switch to other sports to stay fit in the summer?
Training has always been super important to me – any opportunity I have to stay on snow throughout the Summer, consider it done. When I’m off snow or after riding, I do Crossfit, football training routines, run, bike, and stretch as much as possible.
What does the road to the Olympics look like?
The Olympics are definitely something to look forward to in my near future. I have been working really hard to accomplish my goals and dreams. I hope all this hard work pays off and I get to compete in Sochi, Russia with the U.S. Snowboard Team! Even if don’t make it, I’m still gonna give it my all and reach my highest potential that I have been searching for my whole life.
20 years from now, what do you want to be remembered for?
I want be remembered for change. Change in the industry, change in sports, change towards a healthy happy lifestyle. How am I going to do that? Well I have some big exciting plans pending. So, if you follow me on Twitter (@Jdubsmorgan), you’ll see!
Where haven’t you snowboarded yet that you’re dying to check out?
I have always wanted to snowboard in Greece. I have a huge Greek heritage. My family and I spent the majority of our Summers living there, and my grandparents live there, so I was very fortunate to spend half my life in Kefalonia (Island on the west side) learning the culture & language. BTW, the food is AMAZING! There are a couple of resorts in Northern Greece, so I would love to shred there someday!
If you weren’t a snowboarder, what do you think you’d be doing?
Well, I love traveling, meeting new people, and pushing my limits freely… So a professional wakeboarder or surfer would be on point (avoiding the cold haha).
My favorites on Instagram: @Liftopia @maxparrot @discoveryrussia @kevinhenshaw @dreidelgram @eddiewall @twistedthompson @savedbythegnar @dannyharf @chasguldemond
- Shwazy : Living it up.
- Wiz Kalifa : This Plane
- Sammy Adams: coast to coast
- Common Market : Push
- Kanye & Jay Z : Gotta have it
- Collective Efforts: let it alone
- F culture neon : All my people
- Mac Miller : ON and ON
- The Game : Hate it or Love it
- Steph Wells : Chasing Love
- Faded Paper Figurines : North by North
Check out some of Justin’s favorite artists on Spotify!
Alright, time for some rapid fire questions! What is…
- Your all-time favorite ski/snowboard film? AfterLame
- Your go-to breakfast before a big day on the slopes? 4 eggs
- Your go-to après drink after a long day on the slopes? Garden of life Protein shake and gym
- Your favorite mountain? Breckenridge, Colorado
- Your favorite thing to do for fun, outside of snowboarding? Swimming, biking, hiking, cooking food, workouts
- Your guiltiest indulgence? Sweets
- The craziest thing you’ve seen from a chairlift? A huge avalanche. That caused the ground to shake.
Have any more questions for Justin? Ask them in the comments below or tweet at him at @JDubsMorgan!
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