by Justin Phipps,
Chris Corning is my friend. He’s a really good snowboarder and we met during the 2010/2011 season. I wanted to interview him. We talked about doing it for awhile and finally we met up at Cold Stone in Arvada. It went pretty good and I hope you like it. We ate the ice cream.
JP: So what do you like having after dinner for dessert?
CC: What do I like having after dinner for dessert?? Um, frozen yogurt is my favorite, it’s pretty good.
JP: Yeah, I like it too.. What’s your favorite kind?
CC: I like blueberry tart.. and getting like 12.3 oz. of it.
JP: (laughing) that’s pretty random, what’s with that? wow..
CC: It’s pretty random, sometimes I get more and sometimes I get less and sometimes I get more toppings and sometimes I don’t.
JP: What kind of toppings you put on it?
CC: toppings.. I don’t know, I like.. cocoa puffs on it (laughing), I like rice krispy treats on ’em. I can’t really have those though with braces though.
JP: Alright.. So you’ve lived in Colorado all your life, right?
CC: that’s right, I am a native to Colorado
JP: How do you like living in gnArvada?
CC: It’s pretty awesome, but, there are definately some better places to live than in Arvada.
JP: Alright, well, what’s up with the Wasatch Project?
CC: The Wasatch program is where I go, and I’m going to go snowboarding for two months straight, up in Summit at a big house, and getting home schooled, or, I guess you could say online school also cause I’m getting all my school online, so.. and everything is going through Drake, the school I’m going to now. But, I snowboard for two months straight.
CC: Everyday, unless I don’t wanna go which I hope doesn’t happen.
JP: Yeah. Are you planning any tricks to do?
CC: I have been, but, most of them, I’m really trying not to think about it too much cause its still a little while away and I have a whole ‘nother month, but it starts in November.
CC: So I’m not really trying to think about it so I don’t get too stoked about it and not do my school work, cause that’s all I’m thinking about.
JP: So what about giving up football?
CC: It wasn’t really that hard cause I didn’t really like it that much anymore cause the team really depended on me a ton, way more than I would like, and, I just, I would always have to be thinking about it, and, when I had time off I would still be thinking about it, because I had to know what plays, like if we learned a new play or something I had to know, like, pretty much what everybody was doing.
JP: So what about skateboarding I heard that you stopped for awhile and then you came back?
CC: Yeah, I, we, me and my dad we went a lot when I was younger and I had fun with it for awhile and then I just got bored of it, I tried to stay with it cause my dad liked biking, then I just had to stop cause I was so bored. And then I went to camp last year, and then skating just looked like so much fun again so I wanted to pick it up again.
JP: I also heard that you started to do motocross.
CC: Yeah, that’s fun, that’s fun.
JP: Do you like rent dirt bikes?
CC: I actually just got one, just a few weeks ago for my birthday, but my birthday was September, 7th (laughing). .. and, so, I, it’s a lotta fun cause you can go fast, but it’s pretty terrifying sometimes cause when you fall on steep, rocky, loose stuff, yeah it hurts.
JP: We rode a lot of park last year, talk about some of your favorite features and jumps to shred.
CC: Some of my favorite jumps was six and seven at Breckenridge, and, my favorite features were probably the down flat down rail that they had at Breck, the double barrel rail that was lower to the ground so you could learn new things on it. And I liked the rainbow box, on the big side of Breck. It was sucky because a lot of the time it was sticky so you would always get like 3/4 of the way and have to jump off cause you would get stuck… and that happened a few times there. And one of the ones I wished they would have kept up longer was the down flat down flat down flat down flat down at Keystone, for that three weeks or whatever they had it up and I only got to hit it once, but that was fun the first time that I did it. And also, the stairset on the big side at Keystone that they had, the long down bar, the handrail, um and also the tube (2011) where you could go over it and you could go under it, you could go over it or under it, the big side at Keystone?
JP: I don’t know, I’ve ridden so many tubes, I can’t really remember..
CC: No no, you could go IN it
JP: Oh yeah!
CC: That was last year??
JP: Yeah it was, that was.
CC: A LOTTA fun. Cause a lotta guys had to duck, I didn’t have to duck (laughing), and I could go, I could go booking outta there! Uh, yeah, but I like the down flat down on the big side and the stuff in the middle and it was totally open in the middle.
JP: have you been thinking about any tricks to be dialing this year?
CC: Well, I definately wanna learn my switch back 5’s, and I wanna learn, work on, I wanna learn cab 7’s, and.. just locking in my frontside 7’s and backside 7’s and hopefully land some more 9’s on the big jumps at Keystone and maybe learn some more tricks over the big ones at Breckenridge and just some really, some good rail tricks, and just dial ’em in like you said.
