Dean Moriarity: rider on the verge
At just 23 years old, Canada's Dean Moriarity is on the verge of claiming a place among the ice cross downhill greats. One of the sport's most agile riders and a master of the air, he blitzed his way to third overall in 2015/16 and picked up his first Red Bull Crashed Ice victory in Saint Paul the following season. Now his sights are set even higher.
Moriarity turned heads from his first Red Bull Crashed Ice competition, earning a Quarter Final spot and sixteenth place at Niagara Falls in 2013 when no other rookie made the top 50. By the end of the next season, he'd jumped up to eighth overall, and then in 2015 the Montreal native captured second in Saint Paul and third in Belfast on the way to the third step of the World Championship podium.
At 5'7" (just over 170 cm), Moriarity uses his low center of gravity and explosive speed to advantage, frequently claiming the hole shot off the start, and he's known for phenomenal control in the jumps. "Stylewise, I'm more of a skater than a glider. I try to move my legs any chance I get," says the rider, who has put mechanical engineering studies on hold to pursue his athletic career. "My strides aren't long, but that helps me sometimes on the features that are less long – I get a stride on them that other riders cannot."
To perfect his skills, Moriarity crosstrains with sports including hockey, which he's been playing since childhood, surfing, golf and inline skating.
"Those sports tweak different things, like your starts, your leaping ability, your transition ability and your speed and acceleration," explains the Canadian, who trains alongside one of his closest competitors, his twin brother Dylan. "We focus especially on inline work, like with Rollerblades in a skate park, and I think that's how we've pulled away. We've also focused our gym work toward ice cross downhill, and this year we really trained for the technical parts of the tracks."
While Moriarity is fiercely competitive on-ice, he's also known as one of the friendliest riders on the tour. "The traveling aspect of this sport is so much fun," he says. "Having a mix of people around you from different countries and with different personalities is awesome."