Craig and Mark McMorris are not your average brothers. With only a few years of professional experience under their belts, these Canadians—raised in the flatlands of Saskatchewan—have quickly become the princes of snowboarding, racking up as many awards for their slope skills as swoons from fangirls. Just don’t expect their mom to watch; those high-flying stunts can be too much for her to handle.
Mark, 21, beat out Shaun White at the 2013 Winter X Games before joining the Olympic snowboarding team at Sochi and walking away with a bronze medal—with a cracked rib. Big brother Craig, 23, is on the Canadian national team, competes in some of the biggest slopestyle events, and served as an ESPN commentator at the Winter X Games.
The brothers spend their time chasing the snow, have YOLO tattoos, and say things like “holy licorice.” Now, they’re making their American television debut on Fusion with the reality series, McMorris & McMorris. The eight-part show, which originally aired on MTV Canada, gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a “sick” snowboarder.
Ahead of next week’s U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Vail, Fusion chatted with the brothers about the show and what the heck is up with those baggy pants snowboarders like to wear.
I know nothing about snowboarding and it petrifies me. Any advice?
Mark: You can’t just go up for one day or one afternoon because you’ll just fall and get super unmotivated, but if you get the basics down then realistically it will only take you three days and on that fourth day you’ll be having the time of your life.
Craig: Big suggestion is layer up. If you get warmer, you can just take them off!
Is there really a skier/snowboarder rivalry on the slopes?
Mark: [laughs] They’ve been around since I’ve been around. I got nothing against it. I just think everybody should snowboard.
OK, but what’s up with those baggy pants?
Craig: That was a big fad. It’s kind of dying down, it’s now the opposite. When me and Mark were first starting to snowboard it was like, wear as baggy clothes as you can, that was really cool. And now it’s about wearing the tightest ski pants you can find. It’s funny to see it shift.
What’s one message you want us to take away from the show?
Craig: What I really hope people realize in the show –it’s funny and it’s goofy and it’s wacky and it’s crazy stuff — but what I really want to show is the fact that no matter what you’re doing, go do it the best you possibly can, and go have the most fun doing it. If you ever start taking yourself too seriously, then you’re doing something wrong, in my opinion. And I feel that comes across in the episodes. Go out, have fun, and just kill it.
Check out how the McMorris brothers prep for the slopes with crazy stunts.
That sounds a lot like the tattoo on Mark’s arm, “You Only Live Once.” Is that your mantra?
Craig: It’s pretty cheesy and I make fun of him all the time for it. He was 15, he got it in New Zealand, but it is cheesy, you know, “live for the moment,” “YOLO,” or “Carpe Yolo,” all those things. But it’s really true. You get way more out of life if you just enjoy it, have fun.
What do you think will surprise American viewers about your show?
Craig: I’m so excited that it’s airing in the U.S., I couldn’t be more elated. There’s a lot of Canadian humor in there. So Mark and I are from Saskatchewan, and that’s like a very heavy farming province and everybody’s really humble and down to earth, like really down to earth, and I feel like that really comes through. Some of the funniest people I know in the world are from Saskatchewan so I think that just that kind of farm humor is going to come across very clearly.
You’re both champion snowboarders and now you’ve got a reality show. Where do you go from here?
Mark: I really can’t complain, it’s been a good year. I won double gold at X Games in Aspen last month and got second at the European Open. But my goals are set on winning the U.S. Open next week in Vail. We’re making a movie this year, a snowboard film, and have just been working really hard on that, just getting as many shots as I can.
Craig: I’m the luckiest human on earth, I get to do what I love for a living. So keep doing what I’m doing, but I want to improve. And hopefully we get a second season of the show!
McMorris & McMorris airs Mondays at 9:30 pm EST on Fusion.