JP: Alright. So toward the end of the season at Breck and Keystone, you were hittin’ a lotta the big stuff (freeway) on the other side, what kinda tricks were you doing?
CC: One of the one things I was working on at Keystone was trying to do front 7 to back 7 on the first two big ones, it was hard to keep speed for me cause I’m so small, but.. some of the other people are even smaller than me so I gotta be able to keep up speed like they can. So, it’s just a matter of learning those big jumps and how to pump and stuff and learning how to spin off the jumps and then landing good and not have to check to stop from spinning out. Hitting the big jumps at Breck was, yeah.. a little scary!!
JP: We did them together, right?
CC: Yeah, I think you hit the, first?
JP: Yeah, I only hit the first one.
CC: I still actually haven’t hit the second one yet, I’ve only hit 1, 3, and 4. So, I don’t know why I haven’t hit the second one. That’s what happens.
JP: So, you pretty much are a Summit rider, right? You ride anywhere else?
CC: Not really, I ride a couple days at Vail for USASA, I ride a couple days at Beaver Creek cause my parents like to go to Beaver Creek and they have a pretty good park. My mom likes to go to Beaver Creek cause its awesome there. I like… yeah, I’m pretty much a Summit rider. I like their parks. We just got the Epic Pass, I just got the Epic Pass, my mom and dad got the Epic Local pass. So I can go anywhere. You guys get the Epic pass?
JP: We got the Epic Local pass. Um, you are like 12/13 right?
CC: 13, yes.
JP: .. and you’ve been like snowboarding 4 or 5 years.
CC: Five years? yeah, last year was my fifth year.
JP: So you have any advice to give to beginners?
CC: When you’re just learning you should probably stay out of the terrain park cause you don’t wanna get yelled at. And, get to learn your edges, and things like that. And learn your board and wear safety gear. That’s.. I cracked a helmet and I hadn’t had my helmet I would of probably been gone. I’m super happy I had a helmet on… and just wear your helmet, your gloves. Don’t be like those guys that go with no shirt on and when they fall get total scratches down their stomach and back. That just can’t be fun.
JP: So I’ve known you for like two years, maybe? I notice that you have really good manners, where’d you get to learn those?
CC: My parents really help me. Now that I’m 13 I’m losing those manners and I’m really trying to get ’em back. When you turn a teenager, it’s hard, you just think that you know everything and you actually don’t. I think I know everything sometimes and I’m like “Yeah I know”. Then I actually think about it and I’m like, “I didn’t know that”, I just said so because my parents said “Ok, you need to do this” and I’m like “I know”. That’s one thing I need to work on definately and manners is a big part of having a good life, being able to have people to hang out with, and if you know your manners really well then you hang out with people you like and they have good manners then you can have awesome times together.
JP: Who do you like to ride with?
CC: My… some of my favorite people to ride with are my dad, Temple Taylor, you guys for sure, and just some of my team managers and stuff that I don’t really get to ride with much cause they just can only see me in videos and pictures and sometimes its awesome to have them see me actually ride in real life and not have to see me through a little screen on a computer, cause you know anyone can go and edit stuff on a computer and make you look really good.. and you’re not. And so I like being able to show my team managers that I’m actually doing that stuff. There’s a lot of kids at my school that don’t think I do that stuff cause they’re seeing me over a camera … and like anybody can go on you know, anything that comes with a computer and edit and say “I did this”.
JP: What’s it like to ride with Seth?
CC: Seth Hill?? Yeah, he’s one of my favorite guys to ride with. He’s awesome. He REALLY pushes me, and..he’s an amazing rider, and if he was, I bet if he just a little bit bigger and could keep his speed he’d be.. almost like Shaun White, but in slopestyle. He has all the tricks down, except for maybe some double corks and stuff, if he could get more speed he would be able to get those double corks down easily. He has everything. He goes from starting the day and all the way to the end of the day. He’s always working on his spins and rails and always focusing on that stuff, never thinking about anything else except for what he’s doing. And I think that’s awesome.
JP: Like what kind of stuff does he like to push you on?
CC: Like, whenever I’m riding with him, whenever I think I doubt myself on something, he pushes me to do it. So the first time I was doing frontside 720’s I didn’t think I could get it around cause it was hard enough getting a 540 around. And then when the first time that I did it, I landed it, and I’m really suprised. He was, he’s just really awesome like that, and just pushes me, and, he uses really nice… words .. and gives out a great vibe. Superpark 16 he got the best snowboarder award or something. That’s a big deal right there, almost better than winning .. anything, cause, you know he’s got the respect of his peers. And just because you’re a good snowboarder doesn’t mean you got.. good manners. Like sometimes when you don’t respect anybody else, you know it’s that saying that’s been around forever… Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
JP: so, what’s a perfect day on the mountain like?
