Matt Hunter, dreaming of big air
Matt hasn’t exactly been sitting around since last year’s comp, and even a couple of broken bones only slowed him down for a while. Bicycle Café: What have you been up to lately?
Matt Hunter: I just got back from Baja Mexico. I drove 42 hours straight from Mexico to Canada; that’s pretty far.
BC: What were you doing down there?
MH: Surfing. Mostly just drinking salt water and trying to surf.
BC: So you’re a quick learner?
Screw meets bone in Matt’s leg
BC: Winning the Race Face Ultimate Freeride Challenge must have been great, but I am guessing there were some great expectations on you too.
MH: I haven’t felt any pressure that wasn’t welcomed. I am stoked. For the first part of the question though, about winning the UFC, it totally has changed my life and everything in the good way. Everything is the same, except that all I do now is have fun.
BC: Before you won the UFC, were you sponsored?
BC: No bike industry knowledge?
MH: None. I knew nothing.
BC: What do you think of the industry now that you are on the other side?
MH: I feel like I am starting to understand the way things work.
BC: What do you think about sponsorship now?
MH: I think it is not what a lot of people imagine. I mean, it’s great and everything, and unbelievably cool, but I know a lot of people who have a
screwed-up idea of what being a professional rider involves. I am still learning about it, that’s for sure.
Why ride the Loops when you can fly over it? Photo: Sterling Lorence
BC: Are you enjoying using products from the companies you’re working for?
MH: Hell yeah. It sounds cheesy but the stuff I am riding I am so stoked on. I don’t think I could ride better stuff.
BC: What do you do for kicks?
MH: I ride my bike a lot, but when I’m not, anything outside – fly fishing, skiing, digging, camping, and just recently surfing. I like to party too. Did I mention I like to party?
BC: Any special talents?
MH: I am wicked on the air guitar. I don’t like to brag but I am really good.
BC: Want to say thanks to anyone?
MH: My family, first of all. My friends also rule. Without them I would still be learning to wheelie. Race Face – those guys rule; everybody knows that. Specialized for me getting to ride the sickest machines imaginable. Adidas Eyewear – I can see so clearly and look fast. Marzocchi, for making the bumps oh so smooth. Also, Holly Eburne Physiotherapy for helping me get back on my feet.
I also want to thank everyone in the industry that has helped me out this year. I had a lot of people point me in the right direction and explain some
things that I was clueless about. You know who you are.
A couple of one-word Q&As with Matt
Mom and Dad? Extreme
Who says you need to use your hands on gap jumps? Photo: Sterling Lorence
Even with all the fame and fortune bestowed on Matt, he is still a constant fixture here in Kamloops. He’s also the best possible representative of any company he is sponsored by, and takes all his new gear on a show-and-tell tour about the town. Keep an eye out for Matt in ’04. He’ll be the one dropping big airs with that special Kamloops style. Be sure to check out other great up-and-coming talent in this year’s Race Face Ultimate Freeride Challenge.
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