Catching Up with Tatum Monod

Weeks after dropping her 2019 “Bad Guy” collaboration with Matchstick Products, Tatum Monod talks Powder Awards, Billie Eilish, and recovering from the injury that changed her life.

Photo: Daniel Ronnback

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After winning “Best Female Performance” at the Powder Awards for her 2016 segment in Level 1’s Habit, Tatum Monod quickly became recognized as one of the hardest chargers in the big mountain game with fast skill and style. But after a devastating 2017 crash that shredded most of the ligaments in her knee, Monod had to take a step back and press restart on her skiing.

Two years later and following a long road to recovery, Monod is back at the top of her game. Her 2019 edit in collaboration with Matchstick Productions (MSP) once again earned her the nomination for Powder’s “Best Female.” 

Shot in her home mountains of Pemberton, BC, and set to the tune of Grammy-nominated Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” the edit is loose, fun and cheeky. We reached out to get her take on the full circle.

SKI: What was it like directing and producing alongside MSP? You’ve worked with them before, and your injury limited your involvement with ALL IN… How did you decide to do this solo edit for 2019?

Monod: It was a great experience to be involved in directing, editing and producing along with MSP. The thing about being a film athlete is that it’s your drive and motivation that really determine your success. 

Just to give you an idea, it took all season to get the 3:36 seconds of footage that are in the ‘Bad Guy’ edit. I’m always looking for ways to diversify and I thought doing a solo project with MSP would be a cool way to do things a bit differently.

SKI: Speaking of that knee injury, it’s been a long road for you back to recovery. How were you able to work through the physical and mental pains to get back to where you are now?

Monod: My knee injury was not a simple reconstruction, basically every structure in my knee was compromised. It’s an ongoing issue. I have just learned how to deal with it and maintain it. It took me two years of constant rehab to recover. I had a lot of doubt in whether I would ever be able to ski the way I once did, but by the end of last season I was skiing better than I ever had before. Overcoming my fears and recovering physically from that injury is probably my biggest accomplishment to date.

SKI: You filmed this edit in your home mountains outside of Pemberton. Was there a single day or line that you had the most fun shooting?

Monod: I could ski anywhere in the world—the perks of being a professional skier—but there’s something to be said about discovering the terrain that’s in your backyard. There was a day last season that I skied a prominent line in the mountains near Pemberton that will forever stay with me. You can see the line @1:13 in my edit, it’s hard to grasp the scale of this face but it was unlike anything I’d ever skied before. We couldn’t include the whole shot in the edit because it was too long, but it was one of the biggest faces I’ve ever skied. With a line like that you have to drop in with full confidence and zero hesitation but ski smart, flow with the mountain.

SKI: The song “Bad Guy” really defines the edit. This might be getting super meta, but some have said that Billie Eilish’s lyrics play with power dynamics between genders, and in the ski industry which is dominated by dudes, one interpretation of the edit is that it mirrors that message, like “Yeah, women are just as capable of dropping insane line as guys. Duh.” Did you have any similar or different thoughts while editing?

Monod: Yeah, the song is definitely a bit cheeky, that’s what I like about it. I don’t want to be known as one of the best ‘female skiers,’ I just want to be known as a really good ‘skier’ period! I’ve never felt like it was necessary to draw a line between male vs female. Actions speak stronger than words, you gotta’ show that you’re capable and dedicated as a female but also as a male if you want to succeed in this industry. Shout out to all the guys that have helped and supported my skiing!

SKI: Congrats on your 2019 Powder Awards nomination for “Best Female!” It’s a true testament to everything you put into the edit. How excited are you about the Powder Awards on December 7?

Monod: Being nominated amongst such inspiring, talented athletes is a true honor. 

Watch: Tatum Monod – “Bad Guy”

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