The Limelight: Breck ripper Sy Moran on the road to ACL recovery
January 12, 2017
Vitals | Sy Moran
Age: 20 years old, 8 years on a snowboard
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, lives in Breckenridge
Home mountains: Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone
Career highlights: Shred Bots edits and the latest “Welcome to Kilroy” edit from Burton Colorado
Shout outs: Fam jam, first and foremost. Burton Snowboards, and of course all the boys (Asher Humphreys, Craig Gouweloos, Xander Raith, Greg K., Frankie C. and Zach N.)
When the snow just won't stop falling, six months of rehab can seem like a lifetime for a young snowboarder. Add the promise of getting back on snow in time for the spring goods, and suddenly, the wait doesn't seem as bad for Silas Moran, a 20-year-old Breckenridge snowboarder who's become a master at the waiting game.
This past August, Moran — known as Sy to friends and the Internet — was in New Zealand for a big air contest. The discipline makes its Winter Olympics debut in 2018, so Moran and the majority of young, hungry Olympic hopefuls from the U.S. and beyond are competing in as many contests as possible. As he explains it, he came up a little short on one jump and hit the knuckle of the landing. It tossed him like a ragdoll "and sure enough, 'pop!' No more ACL and (a) partially torn meniscus," he said.
Moran flew home immediately for surgery, and by the end of August a doctor had repaired the damage. The plan: to get back on the snow as soon as possible. It could be as little as six months after the injury — February to be exact — and in the fierce, overcrowded world of high-level snowboarding these days, the sooner, the better.
"As soon as I was out of surgery I was instantly heading to PT," Moran said. "I've been working with (a) longtime friend and amazing trainer, Chris Knott, down in Colorado Springs. I'm extremely confidant in his methods and I know I'll be back stronger than ever."
Moran knows it's never easy to return from an injury, but it couldn't have come at a better time. The Winter Olympics are still more than a full year away, and at 20 years old, the Colorado Springs native has plenty of time to recover, recoup and reclaim his title as one of the most promising up-and-comers on the scene. He picked up snowboarding at 12 years old when his older brother, Quinn, started riding. He took a family trip to Copper and was hooked the same day.
"Anything he was doing, I had to do too," Moran said about his older brother, mentioning that he was also never good at team sports. "I'm pretty sure I begged my family for an entire year to let me just try snowboarding. We ended up spending a few days at Copper and remember knowing right away on the chairlift that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life."
And so, without wasting any time, Moran started snowboarding without rest and soon drew the attention of Burton Colorado. He soon learned a backside rodeo — one of his go-to tricks, even to this day — and has since made a name for himself at Keystone's A51 and Breck's Freeway terrain park with a mix of big air-style jumping and urban-style jibbing. On his Vimeo page, two edits from the 2015 season have seen 25,000 views thanks to shares on the Transworld Snowboarding website.
"I really enjoy the filming and photo side of snowboarding," Moran said. "I would love to stay involved with those two things for as long as physically possible, but at the same time I think there are so many different places to go in the little world of snowboarding."
What's next, then? Literally anything — once that pesky ACL is back in business. He's working on frontside double 1080s (three spins with two inversions) for big-air contests and soaking up everything from his favorite riders: Mikkel Bang, Nicolas Muller and Ben Ferguson, plus the guys he calls "broSkis," fellow locals like Asher Humphreys, Craig Gouweloos and Xander Raith. It's the life of a snowboarder in recovery: PT, recovery, film review, rest, repeat.
"I would never want to limit myself to just one thing," Moran said about his future in snowboarding. "(I'm) staying open to every possibility."
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