With Nitro Circus backstage goss, the World BX champs and much more, here’s the second part of the ultimate interview with the mountainboard #1…
Read part One of this Interview featuring the lowdown on Matt’s early days here…
but now we’re chatting about running away with the Circus…
…So in 2012 you were the first ever mountainboarder to make it into Travis Pastrana’s elite gang; you joined the exciting Nitro Circus Live European tour… Then what happens? Less than a week in, after only a few shows, you managed to break your jaw in ‘the air-bag incident’. Do tell what actually happened for those who don’t know!
All I remember is being at the top of the roll in talking to Chris Haffey. I asked him if he thought the airbag was pumped up too much – he said he thought it was pretty hard, so I of course replied ‘OK, I’ll speak to Dov after this run to see if they can deflate it a bit’ and then… black. Supposedly, after stomping a 40ft frontflip, I jump backwards onto the airbag to stop (like normal) only to be bounced straight onto the floor face first instead and I got stuck under the bag. Cue mega-concussion and a day and a half’s worth of memory lost; I wake up with my jaw wired shut in a Viennese hospital.
That was such bad luck, pretty painful and probably more than a bit scary…
Yeah, not great. The next couple days were quite a low point for me in my post concussion confusion, convinced I had ‘let mountainboarding down’, becoming another rider to waste a great opportunity. Once my mind started to return, I cheered up and all the support from riders on facebook from across the World was really touching and fired me up like never before.
Luckily for me, the doctor then decided to snap my jaw and put a plate in instead of leaving it wired shut, which at least meant i wouldn’t be sucking food through a straw.
Then it was only 6 weeks to the day later that I arrived in New Zealand for the whole NZ tour!
Radness. What was it like?
New Zealand was three of the best weeks of my life, and it felt like real redemption for my European mishap.
Watch Matt’s vid for a unique view of Nitro Circus Live NZ April ’13!
So, good times hey?
So fun. Plus we had some super cool off-day activities, from jet boating to potholing in the glow worm caves, and staying in the beautiful Hanmer Springs for a good few days rest.
Sounds amazeballs. So after What about the States in October ’13? That Nitro jam with Kody, Mason and Travis Pastrami’s buddies on the giant demo ramp meant you stomped some mountainboard firsts, maybe to make up for not getting the first double back!! You scored the first double frontflip, the double-cork, and just to be cheeky threw an inadvertent double back one footer!
Well, the USA practice session kind of came up out of the blue. I hadn’t spoken to Nitro for a while due to studies meaning I couldn’t participate in tours, but I saw some of the riders going to Pala for practice on facebook and instagram, so I dropped the Athlete Manager a message and he said I could come out if I could afford the flight and that they would pay the rest. A generous loan from a friend (MASSIVE THANKS) meant I could afford the ticket, so I took an impromptu week and a half off of Uni and planned what I’d throw.
I knew I could do a double as fronty’s on the 40ft rotate so insanely slow, but I was determined to do a double cork and I had some one footed ideas. I was using this session as a platform to get onto the UK leg of the Euro tour, so I planned to get a one footed backflip and 360 dialled on the beastly 40ft-er so that I had something different to the roller snowboard… I tried the backflip one footer and did one and a half so figured the double would work – after 3 days constant foaming and several attempts to resi, I managed to land them all 🙂
7 runs, 3 world firsts:
Oh, and triples are definitely possible… That’s all on that for now.
Kody and Mason were a great inspiration out there, and I’d like to thank Kody and the Stewart family again for putting me up for a few days and taking me sightseeing in LA afterwards!
How do you feel about all this freestyle success?
Looking back I still can’t believe I actually did the tricks. Especially the double cork. I watch the video and can’t believe it’s me haha very strange. I started off not wanting to do freestyle, just boardercross!
Eventually you joined the Nitro team for the full UK leg of the tour. Pretty rock n’ roll! What was it really like on the road?