CC: Oh man. A perfect day for on the mountain, for I would guess be riding park. Probably would be right in the morning, right once you’re warmed up, and there’s nobody out, cept for maybe there’s some other good people that are really wanting to learn things and really doing stuff .. and pushing each other.. and having a .. blue sunny day, no clouds, crisp snow. Just so you know it’s more so you can put your edge in and not sink in the mush.. and stuff. To get away from the park stuff is also a lotta fun. Getting to ride powder (which we had a lot of last year right?), uh yeah right, we had to go outta state to get powder. But, just like I say, a really snowy day, and uh can’t see but two feet in front of your face, and a lot of good vibe and stuff and a lot of people hootin’ and hollerin’ while they’re going down and stuff like that. Just .. lift ops being who they are, just you having fun, I think!
JP: Alright..you have a lot of good film edits and you also like to compete, talk a little bit about both of them.
CC: I like to do filming at some points during the day, at some points I don’t like to do filming. Just because at some points I like to just ride and I don’t have the pressure of saying “Oh I gotta land this for film” and “Oh man, I only have this long to get this done, I have this long to get this many parts”. I guess, what was the next question.. oh competing? Competing is … very different. Its, its fun, but its challenging cause you have to watch other people and say “Oh man, how am I gonna top that so I can make a better score and win”. Once I get in the mode, to do that, and actually ride, and I’m at the top, at the top of the starting gate and I drop in, my heart is racing, but I’m telling myself I can do this and it was kind of the same way in football. Like once I first caught the ball, or caught the ball on a kickoff, or kicked the ball or something, or I tackled somebody and I said “Oh, this is good! I know how to do this!” And once I hit that first rail or first jump or something and I go off and I do what I’ve been practicing all year, or at the beginning of the year, or whenever the contest is, I know that I’ve done this enough times that I can land this. Yeah.
JP: Is there anything that you do like about filming?
CC: The one thing that I do like is, the finished product. When you have, when you spent all that time getting those shots and then once you get all those shots you get to give them to your film editor, or even edit yourself, you.. you just get to look in your past and say “Oh wow! that was such a fun time doing that!” Or saying “Wow, I, that took awhile to learn that trick and I am super happy that I got that down”. And then, when you look back also you can say I did this, but next year.. I can critique it and say “whoa, I can throw a different grab in there and make it look even cooler”. So there is a lot of benefits to filming.
JP: So anything else that you’d like to mention?
CC: Well, first I’m gonna start with the manners stuff again, cause, or well I guess it follows in the manners stuff, is um, not getting hooked up on drugs. I’ve seen so many kids, just, I don’t even know them, just taking drugs, smoking, doing all that stuff, and then thinking they’re really cool, and then they can’t even go out and make a turn anymore. And they might have been able to three days ago. And they just started doing that stuff and it’s so easy to get hooked into that stuff, and it’s just.. if somebody says “Yeah, this will make you feel so good”, it might make you feel good but it’s not gonna help you in the long run. It’s, it’s like whenever I, if I get asked to do something and I say to myself, “Will this help me in my snowboarding? Will this help me in the long run of my life? Will this help me get somebody that I love? Will this help me get a good career in my life? Will this help me do all these things in my upcoming life? Will this help me tomorrow? NO. None of that stuff will. And, I… do not wanna get in that stuff, and you have to stand strong because you’re gonna get it someday, you’re gonna get it. And there’s gonna be a group of those guys, and they’re gonna push you into it and you gotta turn away and say no. I probably will have some of that (peer pressure) this year, it’s hard to know until it actually happens.
JP: and sponsors?
CC: Yeah, my sponsors are awesome, they’re amazing, they give me everything that I could ever ask for from snowboarding. Community was awesome. .. but, Never Summer is awesome, they’re, they have a great vibe. Candy Grind gloves makes awesome gloves, 686 makes amazing clothes. Anything you can think of they most likely have, they’re, they’re awesome. ThirtyTwo boots, their boots are amazing also. Let’s see here, what else, Firehouse Hats, I love their hats. And like Smith Optics and stuff, they like have like really good goggles and helmets. (laughing), yeah it’s awesome, I could not ask for anymore from my sponsors. I think I got everyone, and, I don’t know to be honest with you.