Interview by Jeff Schmuck
Photos & video by Michael Clarke
So the big day is tomorrow. The first ever Sammy C Invitational. How are things going guys?
Sammy: It's going really good. We're definitely busy, but we've been working really hard to make sure we're organized so we can actually enjoy the day tomorrow as opposed to running around and being stressed out. And I’m confident that we're as ready as we can be at this point.
Tom: We've had a lot of help from Timberline, Windells and all of the sponsors of the event. But when it comes to organizing an event like this the checklist is endless, because there are always things being added to it.
It sounds like it's going to be a pretty big event, and you put it together in a relatively short period of time. How'd the whole organizing process go?
Tom: Well Sammy and I sat down at the beginning of the season and made a list of his goals, and one of them was to put on a signature event. So we actually started brainstorming about this last fall, and then we had a big meeting with Tim Windell at the Utah Dew Tour where we got everything lined up. We then started talking to sponsors pretty early about supporting this, Sammy got all the riders to rally behind him, and the rest is history.
Sammy: Yeah I'm super stoked on how this has all turned out. I think the group of skiers that are here for this event are going to have a lot of fun tomorrow, which I’m psyched about, because from day one that’s been the main goal of this event, to just have fun.
How's the whole experience of organizing an event been for you Sammy? Because you've never done anything like this before.
Sammy: It's been so good. It's definitely way different from what I normally I do. It was nice to take a bit of a break from skiing after the TGR spring park shoot and really sit down and organize this. Instead of just waking up, going skiing and coming home I've been working super hard on this every day, sending emails, on conference calls, dealing with the riders, the sponsors and the jump. It's made me feel like a businessman and it makes me confident, so all the business people in the ski industry better look out, because I'm comin! (laughs)
How's the jump looking?
Sammy: Dude, it's huge. I'm a little nervous to be honest, because I hit it yesterday and I like it but I'm a bit concerned about the transition for people like Willie, because he's a little kid and I want to make sure it's not too crazy for him or anyone else. But at the same time I want it to be the biggest jump me and my friends have ever hit, and I want us to all session it together and hopefully stomp some brand new tricks that have never been done.
SCI Jump Test from Michael Clarke on Vimeo.
Off topic for just a second. How are things going with your upcoming charity bike ride?
Sammy: Good man. I'm in shape for it, so that's important. We're definitely looking for more donations and trying to spread the word as much as we can, but all in all we're ready to go, so everything is on point in that area, and I'm really, really stoked and proud of that. (for more information on the ride and how you can help, check out http://www.tacah2o.com)
Good to hear. Going back to the event, who's going to be competing tomorrow?
Sammy: We've got TJ Schiller, Tom Wallisch, Justin Dorey, Alexis Godbout, Phil Casabon, JF Houle, John Spriggs, Paul Bergeron, Mike Riddle, Sean Jordan, Willie Borm, Dane Tudor, Alex Schlopy, Ben Moxham, Charlie Owens, LJ Strenio, Nick Geopper, Lyman Currier, Dale Talkington, Gus Kenworthy and Tim Durtschi depending on some injuries they've got going on, and this new kid Parker White, who I'm really, really stoked on. I'm not sure if many people have heard of him, but I think his style is insane and smooth and I'm really stoked to have him as a part of this contest, and I think he's going to kill it!
What's going to be the format of the event? Because I know last time we talked you were throwing a couple of ideas around and wanted to leave it up to the riders.
Sammy: Yeah for sure. We had a meeting about that today. It's going to be an hour-long jam, and even now it's still a bit up in the air, but there's going to be an overall impression category where the top eight will be decided by Tommy Ellingson, Eric Pollard and Liam Downey, and a best trick category where the top three will be decided by the riders.
What can we expect to see tomorrow in your opinion?
Sammy: Lots and lots of different tricks, and providing everyone is stoked on the jump, I think a couple of the guys will hopefully be trying tricks that have never been done before.
photo: Fergie Cancade
Anything else you want to add?
Sammy: If you're near Mount Hood be sure to come up and watch. I think it's going to be a sick day for skiing, and it's going to be super fun, because that's what this event is all about. We're also going to be giving away a bunch of tickets to the Dew Tour stop in Portland this summer, along with swag from all the sponsors. And speaking of them, I want to take the time to give a big thank-you to Salomon, Nike 6.0, Oakley, Rockstar, Skullcandy, Timberline, Windells, Dew Tour, you guys at Newschoolers, and to Tom Yaps, because I couldn't have done this without him. And most of all to all the riders who came here for this event. I'm stoked on all my friends and I can't wait to see what goes down tomorrow.
SCI Training Day from Michael Clarke on Vimeo.
Stay tuned to NS for full coverage on the Sammy C Invitational.