The UK leg, as mentioned earlier, was hectic. Definitely the most tiring week of my life and I’m sad to say my riding, and hence body, did suffer a bit. Bent trucks were the theme of the week and it ended with a more injured back, a bad ankle and a really re-injured shoulder after an under-rotated double cork. TOTALLY worth it though! One of my proudest moments was performing in front of a home and UK crowd, even if I am a little disappointed with my performance. Out of the 15 shows I’ve done I’ve had 10 or 11 honourable mentions, so I’m really proud of that.. One day I’ll get the MVC 😉
The first Euro and the NZ tour were awesome though, lots of flights and coach trips with many, many shenanigans during and in between! Totally rock n’ roll – how’s this, the after parties have a $5000 bar tab, and it always gets emptied a couple hours in!
Hell yeah! Not surprised, makes up for sharing rooms and bunks with crazy stinky alt sports dudes haha…No TV’s out of hotel windows though?
No TVs…..there were lots of bags of water and perhaps other things thrown from our 21st floor apartment in New Zealand though….. I was sharing the apartment with Olympic Snowboardcross athlete Trevor Jacob and Beaver Fleming and Brandon Schmidt were often hanging with us, leading to quite a few ‘dares’ and one of them pulling their trousers down over the balcony…. ‘nuf said? The strip club bouncers across the road had no idea what was going on hahaha. I would like to say it wasn’t just us, it was pretty much everyone else’s apartments throwing stuff to! We had some really rad sessions at Auckland skatepark as well, and we met the ‘nek minnit’ guy!
Neck minute haha! What were the others ‘athletes’ like, as in who made an impact on you? Any wisdom from Travis?
Super nice and really supportive. They’re a great bunch of people and awesome to spend time with. Not much wisdom from Travis, but several high fives, hand shakes and praises! Lei’s claim to fame is that he hugged her both times they met 😛 Mine is that he remembers me and my name, even after not seeing me for a year hahaha.
I think Ryan Williams was one of the most inspiring guys on the tour – he can actually do anything, on any action sport equipment, not just a scooter or bmx! He made scooters look really cool. Dusty is also tough as nails and always happy, a bit too mental to be a role model for kids perhaps…hahaha I mean, who jumps ¾ of the way down a 50ft roll in onto their face with a blanket?! One of the gnarliest things I’ve seen to date.
So since the Nitro tours you’ve been smashing it out at all the UK comps, in all disciplines, and you also found time to get to Wanyi Park for the Belgium Open…
I guess so, haha the UK series has been going pretty well for me the last two years! It was really great to get out to Belgium again, Wanyi Park has a great vibe and crew of riders so it’s always a really fun and chilled place. I really wanted to get overseas a bit more this year, and Wanyi Park was an obvious choice!
Wanyi is great. More recently, you went out to Serbia for another big one, The World Boardercross Championships 2014. How was the roadtrip?
Ha, driving out there would take ages! We flew, and Lei & I managed to convince Beiran to come along and boy are we glad he did! B killed it and was a joy to travel with on our flights and rental car trips!
Dunno where we got that from then?! B kills everything downhill haha. So there was even more competition in Novi Sad for you, from all round the world too…
Indeed there was. The World BX Champs is a truly global competition. An absolute must attend for any mountainboarder. We are one family, and everyone, no matter where they are from get along. It’s fantastic. The level of riding is insane, every small mistake and the smallest of advantages gained in board maintenance, tyre pressures etc make big differences in the races.
Amen brother. The course is not quite like the UK BX tracks hey?
Due to the rain it made the track a bit more like the UK this year, but it’s still far more challenging than any we have. The length of the track makes it quite demanding physically and mentally, and some of the corners aren’t very large! In the dry the speed is rather daunting, let alone remembering what’s coming next; the track is completely different to the UK tracks. Crazy amounts of fun are had every run.
You snaffled the title from Kody S even though you didn’t race him head to head, or Bieran S-M, though there were more head to heads with your uk racing rival James Wanklyn! What was the final like?
