The Friday Interview: Ty Morrow

We used some of the excerpts from this interview in the video portion of our “Behind the Cover” video with Ty Morrow and Jeff Zielinski a couple of months back, but I always felt the full interview touched on a few more topics that just didn’t make the cut for a shorter video. With Ty’s nomination for Street Rider of the Year, I figured the time was right to drops the interview with the Greenville to San Diego transplant.

Interview & Photos by Jeff Zielinski

Well, let’s get down to it.

Going into this school, this setup, was it something you thought, “Oh, this could be a cover?”
I mean, I guess so, in a sense, because it’s all lit up…and…I dunno. That’s a hard question to answer [laughter]. I didn’t think it was gonna be a cover, but I just kinda thought it would definitely turn out a really good photo just because it’s medium format, all lit up. I didn’t think it was gonna be a cover, but it turned out really good. It’s sick that it’s at night.

We went there at first to look at it in the day. Was that the plan the whole time, to shoot it at night or was it a necessity because of security?
It was kind of just out of necessity and the whole timing of being there. The day had already gone good with the grind hard 360, and Josh [Harrington] was in town. He wanted to do the over tooth on it and everything. So having someone to actually ride with…or at least, “someone goes first, someone goes second” type of thing. Having that was nice. It’s really hard to get out to Rincon so it was all kind of right time right place.

What about the fact that we got to use the outlets at the school and didn’t have to use the generator?
That was awesome, that shit’s always nice when it happens, for sure.

How hard is it to ride that school in general?
That was the first and only time I’ve ever been to that school. Our experience was good, we lasted at least an hour or so. I didn’t really think it was that bad. But I guess as far as everyone else’s shit goes, it’s a bust [laughter].

I think the security guard actually showed up when we were done.
Yeah, we were completely done and I think the lights were almost all the way packed away. That shit was so routine for him, like, “oh yeah, kicking out just another group of dudes.” There was another group of dudes there earlier in the day and he probably kicked them out too.

Looking at the photo after the fact, is it kind of what you envisioned?
I was shooting with you, so I envisioned it to be good [laughter]. I thought it was gonna turn out good, and it turned out better than how I thought it was gonna turn out. So that’s awesome.

For all of the 360s you’ve done, with the fear factor and nervousness, how does this rank in your book?
I would say it’s definitely the scariest three I’ve ever done. Yeah, definitely the scariest three I’ve ever done. The whole time I thought I was gonna clip my back wheel on the rail and falling backwards onto one of those big blocks and breaking myself in half or something. That was what was going through my head the whole time. But I knew that if I didn’t rotate fast off the start, If I sort of tried to under-rotate it as opposed to trying to three…I just kind of feel like that’s how hop threes over shit work. Going into it I already knew that, so it wasn’t too bad. Once I was looking at it, it’s such a perfect setup. It actually has an embankment sort of, going up to the rail, and there’s a foot between the take off and rail…there’s the perfect amount of space. I feel like it’s a pretty perfect setup, so it’s not as scary as it could have been, had the setup been a little bit sketchier, but it was definitely the scariest three I’ve ever done.

What about the term “status spot.” Obviously that is huge, especially in skating…they’ve done full articles just about that spot. It’s not as popular in bike riding, but for people that ride street, they definitely know what Rincon is. People have done tricks down the rail, I think Sean Burns 180d it…so it’s cool to see you bring a new move to a spot.
I guess I didn’t go into it thinking it was a status spot, it’s just one of those perfect Cali spots like you said…it’s so ridiculously perfect, how are you not gonna ride it? If you go there and check it out and there’s something you can do, you might as well do it. It’s cool…I mean, it’d be cool if it was some new, random gap but it’s a famous setup for a very good reason.

A second angle of Ty’s 360, setup by Jeff Z. and shot with very low shutter speed handled by Tony Neyer. Photo: Jeff Z.

What about the footage? I’m sure you’re hyped on the footage from Tony [Ennis]’s angle and everything?
I think my friend Aaron actually got the best VX angle, he has an up top angle from the side…Tony filmed it straight on with the tripod and straight up with his VX.

We talk back and forth about the clip and how it’s being used in the trailer, and continue on with the interview.

So this clip’s going to be in the upcoming Deadline trailer?
Yeah, we figured why not…I’m still going to use the clip in my part…we thought, “the cover’s already out there, it’d be cool for people to see the actual clip.”

What kind of reactions did people give you when they saw the cover?
Good, everyone that mentioned it was psyched on it. It was definitely good, I guess…that’s a hard one to answer.

I understand.
People were definitely psyched, but I feel like just as psyched as any of your homies getting a cover would be, you know? It’s always sick to see your friend get a cover. It’s the same as seeing Josh [Harrington]’s cover, I was super psyched for him.