Matt started surfing when he was 6 years old, in Cape Town, South Africa. He grew to become one of the best big wave surfers in the world. He watches the globe for large storms, and when all the elements come together, book's a ticket and chases the energy across the world. He documents the big waves these storms create and produces high quality content which is distributed through various global media platforms.Matt's other passion is sharing his experiences to inspire and empower people to ride their "big waves".
The most important tip for making a steep wave is to have forward motion. Make sure to use powerful strokes and stay leaned forward with the rail engaged. This will help keep you gripped to the wave face and prevent diving. Transcript: "Okay the number one tip for making a steep wave. This video features probably the steepest drop I've ever made. The most important thing to do is everything needs to be forward motion. All the forces when a wave gets deep, all the forces are pulling you back up the wave face. The water is sucking up the face of the wave up, the wind is blowing up the wave face. Everything is trying to keep you at the top. So the sole goal when it's really steep is to get, I would say, past the midway of the wave is the goal. To get down past the midway and we need to, the way to do this is by forward motion. So we want a deep, strong paddle. That's really important. And the last two strokes we make need to be our strongest strokes. Most people actually stop paddling too early. As the wave kind of stands up they'll try to pop up at the top, but I try to take an extra two strokes. So as the wave rears up with me at the top, I try to pull my way down the face with two more strokes. And these are going to be my strongest strokes. So pulling my last two are my strongest to pull me down the wave face aggressively. And then once we're doing our pop up, everything needs to be forward. Most people have a tendency when the wave gets steeper to hesitate, lean back, and the nose goes up. That again keeps us at the top. So as you're popping up, make sure everything is leaning forward, the motion is forward, and you kind of want to be pretty straight, but with the rail engaged. And when we engage the rail, it provides extra grip to keep us gripped to the wave face, but also we won't nose dive if the rail is engaged. So keep the board pretty straight down the wave with the rail engaged, and that's how you make a steep drop."
Paddle out is a term used to describe the process of paddling through the water to get to the back line where the waves are breaking. It can be made easier by using currents and channels. Transcript: "What's our paddle Arts? Warm? A little bit confusion, what exactly are asking. But people often have a paddle out when it's a very common thing. When like, if someone has passed away, then people have a paddle out for them, especially if they were a surfer or they love the ocean, people will paddle out with flowers and stuff, beyond the backline offered at a place where that person love to Surf. They're all good. In a circle. Hold hands. Say a few words and then throw the flowers into the middle of the circle to remember that person. That's one term would have paddle out is if you're referring to, what is kind of paddling out that is, that is a whole nother thing. So, basically, if you're on the shore, and you need to get to the back line where the waves are breaking, you got to jump in the water and your paddle out, the back paddling out, can be made a lot easier if you use a current to get out to the Background because often currents are places where it's a little bit deeper and there's no waves breaking. Also one can use a channel so if you surfing a reef break, they'll often be Reef which is shallower and that attracts the wave energy and then they'll be a deep spot next to it. And the Deep spot is the place where your paddle are because there will be no waves breaking there. That's like a safe Zone and you can get to the back line sometimes even with your hair dry."
Taking a risk to fly to Hawaii from Cape Town, South Africa paid off when I had one of the best surf sessions of my life at Jaws with only a handful of other surfers willing to take the risk. Transcript: "I think one of the biggest risks I took that paid off the most was chasing a storm from Cape Town, South Africa, all the way to Hawaii to where I pulled jaws. This was in 2020 in the middle of the second wave of COVID and I literally didn't even know if I was going to make it. The regulations were changing while I was in the air. Every day there were new regulations, new things that we needed with the testing and all that. In 2020 I took the risk to fly to Hawaii. I made it there, firstly. I arrived the night before the storm. I didn't get any sleep that night. I was so jet lagged. The next morning I woke up and I had one of the best sessions of my life. I had jaws and 50 foot waves with only a handful of surfers who were also willing to take the risk and travel to go surf the big waves. That was a turning point in my career of big wave surfing, being a part of that."
Speed is generated in two ways, compression and extension and by staying in the top third of the wave. Compression and extension is important when taking off and going to the bottom of the wave, while staying in the top third of the wave generates speed without unnecessary movement. Professional surfers like Jordy Smith and Julian Wilson use this method to look effortless while surfing. Transcript: "Okay so speed is generated in two ways. The first one is through compression and extension. If you think of a spring, the more that a spring compresses and winds up, the more it can explode. And the best place to do this is on the bottom turn. So when you take off you go to the bottom of the wave and the more you kind of wind up and compress, the more you can extend up the wave face and generate speed as you go up to hit the lip. So compression and extension, compression extension, are really really important for generating speed. And the other way we do it is by staying in the top third of the wave. So we often do this when the waves are really small. You paddle into the wave and instead of dropping down straight to your bottom turn, just go straight up into the top third of the wave and stay up there until you get the speed and then drop down, compress and then extend up so that the compression extension kind of gives energy into the board to squirt you up the wave face. You never want to be riding a wave just laterally in the middle. You either want to be at the top generating speed or coming off the bottom deep and then going up into the lip. So try to try to to do that and that combination of going high generating speed in the top third combined with the compression and extension, that will help a surfer to to generate a lot of speed but also to create flow. And you won't have to do a lot of pumping or unnecessary movements if you get that right. It'll look effortless effortless and you see guys like Jordie Smith or Julian Wilson, these guys do it really well. It looks like they're not putting any effort in because they're going into the top third and they're compressing as they go down and they're super low on the bottom turn extending up into the lip."
A great tip for interviews is to talk slower and remember to smile, as it will help bring out emotions of happiness, passion and excitement. Transcript: "I think a great tip for interviews, because it's so easy to get flustered. And I think often when we are flustered, we talk really quickly. We wanna get everything out there and we're stressing. So we just like talking, talking, talking, but to just talk slower. I think talking slower and with, I also try to tell myself to smile, because when I smile, it brings up like emotions of happiness and thankfulness and gratitude and passion. And when we can talk with passion and excitement, then it makes the interview so much better. So I think talking slowly and remembering to smile, because we love what we're doing. I think that can really help."
The best advice I've ever received is the encouragement from my wife to remember my purpose and to keep chasing the big waves. Transcript: "The best advice that I've ever received, this is a tricky one, but I think my wife has instilled in me this like, she really reminds me of my purpose which I believe is to ride the biggest waves in the world at this point in my life and just the way that she, I wouldn't really call it advice but more encouragement because I often doubt my purpose so when she says stuff like when I'm going on a trip and I'm just doubting and I'm super nervous and she's just like you were born to do this thing, this is what you've been created for, this is what you've been training for, this is what God created you to do, things like that it just gets me so pumped, reminds me of my purpose and my reason for chasing these big waves and everything and I think that's the best advice."