Craig McMorris. He’s incredibly kind, he says “pasta” kind of funny, and he loves a good hockey game. He’s the type of guy that you’d happily let borrow your car and he’d return it with a full tank. He really checks all the boxes of a stand-out Canadian. And on top of all this, Craig’s a long-standing pro snowboarder, a dedicated filmmaker, and an incredible sports broadcaster. He’s the kind of guy you’d proudly bring home to your parents—platonically speaking. I just genuinely think my parents would enjoy meeting him.
Hey Craig, where are you right now?
I’m currently in Whistler, British Columbia on a morning walk with my dog, Lenny, aka Mr. Leonard.
How’s the snow in Whistler right now? Is it starting to come together?
It was. It was so good and then yesterday and today it’s just been pouring rain. It’s gonna be an NHL official ice-skating rink out there.
Oh no! That’s not supposed to happen on the West Coast.
It’s not, but we’ve had such mild temperatures, other than last week. Every time there’s precipitation it’s always a big gamble—either it will be really sick or really shitty.
And you were just in Newfoundland, right?
We were just there. We were filming. That was the last province I hadn’t been to. They got a little bit of snow and we had a crew that really wanted to go. Adam Franks, myself, Seb Judge, @dafilipinadocta, and a photographer named Chris Corbett went, and it was a blast. When we got there, we were like, “Oh, it’s pretty workable,” and then every single day it got worse. So that kind of sucks, but we only had a week, so it was kind of like, “Okay, snow’s done. Let’s bail.” So, no complaints there. It was really fun. Tons of spots. Got to see a really funny hockey game.
What was the hockey game all about?
The hockey game was an ECHL game, but what made it special was Terry Ryan, who is 47 years old, made his return to pro hockey—which is insane. He's a Newfie who stars in the Letterkenny spin off, Shorsey.
Rad. You were in St. John’s?
Yeah, right in the capital there.
St. John’s is such a cool place.
It is wild. There are so many spots. There are a lot of spots that you recognize, like some in Good Sport, some in K2’s Big Band, and the Bros Fact guys went there a long time ago. But there’s still so much undiscovered stuff there, so it was really sick. We hit a lot of stuff that nobody has even seen.
And you got Screeched In?
I got Screeched In. It was actually super funny. The very last night we went out to dinner and our server was like, “You guys haven’t been screeched in?” We said, “No, not yet.” And she was like, “I know a guy,” and made it happen.
For anyone that isn’t familiar with what getting Screeched In is, could you explain?
It’s a Newfoundland tradition. The whole process is that they explain to you what it means to be Screeched In and what The Rock’s all about. You kiss a frozen cod, which they fish there, and then you take a shot of screech rum, which is potent. It’ll get ya. We went to a bar called Christian’s and this guy put on full regalia and did the whole song and dance. It was a pretty funny experience. We had a blast.
That’s awesome. If Saskatchewan had its own version of getting screeched in, what would it be?
Let me think here. You’d have to drive a piece of heavy machinery for a minute. You’d have to parallel park a combine. And then you’d get out and you’d probably have to shoot something. Maybe shotgun a pilsner and call ‘er a day after that.
So now you’ve been to every province.
Every province. There are three territories, and I haven’t been to two of them. Missing two, but we’ll get there someday.
Which two territories have you not yet been to?
I’ve only been to Yukon, so I haven’t been to Nunavut or Northwest Territories.
And you’re heading to X Games tomorrow?
Yep, it’s going to be a blast. Working with Brando Graham again and Torah Bright’s going to be in the booth with us, as well. I’m also going to compete in the street style event—and commentate and be kind of a sideline reporter behind enemy lines, if you will.
It’s really exciting that X Games brought back the rail event. Rail jams are flourishing in snowboarding right now. What are your thoughts on that?
I couldn’t agree more. They are absolutely flourishing, and I think we need way more of them. It’s an accessible event. I think it’s sick that X Games has the more traditional pipe and slope events, and also men’s and women’s knuckle huck, men’s and women’s rail jams. All those things I think are really, really needed and it’s not something you do one year and “Oh, that’s cool.” You have to bring it every single year, build it up, and tell these stories.
What’s your favorite part of spending the week in Aspen?
Just the people, honestly. I just love what I do. I’m so lucky I get to call it my job; it’s not even fair. And the people I get to work with are just so awesome.
Broadcasting and competing at X Games is a perfect example of how much of an ATV you are, and not just on your snowboard. You’re a pro boarder, broadcaster, video producer, and you also spend time behind the camera, as seen in Tennis. What’s your drive to be involved in snowboarding in all of these different ways?