It was pretty intense! There wasn’t much pressure before the final started; making the finals in such a talented field is an achievement in itself so the nerves faded for the finals like they did it 2013. When I got out the gate and had that bit of a lead going into the first corners it was all focus, all I could think about was getting ahead and building a gap. For the first half of the track I was battling with James, which took all my attention, but once I had managed to shake him off enough to have some breathing room, what was happening suddenly dawned on me and I had a massive squirrely moment in one of the corners. I had to tell myself to ‘relax and focus on riding the track – it’s just the same as any other race’ to calm the nerves and refocus on the job at hand. The bum corner was a little off putting too, I knew that if I would fall it would be on the corner after, then there were asses in my face so I got a nice 45 degree toeside drift on but managed to get her back…
After that, I looked back going over the last feature to see a beaming Evgeny ‘Bora Bora’ Vybornyy and I was soo stoked to see him there in 2nd, he had a great day! I rode across the line and into the arms of Kody Stewart (#nohomo) and what I had done hit me. Insane.
It was a shame not to get to race Kody or Beiran (who was by far the fastest person on the last two thirds of the track). That would have been such a gnarly race, and I wouldn’t like to call it, all I know is that Beiran and Kody would take any line to try to win. My fingers are crossed we can race next year!
Massive thanks to all the guys and girls in Serbia for organising such an amazing mountainboard meet up and a great event!
*See Andy Rolfe’s Remtastic Photo Gallery from the Mountainboard World BX ’14 HERE!!
What was the atmosphere like for you that night?
Jubilant and exultant. One hell of a good night! We drank champagne from the cup, jumped in the swimming pool, raged to a live band and had a funny ‘break dancing’ contest outside the party haha. I’d like to give a massive thanks Kody Stewart who didn’t let Lei or I buy a drink all night, or pay for own dinner on the last night! Tom D definitely shouldn’t go into the performing industry as well. His rendition of ‘Africa’ was, shall we say, interesting and the on stage striptease, eeerrrrmmmmmmm. Ask Tom D for the details!
Epic times 🙂 Afterwards you returned to finish off the UK Season, getting more overall first places, and then got your Graduation results; another First!
It’s not been too bad I guess! I was really pleased with my degree result – I had to re-sit two exams (one due to poor result amid Nitro week, the other I…well….I missed it), but a pass in both ensured the first so I was quite confident 😉
Season-wise it was also really great to win the Team Challenge with Hale’s for a third year – it was super close this year and came right down to the end and we only pinched it by 73 out of 6000 points! I was stoked to retain the UK Overall and all the Season titles again too.
Big Congrats on that. Is math life any comparison to mountainboard life?
Thank you, Sir! Nope, not really. I need my brain for the maths, I need to switch my brain off (most of the time) for boarding.
Haha 🙂 Also, is Hales like a second home for you now? complete with dysfunctional family? haha..
While I was on placement year in Bristol it was. It was the closest I’ve ever been for a prolonged time (only 2 hours!) and I was earning money, so I was there pretty much every weekend when there wasn’t an event. Nowadays, being back home in Essex I live 3 and a half hours away, and I had no money in the Spring and Summer so unfortunately I couldn’t afford to get up there at all until recently. Dysfunctional family for sure though! True mountainboard style, right?
Right! So you called mountainboard riding an addiction. Are you actually a junkie for competitions in general?
I’m a pretty competitive guy, I always have been. Mountainboarding is about far more than competing though, it brings a sense of freedom and expression and so much more that I can’t describe.
What about if someone magically banned you from entering comps, could you be happy just riding free?
I’d still be there organising them 😉 At first I’d probably be trying to compare myself to the standard of the competition, but it would only annoy me when I’m at the competitions. After a little time I’d stop and I’d be fine with it. When I’m mountainboarding I’m generally not thinking about competing at all unless the WBXC or WFC are a couple weeks away.
So now you’re heading off to the snow for a season… Are we gonna lose you to snowboarding?
