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Interview: Tatum Monod

On injury, tricks, and design.

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One of the few female professional skiers incorporating big tricks into her backcountry skiing, Banff native Tatum Monod, 25, first garnered attention by landing a double back flip on her third try. Monod has since won awards like Best Female Edit at the International Freeski Film Festival and Freeskier Magazine’s People’s Choice Skier of the Year, along with coveted contracts from companies like Red Bull. Her family, a line of mountain guides and ski racers who own Canada’s oldest and most iconic outdoor shop—Monod Sports—describes Monod as determined, athletic, and passionate. Especially when it comes to…fly-fishing?

I was home for a while dealing with my first real ski injury. It was painful. The MRI results showed that I had a bone bruise in my tibial plateau and a minor crack in the back of my kneecap from a high-impact crash somewhere along the line. I think it was in Japan. I was trying to do a three [360] off a cliff and I foolishly decided not to pack out the takeoff. I landed with skis going one direction and my body the other. I’m surprised it didn’t break right then.

I was in Japan for a week and I was in the airport about to catch my flight back home when I got a call from the Good Company crew, including Tom Wallisch and filmer Kyle Decker. I jumped on a bus and stayed another week with them. It was cool learning grabs and tricks from some of the most stylish skiers out there.

Working on tricks is a never-ending thing for me. Looking back at shots or videos from previous years, I’ve definitely improved my style, which is something I’m proud of, but trick-wise, I want to feel more confident.

Red Bull Cold Rush was the coolest, most fun contest ever. It was just a big park shred with friends. I was kind of bummed that they canceled the slopestyle—that was a chance for me to shine. I’m not one to jump off the biggest cliff or ski the gnarliest line—I’m more of a well-rounded skier. I was stoked to place second.

One day, while filming for Level 1, it was just my boyfriend, Wiley Miller, and me in the heli. I don’t think we’ll ever get that opportunity again.

Last fall I went to a Red Bull High Performance camp in Los Angeles. It was hands down the coolest experience of my life. We worked with Cirque du Soleil, crawled through a box with two massive pythons while blindfolded, practiced holding our breath underwater with world-record freedivers, and even did some improv acting. It was so outside my comfort zone.

I lived out of my vehicle most of last winter. Last summer I checked out some property around Pemberton with the goal of buying something in the next two years. Whistler has so much going on. The sled and ski-touring access are incredible and there are a lot of opportunities to film.

I’ve been going to school in Salt Lake City for the last three fall semesters, pursuing a degree in fashion design with a technical emphasis. I’d like to do an internship with The North Face and learn more about apparel design. I want to design outerwear that I want to wear.

I got a saltwater rod and reel and took a big break after last season ended to go to Mexico to fish and surf.