Matt Crowhurst

Matt Crowhurst has been in the game for longer than most and his experience is evident from his comments below as well as the fact that he's sponsored by some of the biggest names in the sport - O'Brien and Nautique to name just two. I have had the pleasure of being coached by Matt on a few occasions now so can speak from first hand experience that his coaching skills are also top notch.

Having first stepped on a board in the summer of 1996, Matt's riding has earned him many titles along the way on both a wakeboard and a wakeskate, although he says he couldnt choose a preference between the two.

Although his hometown is Chichester down on the South Coast he can be found across the country, whether its coaching locally at Hove Lagoon or South Coast Wakeboard or at the opposite end of the isle at Loch Lomond Wakeboard. As well as riding and coaching regularly he can also be found behind the scenes helping with events or right on top of the action (literally), MC'ing at major events like Wakestock or Wake the Line in Germany.

We managed to steal some of his time to answer a few questions for us that I'm sure will inspire you in one way or another...

Q&A with Matt Crowhurst

Do you wakeskate more than wakeboard?

I love them both but it really depends where I am, whether I can ride boat, cable, PWC or System 2.0 and also how much time I have to play around. Sometimes I’m feeling it more with one than the other so I’ll just go with that. It’s always easy to just jump on my board if I’m at a cable and/or teaching somewhere. People generally want to see big tricks off wake, the flat, rails and kickers and wakeskating isn’t always conducive to this. With the time I spend on the road at clinics, demos, contests etc, it’s hard to get the proper water time in I’d like.

What is your greatest achievement/accolade in the sport?

To be honest, I’m stoked to just still be in the sport in any form. Having been around for quite a while now, I’ve seen a good few riders come and go. Not least through injury. As far as silverware goes though, I was competing from the moment I got into the sport and in that first year won the junior division on the Euro tour, also getting second in one of the pro men’s categories on the same tour. Then I got a Euro Junior Championships title in ’99 and a good few podium finishes on the UK Tour over those first few years. I guess, though, I was most stoked with getting 2nd at Wakestock in 2003 and also taking away the Rococo Rail Tour title in 2008 as well as National Wakeskate title in around that time as well.

Your involvement in the sport is far more than just riding, how did this happen?

I left school in ’99, headed for Oz to hit wakeboarding full time and blew my knee after a month or so of being out there. So, I would be out for the following year and didn’t really want to just get a job at a ski school while recovering, which would have been a pretty frustrating and not so productive. So, I got a job as researcher on a TV show called RAD – a magazine style action sports show that was then on Channel 5.

I lived in London doing this throughout 2000 as well as writing for wake mags, doing other bits with the media, which I’d already dabbled in since ‘96 through wakeboarding. That year I also offered to help out with the first ever Wakestock so I ended up MC’ing the whole weekend and that’s how I got into commentating. So, even after getting back into riding in around Feb 2001 I continued with all the media stuff and ‘behind the scenes’ work for sponsors and events. It has all just continued snowballing from there.

What’s the next exciting project on the horizon for Matt Crowhurst?

There’s a lot going on this year for sure. Anyone into wakeboarding needs to get behind the Olympic bid in 2013 where the final decision on which of the shortlisted 7 sports is chosen for 2020 is made in September. The more promotion cable wakeboarding gets and the sport in general, the better. I’m also working on the National Champs with Wakeboard UK to make this year’s contest the biggest yet.

Aside from the ongoing promo work and day to day obligations with sponsors there’ll be another big road trip with a good crew at the start of the year, likely with the Teva team and maybe something else too. We hit Holland and Germany in May 2012 and it was so much fun. Will definitely have to do this again.

There are so many exciting riders in the sport at the moment, who do you enjoy watching right now?

It’s hard to know where to start on that one. When it comes to UK riders you can’t ignore those that have been around for so long tearing it up like Dan Nott on boat, Jonty Green and his crazy skills and antics on boat, cable and rails. I do love watching Sam Carne shred boat though and he has been doing so well these past few years. Young and LDB have been killing it on obstacles so it’s always sick riding with and watching both of them. Same goes for CK when it comes to rails.

Then there is Mr Ollie Moore who I truly believe has more style in just one of his little hobbit legs than most of us put together. The kid kills it on a skate and on a board. If you’re talking internationals then there really is no end to the list. Got to give props to the Shred Town crew and the Breddas Bros for their unrelenting progression and ingenuity.

Related to the industry, can you tell me about the best day you’ve had in the sport in the past year?

Being the patriotic sort, I love seeing our UK crew do well on the international scene so while it’s not just one day, seeing Sam Carne, Ollie Moore and Megan Barker get gold along with the team at the Euro Boat Champs, more medals at Euro Cables and then a silver for the team, second in the world for Ollie and a third for Declan at the Cable Worlds is all insane for us. A single day though, as far as the industry goes, would either be Wake The Line in Germany that I commentated at or Harbour Reach contest in which I made finals alongside Young and Sam. Both huge events, big attendance, so much fun to be apart of and exactly what our sport is all about when it comes to spectacular entertainment within in credible contest formats.

Can you give your three top tips to anyone starting out in the sport?

It’s a cliché and obvious but you have to do it for the enjoyment. Anything after that is a bonus but nothing will come if there’s no enjoyment. Doesn’t matter if you want to learn a whole bunch of tricks every time you’re on the water or not, push yourself if you want to but if that’s not you, then definitely don’t get frustrated by it. Always finish a set on a good note! Finally, get into coaching. The UK has one of the best wakeboard coaching structures in the world and understanding the dynamics of what is happening on the water can only make you a better rider and give you more opportunity to get more involved with the sport!

You have many sponsors behind you, what advice would you give to those up and coming riders seeking some sort of support?

I think the one major issue with sponsorship is that those seeking it or involved in it in some way, don’t see it as a job when that’s exactly what it is. If you’re a sponsored rider, no matter whether you’re getting discounted product or financial support, you are getting paid in some form to do a job. In order for this support to be worthwhile, then you have to be earning that brand at least twice as much as it costs them to sponsor you for it to be worth their while.

Just riding every day down at your local cable park won’t really cut it, or at least it will be a short lived deal. Not working hard for a brand that looks after you could ruin your chances of getting hooked up again but also put that brand off sponsorship altogether therefore ruining it for everyone else.

Wakeboarding or Wakeskating?

Couldn’t decide!

Boat or Cable?

My background is boat and I’m still more comfortable there but I love cable and will be pushing hard to get better this year!