That’s right, Lei and I will be chalet hosts in Avoriaz and we’re super excited. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for about 10 years and finally the time is right. You’ll never forget your first, and I’ll never forget mountainboarding!!! You can’t get rid of me that easily! It’ll be my longest time not on a mountainboard, so I may be a touch rusty next year but I’ll be itching for a ride more than ever – I’ll definitely be there 🙂
Hoorah. You’ll have loadsa fun in the snow 😉 We’ll ask you about that next time! What wheelieboard stuff are you looking forward to next?
Event wise, I can’t wait to get back out to Monte Penice for the European (maybe World) Downhill Championships and to head out to Serbia, whether its the World Boardercross Championships or not! Trick wise? One footed corked 5s and switch double backs.
yeah you’ve been well into the one-footers again!?
They’re super fun and Kody Stewart is still one of my mountainboard idols so bringing back the one-footers was an obvious step for me. While we don’t have any massive jumps in the UK, switch and foot loose is definitely the way to go to keep it fresh. I don’t know why I ever stopped!
F-f-freshhh… You’ve also been experimenting with mixing up gear, like the roadie tyres at this some of this year’s comps…
Roadies are nice, I’ve ridden them most of the year on all kinds of terrain. They worked really well to give me a speed boost on the Nitro ramp so I thought I’d try them everywhere!
I’m starting to learn they don’t work everywhere though – such as WBX knockouts and Bugs – don’t use them on soft ground! Very very slow haha. Oh, and grass is very very interesting, blasting at about 40-50km/h in Italy into drifts was pretty cool and definitely got the heart pumping. I really recommend them!
Oh yeah how was the European Downhill in Italy? Do you reckon the giant slalom theme worked for an international Downhill event?
As always, the people were above and beyond amazing. So accomodating and some of the nicest people ever. And it wasn’t really a slalom to be honest. There were a couple of small sections with super tight slaloming but apart from that it was big open, undulating grass slopes with some woods thrown in for good measure! Definitely the best hill I’ve ridden on – pristine pistes with short grass and no rocks *drools*. I’m going back, and you should all join me!
Ooh actually sounds awesome, love to join you! Some of the photos i saw at the time were obviously a bit misleading?! (see the photos and read about the event at IMA)
Yeh the format was really cool too – two timed runs on each track, with your best time on each being added together to make your final time. VERY high pressure! It was interesting to watch the times and positions change as each rider came through the finish and very nail biting as you and your closest rivals crossed the line! I managed to sneak the win on my very last run with one of the runs of my life – complete focus, no mistakes and hammering at 95% balls out pace, I couldn’t have gotten a much faster time if I tried another 100 times. One of my mountainboarding highlights for sure.
The freestyle jam was very cool too… Marco Gallini built the demo style ramp himself and it was a beaut! Super smooth and comfortable which lead to a really top quality session. Pierre-Louis attempted a double, the Polish youngsters were ripping it up and Krzysztof Dybczak was throwing his usual insane bag of tricks with massive height! Somehow he walked away from a massive fs corked 810 to ass, and I mean massive – the guy must have buns of steel!!!!!! Grazie to the Gallini family for everything.
Rad. So what about MBS, they’ve been a bit quiet recently… do you think they’re developing any new kit, other than just different colour tyres?
I honestly have no idea. I hope so. Are you working on any new graphics, Dan? You know more than I do 😉
Haha nah, i hope so too that’s why i asked! And frankly while we’re on the subject, you’ve been World Champ at everything for like, years, you put so much in to it, and you’re like this great nice-guy role model type, and you’re still riding a deck with another guy’s name on it!?! Any gossip on the Matt Brind Pro One Oh Five, or will you be staying with the bespoke giant-sticker custom Graphics?
Haha, I’m blushing! Giant stickers for now!