My drive is simply…I love it that much. Snowboarding is literally my favorite thing in the entire world. It’s all I’ve cared about my entire life. And every aspect of it too, right? It’s not something I’ve picked up and put down a couple times; it’s always been 100% of my thought 100% of the time. I guess that’s what it is. I just love every single part of it so much.
Does immersing yourself in the different aspects of snowboarding satisfy your creativity in different ways?
Yes, for sure. Because you know what happens is you can get burnt out really easily if you just do one thing for a long time—I do, anyways. So I need to have different aspects. Like I’ll go and do a month of filming rails, grinding really hard, and then I’m kind of burnt out a little bit. But then I get on the sled and I’m filming in the backcountry and it’s just a whole completely different thing, you know?
That makes sense. What keeps you going when it comes to filming in both the backcountry and the streets?
It's the fact that like nobody does it as much anymore. I have so much respect for like those riders that do—like Sam Taxwood. His Vans parts are just unreal. And also because that’s the snowboarding that I love. I don’t think I could stop and just do one or the other for an extended period of time. I don’t know, maybe in like four years or something like that I won’t be as into rails, but right now they’re my favorite thing.
So, will you get to take some laps when you’re out in Aspen?
I hope so. Last time we did the rail jam and I rode in it, I had too many meetings and I couldn’t do any of the practices. I felt so sketchy. This year, I am riding as much as I possibly can, so I might have to phone into a couple meetings, ha.
And of course, you’re going to be on a new deck—congratulations on joining the Nidecker team! Can you tell us about this change under your feet?
Thank you! Yes, Nidecker Snowboards. Last summer, I was in Australia with Mons Roisland and he was on a Nidecker board. I thought his board looked really sick, and he was like, “Honestly, best board, best boots, best bindings.” And I was like, that’s interesting—because I had never ridden one before. I had been on the same product for a super long time. So I reached out, and then they hired a gentleman by the name of Tom Pelley and once that happened, they were like “Come ride for us.” As soon as I got on their gear I was like, “This board is amazing.”
Also, I’ve always had foot pain. Certain boots just don’t work for me. Nidecker boots are like pillows. Out of the box, into the binding, no pain, super comfortable. It was an absolute no-brainer to work with them. I am really excited to make it happen.
That’s really exciting.
It goes back to that same thing as with X games—it’s the people. The relationship with Nidecker is pretty new but everybody I’ve met at there has been, “Hey, how do we make this awesome for you? We want to get on your program.” It is super-duper refreshing. Nidecker has been such a dream to work with. It’s been a really sick process; we filmed the “welcome to the team” video over the past two months. It’s all rails. We filmed it in Sweden and in St. John’s. I can’t wait for it to come out on the 27th.
You were already in Sweden this year, too?
Yeah. I did a trip to Finland and Sweden. We filmed with Jesse Augustinus in Sweden, and then got back and just sat around Whistler all December because there was literally no snow anywhere. Then finally there was a little storm in St. John’s, so we did a strike mission and completed the edit. And now Seb Judge is in the pain cave trying to get this thing done before the 27th.
Bringing you onto the team, joining riders like Mons and Eric Jackson, it seems like Nidecker is making moves.
Yeah, for sure. And that’s what’s so exciting. You’re a part of something that’s growing. That wants to disrupt what’s happening. And that’s really, really special. You feel a momentum on your side. So that’s why I was like, “Yeah, this is a no brainer.”
What boards are you riding?
I’m on the Sensor Pro. It’s a rad board. It’s twin flex and regular camber. Just a good, proper snowboard. And then I have the Kaon-X bindings and the Rift boots. That set up has been fantastic. I’ve been really enjoying it.
So you’ve got the Welcome to the Team edit in the bag. What’s next? Can you give us any leaks about what you may be working on this winter?
So the Welcome to the Team edit has been the hundred percent focus until now. After Tennis, I didn’t know if I was going to do another movie this year. Then I was getting on Nidecker and it just was perfect for me to put all the energy I had into this edit for two months and see what the result is. I guess haven’t really thought too much of what is coming next, but I know I’m going to be filming as much as I can. If anybody has a project, let me know, ha.
It’s kind of like you just did a Real Snow with making your first video for Nidecker.
That’s exactly how it felt. That’s exactly how I treated it. And I was like, “Hey let’s try and get this thing done and dusted, and make sure that the product looks incredible.” Because that’s what it is.