Local Taylor Seaton talks ‘The Perfect Hip,’ upcoming season preparations
Avon resident Taylor Seaton will leave for New Zealand this week to begin preparations for the upcoming competition season. The 26-year-old halfpipe skier has been starting his competition seasons in New Zealand for 10 consecutive years now, and he says last season was his best yet, participating in events like X Games, the B&E Invitational and 9 Knights, which we’re seeing here. The Vail Daily caught up with Seaton this week to talk about what it takes to go that big.
VD: What on earth is happening in this photo?
TS: You’re looking at a feature called “The Perfect Hip” at this year’s Suzuki 9 Knights invitational in Watles, Italy. The event took place in April and only nine skiers and nine snowboarders from around the world were invited to participate. I was lucky enough to get invited and represent for Eagle County, the people who helped me out here and my sponsors: Uvex, Atomic, Tyrolia, Virtika, the town of Avon and the Vail Valley Foundation.
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VD: Looking down at it from the top, were you nervous?
TS: The photos they were sending us of the feature being built sort of scared me because the feature was so big that it made the snow cat looked like a little toy. But once I arrived and saw it, it became less terrifying and looked like way too much fun to just stand around and watch the others try and hit it. I would say my most nervous jump was when I hit it switch (backwards,) because I was the first skier to do so and I wasn’t really sure where my trajectory was going to be, luckily it was right on target — the landing!
VD: What kind of on snow and/or gym regiment does it take to prepare for something like that?
TS: The past few years I hadn’t been going to the gym much, just doing all my training on snow — but I don’t recommend that! This year I started going to the gym more and focused much more on gaining strength. It really helped my skiing and I had one of my most successful seasons of my career this past year. In the gym I work on core strength in particular since that is where almost every dynamic in skiing starts. I have been going to the Athletic Club at The Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon and I would say most of my workout consists of using the cable machines, a lot of kettle bells and the plyo boxes.
VD: Will you be going big again this year?
TS: Haha, I hope — that’s always part of my focus but really I’m a stickler for putting together the many details that comprise a stylish run. I like to make sure my grabs are in the right places and I’m not repeating spins. And I also make sure and hit the transition of that halfpipe and not land down in the flat part, because I want to minimize shock so I can keep doing this sport for years to come!
VD: What’s next for you?
TS: I’m going to do a few more mountain bike rides in the West Avon Preserve and continue hitting the gym at The Westin Riverfront Resort. I’ve been spending evenings working at Chronic Tacos in Avon; I’m sure a lot of you have seen me helping out there this past month, if not I’d say stop in and say hi! What I’m really looking forward to is heading down to New Zealand on Saturday, I’ll be there for a couple months of on snow training at Cardrona Alpine resort and with Winter Games NZ off this year, I will probably compete in the Cardrona Games if I can get all my equipment dialed in. So wish me luck!
At least one boulder will need to be blasted as part of the cleanup effort.