You’ve done loads in mountainboarding to cement your status in it’s muddy corridors of fame and legend anyway. Your achievements certainly will be something good to tell the grandchildren when you’re old haha
I like to think I’ll have some stories for the kids if and when I become a teacher or a parent 🙂 Mountainboarding has given me everything, I will work hard to give it everything I have in return. I’m not done yet.
Props. And of course like a few other riders, you’ve got a younger brother who is also into mountainboarding at well above-average standard! What’s that like, is he snapping at your heels or do you support each other?
Like most brothers, we give each other stick but work together and support each other. For some reason he thinks he can beat me in BoarderX, and when I call him out he doesn’t turn up (*cough* Bugs *cough*). Andy is a really good rider, he just needs to spend more time on a board and he’ll soon become very hard to keep up with jumps and racing wise!
Haha. So, what else is on the cards for Matt Brind? what are your plans for that bright, shiny place called the future?
I’d like to try and get some more sponsors involved, get back into releasing videos and try to grow the sport and support the community. The ATBA’s current push to ‘Make Mountainboarding a Sport‘ campaign is important for this too; If we were recognised by Sport England then there’d simply be more opportunities for everyone so go add your name!
We’ll get more riding meets sorted too, not just comps but like freerides and skatepark sessions, like the recent one with Arno, Kody, Dieter and more. Proper good mountainboard times.
There’s lots of ideas and plans, most of which for me though will have to go on hold this Winter, but I hope the future is very bright and sunny.
It will be, get your shades on! And on that note, quess you wanna do shout outs? kinda like an Oscar speech innit haha: please thank kin, frenemies, God’s errant son etc:
Thank you to everyone along the way, all the riders, spectators and volunteers! Mum, Dad, Andy, Mark, Lei, Nick and Allison Smith, Ian ‘Chuck’ Pluck, Mark Hale and the Hale’s crew, The Rye’s, Roger Swannell, Raph and Andre La Roche, Josh Maddocks, Kody Stewart, Bobba and Marc, Marco and Giorgio Gallini, Julio and Valtrompia Park/Minoia Boards, Diego Anderson, MBS Europe, Remolition, ATBA-UK, Ride the Hill, Haredown, OTG, Bugs Boarding, EZO Brand, Skeleton Coast and so so many others!
Woop. And before you go off to save the planet or something, here’s a load more remolicious quickfire questions! Haha!
M-Brizzle or Brind-Dog?
How many wheels do you own?
About 15-20 completes, if I put them together again.
Deodorant before or Febreze after?
I need both! One is in the glove box and the other’s in the car door
Nitro Circus or Nice O-Circuits?
Is it like a big skateboard with wheels?
It’s that skateboard with wheels thing!
Hut on a beach or Posh hotel in a city?
Beach hut! A mountain cabin would be better still, are you paying? 😉
Beverage du jour?
Vimto (hot or cold) or Orange Lucozade
Bill or Ted?
Katy Perry or ?
Katy Perry, always. xxxxxxx
Will you kindly recommend a film?
The Shred Bots Movie
Best musical you’ve ever seen?
The Book of Mormon
On your ipod is?
Bombay Bicycle Club
Bestest trick in the world?
Very tough, very tough….I’ll tell you when I see it!
Dream riding location?
Colorado and Utah
In the immortal words of the Americans, there’s always a ‘hanklin’ for a Wanklyn!’
Where were Cream Teas & RBYJS?
No time in the schedule and no one to organise them! There’s only so much the limited number of organisers can do!
Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark?
Clark Kent for sure.
When did you last snap a board part?
I’m currently riding a semi-snapped binding, so pretty recently! I snapped a heelstrap the other week if you want a proper snap!
In an apocalyptic future would you eat insect jam on toast?
Of course, why not?
Pancakes and waffles, please.
Vimto/Kody Stewart/Lei/Orange Lucozade (not in that order!)
Matthew, thank you very muchly indeed sir.
Thank you, and thank you for reading!
Cheers! See you on the slopes senør 😉
Big Remolition Mountainboard thanks to Matt and all media contributors.