VIDEO VAULT: MATT MUMFORD
04 January 2012 • 1325 Views
Matt Mumford was the *first Australian ‘street skater’ to make the move to California and subsequently turn pro. Hailing from the sweltering isolation of Rockhampton this is no mean feat. Even though he seemingly shone on the streets, prior to leaving Oz Matt had already received a PhD in all terrain skateboarding. He is one of those guys with a proper style no matter what breed of terrain is under his neath. Prior to leaving our isle he was no stranger to switch backside flipping the odd wombat, putting together flowy lines on a janky vert ramp, or to throwing down on fierce steps and banisters. Australia’s streets were rougher, ramps were more flawed and rails were higher than any of the Californian counterparts. This meant that upon relocation So-Cal spots copped it from Matt no matter what shape or form they took. You may now know Matt for his backyard pool annihilation and his padless loops, but be assured he devirginised and raised the bar on countless American street spots prior to focusing on the trannies. Upon arriving in America Matt rode for Chapter 7 and Invisible Skateboards before finally landing a spot on the original Zero team. His Zero parts were nothing short of sensational, but during his domination of the street-gnar it really was this part in Transworld’s ‘The Reason’ that saw Matt go off like a frog in a sock.
He begins the part on a vert ramp at the back of FDR park in Philly and gets Mumforded** by his own board. He then sets the scene with a lil spoken piece: “I’m sure every skateboarder does it: you are driving down the street and you are not seeing footpaths and driveways, you’re seeing SPOTS. If you are a skateboarder your whole concept of the world is just completely different. This is who I am you know, and this is what I am about.” What he is getting to there is really nothing groundbreaking, but what is rad about it: is that it is heartfelt and it is delivered in is his thick Aussie accent. This was over five years after moving to the States. Pretty epic that he stayed so ocker when some of our exports lose their accent in a matter of months. Aside from some of the highlights that I mentioned with the frame grabs below, the part is a barrage of mainly rail attacks. (This was in the midst of the handrail and hubba period when almost every page of a mag and 80 percent of videos involved freight training down massive sets top of bars and ledges.) As the park kicks in you will see him smith, blunt, 50/50, 5-0, nose grind, boardslide, feeble and lipslide his way through many spots, most of which are still being hit today. It was however Matt who laid some of the first marks on these puppies, and it won’t be forgotten. Aside from the obvious hammerage Matt also punctuates his part with a few lines involving semi-secret street-Mutt moves like frontside crooked grinds, Howard grinds and switch flips. Towards the end of his part he front boards an fifteen stair LA rail in a line fresh out of a flatground switch backside flip which is pretty radical now let alone thirteen years ago. He also executed what had to have been the largest frontside feeble to date. His curtains are of course the EL Toro 50/50 and smith grind, which I won’t focus on as they are explained in detail over here.
Here are five of the highlights…
1. The introductory eggplant
Matt probably learned these on an 8-foot high, 2-foot wide toenail of a ramp in Hampo. Any vert skater would die to be the proud owner of such a textbook eggplant. Steeze.
2. The front shuv over the rail
You might not know it but Matt is actually the owner of one of the best frontside shuv-its in the world. This one is over a rail in Manhatten. Look at that front foot catch! Is that a young Ty Evans behind the VX?
3. A bent boardy
El Toro, El shmorrow… it is this boardslide that I remember as the stand out from his part. So sick when people skate ramshackle obstacles that can barely stand up let alone support the weight of a stuntwoodsman.
4. The back tail shuv
This ledge can break you off as most out ledges can. Backtailing it would have stoked us all out, but Matt sprinkled some spice a top of it with this shuv-it exit.
5. The bird is the word
After laying down two fifties and a smith in three tries, Matt had all the authority in the world to swing back at El Toro and shoot the bird at it. Or maybe JT bet him $500 that he wouldn’t smith it first try? Either way he is one bad ass looking nice guy as he rolls away.
*Since his ground-breaking migration to the States, Matt has provided a leg up for and a roof over so many talented Aussies. Hats off tiger!
**To be Mumforded is to cop a hit to the noggin whilst skating.