Billy Morgan on Landing the World's First Quad Cork 1800 - Onboard Magazine

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Billy Morgan on Landing the World’s First Quad Cork 1800

Photo: Red Bull Media House

Billy Morgan melted the internet on the evening of Wednesday 15th April, when footage from a kicker session in Livigno, Italy dropped showing him landing a backside quad cork 1800, a trick that has never been attempted, let alone landed, in the history of snowboarding.

We caught up with Billy to hear how the trick came about, his response to the haters, and what it feels like to go upside down four whole times. 

Halldor joked about landing the first quad on April first and a few short weeks later you’d gone and done it! How does it feel to be the one who ‘quote unquote’ – “ruined snowboarding?”

Yeah it’s pretty random eh? I don’t think I’ve actually ruined anything for anyone. I think the image people have in their heads is that their snowboards have just disintegrated, their lift-passes have gone and it’s actually impossible to go and enjoy snowboarding any more…

As far as I can tell, you beat the skiers to it as well.

Haha yeah true. Well except for the aerials guys.

Yeah, we’re not counting Frank Bare… In all seriousness though, congratulations man. You just officially raised the bar.

I don’t wanna raise the bar, the bar’s fine! I just wanted to do it.

So how did landing the trick come about?

We didn’t actually know we were going there until like 24 hours before, and yeah Hamish [McKnight] (Billy’s coach) was like; ‘They can re-shape the Nine Knights thing into however we want it, so let’s go”, and we pretty much drove over from Mayrhofen that night, got there at 9 o’clock, got up in the morning, went up and just got on it straightaway.

I did like a few 7s, a few dubs and hammered about 6 or 7 triples and then had a reshape and was like, ‘I just need to do it as soon as possible’. So I did a couple more and just sent it.

Photo: Red Bull Media House

Pretty damn insane that that was your first attempt.

I’m glad it was, because I don’t think I was capable of going back up.

Was it a big mental hurdle to overcome adding another cork, or was it a bit more like ‘I’m just gonna huck and hold on another time’

I knew I’d have the feeling when I went off the lip whether I’d got the pop right, because I knew I had to send it real big. I was doing trips and they weren’t super slow. Like I couldn’t have just done the quad to the top of the landing, I knew I had to get it right and go big. So I really had to concentrate on taking all the pop from the jump. As soon as I took off I was like ‘fuck I’ve got some heavy pop there’, but obviously you can’t see anything – it’s all blurry, so I just held on for dear life and rode it out.

It’s pretty crazy that you get the triple around and you’re not even past the knuckle yet.

Didn’t you do it without a knee too?

Yeah my ACL fully ruptured but it re-attached somewhere else in my knee and it’s doing the job. It’s holding my knee together but it’s not perfect. I’m actually going into my op to have my knee reconstructed on Monday. It was the last day I had riding on the hill – a pretty good season ender really!

the thing I enjoy most with snowboarding is being scared to try a trick. But when you man up and try it, the feeling you get after can’t be explained. You could never buy that feeling, no drug will ever give you that feeling, and yeah I think that’s what I do it for.

When Torstein did his first triple, he was saying that it had been in his mind for so long he was losing sleep over it. Was it the same for you or was it a spur of the moment thing?

No fully, I would spend a lot of time thinking about it in the night and not be able to go to sleep because I ‘d have to keep running it through my head. I actually got into the routine of watching space documentaries to let my mind drift off into how big space and time is – so I could actually sleep.

Most people who snowboard would never be in the position to even think about attempting something like a quad, so why was it something that was really tripping you out so much?

I do it with a lot of things; I am a bit of a worrier. My brain’s constantly full of shit and as soon as I start thinking about snowboarding when I’m going to bed it just ticks over and over and over for whatever reason. I don’t know why. It’s just my brain – it’s just shit!

Photo: Red Bull Media House

I guess I was more referring to what it was that made you want to try something like that. You get it wrong and it goes horribly wrong. A lot of people would just be like, ‘oh I’ll just let someone else try it first’. What motivated you to actually go for it?

I’ve always found that the thing I enjoy most with snowboarding – the best feeling I get from it, is being scared to try a trick. But when you man up and try it, the feeling you get after can’t be explained. You could never buy that feeling, no drug will ever give you that feeling, and yeah I think that’s what I do it for.

It’s been so long since I’ve had that much adrenaline from being that stoked that I needed it again. And I probably wont have it again! That was the last one for me!

Just do it switch!


I guess you figured there’d be quite a lot of negativity around the trick. Did you think about that at all? What would you say to the haters?

I spoke to someone and they were like ‘look how many people are stoked on it’, and the people that are hating on it, I just think that they don’t understand that nobody is telling anybody how to go snowboarding.

Snowboarding is a free sport like, anything else, and you can go and do whatever you want. If you wanna ride street, just cause I did a quad cork, it’s not stopping you from riding street. Riding street is still rad. Nothing has changed. I still appreciate all avenues of snowboarding. I envy the street guys because I couldn’t do that, so big up. But I don’t see why I should get hate because I like spinning round and going upside down.

It’s been so long since I’ve had that much adrenaline from being that stoked that I needed it again. And I probably wont have it again! That was the last one for me!

Snowboarding can definitely be very fickle sometimes. You should just film an 80-foot switch method, that would shut ‘em up. Or a carving edit…

Haha, for sure!

There had been some talk that a few other riders were gearing up to try the trick themselves over the next few weeks. Had you heard that and if so, was it an incentive to go out and get it done first?

I obviously assumed that other riders would be thinking about doing it, like Yuki [Kadono], Mark [McMorris] or Max [Parrot], any of them are capable of doing it but you really need the right jump. I heard afterwards that Max was in Whistler, thinking about trying one, but I only heard afterwards. That was better though, I don’t like being under lots of pressure so it worked better being quite free.

Obviously there’s a big difference between landing that trick and doing it regularly in comps. Could you ever see yourself attempting these in competition?

Imagine you had a slopestyle comp that just came down into that jump, and it would be possible, but it does seem stupid. It was quite a unique jump, you couldn’t really do flat spins on it – it was super whippy.

There’s an article on Transworld that says with the maximum 3.1 secs of airtime it would theoretically possible to do 6 corks.

Hamish calculated it by looking back to my other triples where they’ve been real quick, and took the middle 2 corks where it’s just the tight spinning rotational bit, and doubled that to work it all out, and yeah it was 2.8 seconds that was the minimum I’d need to go for a quad.

But I need to check it out, I’ve been meaning to put it in final cut and then look at the exact time I’m in the air for.

Photo: Red Bull Media House

Do you think a line can be drawn under progression? When or what trick is ‘too much’

I dunno. I mean, I’m probably going to be done by the time anything gets pushed further, or at least I hope I am! But there’s no real limits are there? It depends where companies and people want to push the sport you know? I have no idea.

How big a part has Hamish McKnight played in not just landing the quad but in your snowboarding as a whole over the past few years?

I actually think I owe a lot to Hamish, he’s a really clever guy and I get along with him really well. When I’m not really feeling it he knows how to push my buttons to make me want to go and do stuff. And yeah I owe a lot to him for sure.

But it’s never been in a way where I’ve ever done something I didn’t want to do. I definitely wouldn’t have done a quad without him. He was the one that organized it all you know? He was speaking to Red Bull to get the jump built and I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for him.

Well we think that’s it that’s all Billy! Go have a beer on us and good luck with your knee surgery. And congratulations once again, of course.


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