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Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: December 4, 9:18 PM ET
Matt Beach -- the gentle warrior


Proper technique for frontside wallrides, as demonstrated by Matt Beach, is to not touch the wall with your hands.

Matt Beach is a character to say the least. He's one of the more unique people I've ever met through skateboarding. His love for dinosaurs, Bigfoot, space, UFOs, National Geographic and all things automotive makes every conversation priceless. At the age of 35, Beach has been a professional skateboarder for a lot longer than than most people realize. He's among the few that can say they started skating professionally while they were still in middle school.

Recently, fresh from a Skate Mental trip, Matt checked in with ESPN to talk about The Firm, living in the Pacific Northwest, Tony Hawk and his longevity in skating.

ESPN.com: How long have you been a professional skateboarder for now?
Beach: Hmm, well I feel like it's been a really long time. I think I've been a pro skateboarder for 19 years. Although, I'm not sure I can count a couple of those years since I was working at UPS after The Firm went out of business.

But regardless, it's a been a long time, a hell of a lot longer then I ever expected. Now that you bring it up, I think I've been traveling in a van for 22 years, going to demos or filming for a video part. The craziest part to me is that I still can jump down some stairs after all the years. Not a lot of stairs but some.

You've had a some crazy sponsors along the way, Vision Street Wear.
Yeah I've had a lot of sponsors over the years, I rode for G&S Skateboards, Gullwing trucks, I even rode for Venture for a while, Airwalk shoes, Adidas and I did ride for Vision Street wear in 1990, I think.

What age did you turn pro and for whom?
I believe I turned pro for Birdhouse when I was about fifteen years old.

How old are you currently?
35 years old.

Who are you sponsored by?
Skate Mental, Nike SB and Independent Trucks.

Proper technique for frontside flips off a bump-to-bar, as demonstrated by Matt Beach, is to catch the board at 90 degrees and float the rest of the way.

Now that summer is over in the Pacific Northwest, will you hibernate and start to skate indoors?
To be honest, I actually really like skating in the rain, it's really no big deal. I like to go and bomb hills in the rain at this spot in Portland that we call 'Zoo Bomb.' After I get home from skating in the rain I usually just take a shower and then after that I'm back to normal.

I'm surprised to hear that the rain up in Portland doesn't get on your nerves.
No, not really. I don't really mind it at all, but oil spots on the road do get on my nerves though.

Are you working on a video part at the moment?
Yeah, I've been filming a few tricks here and there, but I don't know if it's up to 'Anti Hero' par as far as tricks go.

It's been a long time since you've rode for The Firm. Do you still keep in touch with everyone?
I never see anyone that lives in California anymore, since I'm always in Portland. I like to talk to Lance [Mountain] when I get the chance to see him in person.

Have you skated Lance's pool in his backyard?
Actually I have skated Lance's pool. I got the chance to skate it about three years ago or so? I remember it was really fast and smooth, I had a lot of fun that day.

Matt Beach.

Over the years you've had some pretty legendary teammates: Mark Gonzales, Tony Hawk, Ray Barbee and Eric Koston, just to name a few. Do you ever trip out on that?
I trip out on life in general. I've been really lucky to have been able to hang out with some really cool people. Ray Barbee is probably the coolest person on the planet as far as I'm concerned.

Skateboarder Magazine published an article called 25 Things You Didn't Know About Tony Hawk, and inside it he talks about how you were the most naturally talented skater he ever saw.
Tony Hawk has always been really nice to me. I appreciate all the help that he's given me over the years. He still really inspires me to skate these days. I've watched his new video part a bunch of times lately. I actually had no idea that article was in Skateboarder until you told me about it and it makes my day every time I think about it.