It's finally here. The Matt Walker interview! Read below for everything you probably ever wondered about your favorite red-headed aggressive inline freestyle skier. Matt does awesome skiing and in his spare time mashes up music, studies the theory and practice of business at the University of Colorado (Go Buffs!), and thinks. He thinks, therefore he is. More below.
Meet Matt Walker
What is your name?
William Matthew Walker
Where do you live?
In the fall, I go to school in Boulder. In the winter I live in Breck. I just moved into a house in Rhododendron, Oregon for the summer. So pick one of those 3.
Who are your sponsors?
My sponsors include: Salomon skis, boots 'n bindings, Sessions waterproof threads, Scott gogs and push sticks, Level mitts, Jiberish loungewear, Skullcandy micro speakers, EC Headwear toques. I also drink Rockstar and shred at Aspen.
What are your best results in the skiing game?
I won the Aspen Open in 2008, and in 2009 I got 5th at Dew Tour Breck and Nippon Open. I also made Finals in X Games Slope and finished 7th this year, which I was really stoked on.
Where can people peep your footy on video?
Everybody check out Poor Boyz movies. Reasons is already out and Everyday Is A Saturday is dropping in September. I have also been riding a lot with the Martini brothers and the Stept crew. Check out their new movie dropping this fall. Also, check out the Jiberish Visual Solutions edits on ESPN Action Sports and Vital edits on Newschoolers.
Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to shamelessly promote DaHoodHouse.com. It's a new videoblog that is now online and follows the residents of our house near Mt. Hood.
How long have you been skiing? How did you learn to ski? And when and how did you get involved in newschool twin tip adrenaline style skiing?
My dad put me on some skis and wrapped a leash around me at Arapahoe Basin when I was two, so I have been on planks for a while. I bashed gates from seven years old until middle school, then in seventh grade I started hitting the park jumps with my race skis on. I broke two or three pairs of my race skis and my coach got super pissed. I was really over racing by then, so I quit and bought some twin tips.
Haha yeah, that was a good time. Last fall, everybody was anxious to learn new rail tricks so we played rail PIG to push each other. One day I played with Dumont and Tim Russell. Russell stomped some ill tricks, but just wasn't on his game and got knocked out quick. Dumont's bag of rail tricks wasn't that deep yet and I knocked him out on a back swap pretzel 270. I shut them both out and didn't get a letter, so I wasn't surprised when I won, but I can't claim or talk much s*** because Dumont would absolutely slay me in a game of halfpipe PIG. Hahaha.
I've noticed that you not only wear headphones on the hill, but you even wear over-the-ear type ones underneath your helmet. How do you avoid discomfort from having the plastic frame inside the helmet? Are you at all concerned that this might impact the effectiveness of the helmet? And what "tunes" do you "bump" while you are "rocking" your headphones on the "slope"?
Haha. I knew this would come up eventually. I really like how loud the Skullcandy Icons play, and luckily I got a Rockstar helmet that was a little too big this year, so I could fit the headphones underneath just fine. The helmet pushes the headphones down onto my ears and actually makes it a lot louder which is good for those dirty beats. Plus, the headphones make it so the helmet doesn't move on my head, so I would actually argue that it makes my helmet much comfier and safer. As for tunes, I have gotten into electronic music lately, so I bump a lot of house, tech, glitch and dubstep as well as the classic rap and reggae. All of it gets me stoked to shred.
Speaking of music, you and Andrew Hathaway have been cooking up some crazy dumb hot mashups as of late. How did you guys get into that? And how do you make them?
Ya, twisting up beats is definitely a good time. We both got into the house scene a couple years ago and started messing with basic DJ software last winter. Last fall we really started getting into it and started spinning house parties in Boulder. Originally we spun on classic turntables but you can do so much more on programs like Ableton where you have precise control and can mash up different genres so easily. Hathaway is getting ridiculous with his mixes though. He is living in Boulder all summer doing nothing but spinning and learning Ableton with our friend Julian. I just got an APC40 to make beats while I am in Hood, so check back for new mixes. Also, I believe we are playing at SIA Denver and possibly IF3!
If you ask me, you're a little underappreciated by the judges on the contest circuit. Particularly, your slopestyle finish in the Northstar Dew Tour sticks out as one where you finished lower than you should have. Take us through that run. Do you agree that you were poorly scored? And do you think it is because judges don't understand the difficulty of forward tens, or because you have red hair, or something completely different? Feel free to elaborate.
