● By Grant Johnson
Photo copyright Tom Zikas
Steamboat Springs, CO - For years, Matt has competed at the highest levels of the international halfpipe snowboarding circuit. Among some of his most impressive achievements are three X-Game appearances and three FIS World Cup top-10 finishes.
Q. Where is the coldest place you’ve ever ridden?
A. Copper Mountain. It was 2010 and we had a private halfpipe training scheduled for 7-8:30 a.m., but it was 20-below and we couldn’t even stay out for more than a run or two.
Q. When did you realize you wanted to make a career
out of boarding?
A. I’m not really sure when I realized it was a tangible goal, but it has always been a childhood dream since I first started traveling out to Steamboat when I was about 8 or 9.
Q. What’s your favorite career moment so far?
A. The 2012 World Snowboard Championship in Oslo, Norway, is a moment I always think about when I’m trying to get focused and ride at a top level. It was the most comfortable I have ever felt snowboarding. I was able to let go of what was going on around me and enjoy the riding. I ended up riding the best I ever had and got second place.
Q. If you weren’t a professional athlete, what
would you want to be?
A. An astronaut. I love space.
Q. What’s your favorite TV show?
A. “Mountain Movers.” It’s a show about the Snow Park Technologies team that designs and builds all the parks and pipes that we compete in year-round. The amount of time and work these guys put in to make our conditions the level they are is insane. It really gives you a good look into what it takes to give the riders the opportunity to perform our best.
Q. What’s your favorite summertime activity in Steamboat?
A. Tubing the river with all my old friends.
Q. If you couldn’t snowboard, what other sport
would you like to play professionally?
A. Golf. It’s a sport I grew up playing with my dad and have recently gotten back into. I enjoy the attention it takes to improve – and also knowing I won’t end up in the hospital after a quick 18.