What if you got to live a life similar to that of Shaun White, with all the free travel and riding, but none of the pressure to perform? Then you would be like Adam Moran. As Shaun’s personal team manager, Adam is by his side, helping him travel, manage his career and the like, and gets all the perks that come with it. We remember him from way back when, hitting Stimilon jumps with his brother Jeff, and sort of like Obama’s election and impending inauguration, he really is proof that America is a place where anything is possible.
YoBeat: What is your official job title?
Adam Moran: It’s Team Mgr/Photographer/Photo Editor
YB: How did you come to be in this position?
AM: Well I got a job in the team dept at Burton working with everyone overseeing all the team gear and editing all the photos for catalogs/ads and things like that. And then as time went on they gave me more opportunities to actually get out and shoot and work on all the photo shoots since I was editing the shots for them anyways. And now I work really close with Shaun, but also spend time with the rest of the team too and help out where I can. I get to shoot with everyone and then just have to be Shaun’s team manager as well, and edit photos for things as they pop up.
YB: How long have you worked at Burton?
AM: 5 years working in the Team dept. and then before that I had spent a year in the store in Burlington and worked at Hood running the team house.
YB: To your knowledge, has any other rider in Burton history had their own personal TM?
AM: I’m not sure. The reason that we do it with Shaun is that he sort of needs different attention than other riders. Not that he needs his hand held or anything like that, but the opportunities that come to him are different than the other riders and it takes a lot of time to deal with. His schedule is just different and we just want to make sure that everything is taken care of in the right way, so we put forth the extra effort.
Shaun White is big in Japan. Moran photo.
YB: Does Shaun’s career remind you of your own stint as a pro snowboarder at all?
AM: Ha. I was never a pro snowboarder. I’d say it was more like an internship for my life.
YB: What is your fondest memory of the New Hampshire glory days?
AM: I think all the trips up to Waterville with Eric Kovall where we would steal firewood from condo complexes and bring Gormley food my mother cooked in exchange for places to stay and free season passes. And all the parties back in the day after the boneyard events, and at the Cookie in Plymouth.
YB: Are you glad you don’t have to hit those Stimilon jumps anymore?
AM: Its funny cause by today’s standards those jumps are actually really small. But yes, I’m happy to not hit jumps like that and still have so much fun snowboarding.
YB: How is living in SoCal vs New England? Do you miss Dunkin Donuts?
AM: I do. I went home for Christmas and landed in Boston and the whole luggage claim area smelled like the Dunkin Donuts that was there. As soon as I walked in I recognized the smell and wanted a microwaved egg sandwich and 20 oz coffee. So Cal is an interesting place though, I love it and hate it all at the same time. If I never traveled this probably wouldn’t be my chosen location, but coming home to the beach after each trip is always great.
Japans are big in New Hampshire. Pat Moore. Moran photo.
YB: Which came first, being a Burton TM or shooting photos? How did you get into photography?
AM: Well I was already shooting photos when I got the job at Burton and that was sort of why they took me on. So I could come in and grow my abilities through there. I was an art major at UVM and tried to take as many photo classes as I could cause I found I liked that more than anything else I was going to school for. So I was always stoked on shooting photos and snowboarding but never really brought the two together until I was done with school.
YB: I saw your photo on the cover of Photo District News. That’s pretty big time. How did that come about?
AM: Well they were doing an article on action sports photography and the companies that they were focusing on were Burton, Red Bull and Smith. The photo editor at PDN used to work for Outside Magazine and was familiar with a lot of our work since occasionally they run snowboard photos or articles. So she hit me up for photos and I sent a bunch in, and then a few weeks later she emailed again saying they needed a cover. I had that photo of Kevin that everyone seemed to like a lot so I sent that in and then 2 days later she called me to say it was going to be the cover. I was sort of freaking over that one.
Heikki Sorsa, snowboarding in Japan. Moran photo.
YB: Is it weird seeing yourself on TV? Any reservations about appearing in an AMEX commercial?
AM: I actually only saw it on TV three times in the whole year it ran. It was a pretty funny thing. Shaun wanted the commercial to be really close to his real life of traveling and things so he told the director that they should put me in it too, before he told me. It was a really cool experience to work on and be on the other side of things. I had no idea at the time though how big it was going to be and how much it would run on TV.
YB: Do you ever get recognized as “Shaun White’s guy?”
AM: Only once. And it was in a Burton store and was getting some stuff for Shaun so it wasn’t like it was randomly on the street. But one time in the airport right after the commercial starting running Shaun and I were standing at baggage claim together and the guy next to us just started laughing. He had just seen the commercial on the plane and next thing the two of us are standing there waiting for our bags. It was pretty funny.
YB: I know I said this would be mostly about you, but tell me one thing you were surprised to learn about Shaun after traveling the globe with him?
AM: He eats more than people 4 times his size. It’s crazy.
Absolutely nothing to do with Japan. Heikki Sorsa. Moran Photo.
YB: Where’s your favorite place you’ve been because of your job? What about favorite place you’ve ridden?
AM: I don’t know if I can say one place is my favorite so far. Every time I think about it I cant nail it down to one that I can say is absolutely the best spot. I’ll have to keep traveling to find it I guess. The most fun I have ever had riding though I think was up in Valdez Alaska, or at places like Revelstoke BC.
YB: Your job pretty much seems like the ultimate dream job– glamourous travel, hanging out with your friends, no need to risk life and limb, and of course, Shaun’s credit card numbers on hand — but are there any drawbacks?
AM: I think anything that is called a job will have some drawbacks and headaches. But those are the things you deal with that no one knows about so the other times can be really fun. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though, the life experiences, opportunities, and people I have met through this work are more than I could have ever dreamed of.
Year round McTwists from Mr. White. Moran photo.
YB: Do you go to the summer stuff with him as well? How are skate contests different than snow contests?
AM: I go to a few of the summer events just to shoot photos, and don’t deal with it on the same level that I deal with all the snow stuff. The skate contests are different though since Shaun skates vert and most of those guys are a lot older than him and the guys he is with at snowboard events. In the summer I am shooting a lot of other stuff for Burton with the rest of the team so I don’t get to go to too much of the skate stuff.
YB: Did you get a free copy of the Shaun White Video game? What about stuff at Target?
AM: I may have gotten a free copy of the game, but no free shopping sprees. Target is rad though, they definitely help everyone out. They took us to see Slayer last year!
YB: Finally, are you jealous of Shaun’s hair?
AM: Ha, no.
Check out Adam’s Website www.adammoran.com
Shaun White at Tigard, OR. Moran photo.