There were a couple contests where I thought that I should have been scored better, but that happens to everybody. Its really tough for judges to compare two runs when one has only has a single rightside trick, mediocre rails but the newest double versus a run that has better rails, all four variations of spinning, but no double flip. How one fairly judges who wins isn't clear and always changes but skiing is progressing ridiculously quick and I am working real hard so hopefully my day will come.
Do you participate in post secondary education when you aren't skiing? Where do you go? What do you study? How do you fit it all in? That's what she said?
Haha, yep. I actively pursue a higher education at the University of Colorado Boulder where I major in business management during the autumn months. It's quite a fun time and it's not hard to do while skiing. I go to school from August until the first week of December. I made it so I only go to school two days a week, so once snow falls in October, I can shred rails five days a week. Plus, I get to work out and dive at CU's dope facilities for free, learn how to hustle proper at the business school and party with the many females in Boulder. It really is a win, win, win, win [, win?] situation.
What are your favorite tricks to do? What are the tricks that you wish most to learn? If you could only do one trick for the rest of your life, what trick would that be?
My favorite trick changes a lot, but my all time favorites are either switch 7 tail or rodeo 9 mute. Both tricks let you see a lot plus they flow so well off big jumps. The double craze is now taking over though, so all I have been doing lately on tramps and ramps is switch dub 9 and forward dub 10. Those are definitely at the top of my to do trick list. For my own satisfaction, I could definitely do only cork 3s for the rest of my life. It's just such an easy, fun trick that you can float off almost anything.
I have yet to go to Sweden or anywhere in mainland Europe to shred. I went to London for the LG Freeze Big Air last year and got bunch weird looks carrying my ski bag through the tube system but had such a blast. I want to shred in Switzerland or somewhere in the Alps where I can shred gnarlier mountains than anything in the US. Also, I really want to experience a JOSS party sometime because I hear they are quite fun. So vote for me 2010 NS team!
Skiing has been through several fashion trends including baggy with high-contrast knee pads, baggy with an in-your-face gangster feel, and baggy-but-not-gang-affiliated. What do you see coming down the fashion pipeline? What are the kids going to need to have to stay cool on the slopes two years from now?
Hmmm. That is the question every clothing company in the game is asking themselves right now. I feel like baggy is definitely here to stay. The innovation of shoelace suspenders lets shredders rock their pants lower than ever without any worry of them falling down or getting in the way during spread eagles. And if you're rocking your pants that low, you gotta have a tall hoodie or jacket on too. Fabrics and patterns will keep evolving, but I think every company will start promoting taller and baggier pieces.
What popular accessories are you all about?
I am currently a fan of DaHoodHouse.com, mesh full face masks, the Jiberish "Electric Autumn" hoodie, sag straps, Scott Fixes, Shuffle collars, Level mittens with sticky palms, Twitter, the APC40, B-Dog's style, flybed trampolines, shifties, the Windell's rope tow, Colossal Crunch, and Salomon squishy toe technology.
WATCH! A Little Example Of B-Dog's Style.
What popular accessories could you do without?
I am really not a fan of gypsies, math, frontside 3 swaps on flat boxes, liability waivers, sunburns, shoelace headbands, mosquitoes, finding housing in boulder, gas prices, zits on the inside of your nose, mandatory airline baggage fees. That's all off the top of my head.
Without looking in a dictionary, what do you think the word "fishmonger" means?
Ok, I am going with a creature, prolly bear-ish, that hunts fish&?
What is your high score on Brickbreaker?
I don't have a BlackBerry. Snake on my Nokia is where it's at.
Who do you usually ski with when you're "training"?
Right now, I am in Hood living in Da Hood House with B Dog, Martini, Wallisch, Henrik, Hornbeck, Delorme, Liam, Steve, and Anna. Plus all the other Windell's coaches who slay!
During the winter I mainly shred with the Breck and Aspen homies: Hathaway, Moxham, Martini, Charlie, Ferg, Stephen, Liam, Rainville, Delorme, Clarke, Bishop, Keri& I dunno, whoever is going shredding at Breck or Aspen when I am. Most everybody in Colorado kills it and is real chill.
What are your plans/goals for the upcoming season? What are you doing in the off season?
I just got to Hood. I am coaching Windell's sessions 2-5 then staying and shredding Windell's for the rest of the summer where I am going to learn bunch new tricks. Then I am going back to Boulder where I am going to get super tan and buff. For the winter I plan on having a lot of fun, trying to get on some major podiums, go to Europe, and film a bigger, better seggy with PBP.
Am I missing anything I ought to be asking you about? Let me know if I am.
Did I mention DaHoodHouse.com? Word.