Matt Jones’ personal slopestyle paradise

Saracen's Matt Jones tells us about the 'Compound'

After making the cover of our 300th issue in early 2014, slopestyle pro Matt Jones went on to have an up and down year that saw him sign to dream sponsor Red Bull and suffer a side-lining shoulder injury, which unfortunately saw him miss most of the years big contests. That is now in the past and thanks to the completion of The Compound, his personal slopestyle training facility, he’ll be back and going bigger than ever this year. We went down to check it out…

Matt jones dropping in to the 'compound': matt jones dropping in to the 'compound'
Matt jones dropping in to the 'compound': matt jones dropping in to the 'compound'

MBUK: From the timber to the dirt and the scaffolding used on the roll-in, how much material did you use to build The compound?

MATT: When planning the build, I way under estimated how much material I’d end up using. The dirt here is sticky clay so I ordered in 60 tons of soft sand, which is way better to ride and crash on! The start tower alone used 600m of scaffolding and there’s 50 sheets of ply throughout the course.

MBUK: What were the biggest challenges faced during the planning and building of the compound?

MATT: I started around the new-year and last winter’s weather was a major setback, it ruined most of the sand and made clambering around the scaffolding pretty impossible!

MBUK: How long did it take to build and how many people helped with design and construction?

MATT: I started riding here about five months into the build but it’s taken the best part of 10 months to finish. That was with the help of just a couple of mates including Ronson, Bateson and Ben Healy who helped out when they could!

Multiple ramps and landings allow for lots of creativity: multiple ramps and landings allow for lots of creativity
Multiple ramps and landings allow for lots of creativity: multiple ramps and landings allow for lots of creativity

MBUK: What’s the story with the land – how did you find and who owns it?

MATT: It was my dad who stumbled across the area after I told him I was looking for a private place to build jumps. My dad got the ball rolling and managed to meet up with the owner, Nick, who has been awesome in helping me and supporting my riding too.

MBUK: Who else been using the jumps apart from yourself?

MATT: I’ve had a few riders who’ve ridden there with me, primarily the guys who helped build it with my bro, and we’ve had loads of sick evening sessions here during the summer last year. I’ve had Sam Pilgrim and even Brendan Fairclough over, who came to ride before Rampage last year too – it was my job to teach him to backflip his downhill bike, so that was cool – to see it ridden on some big bikes.

Drying your ramps is a necessity for uk riders: drying your ramps is a necessity for uk riders
Drying your ramps is a necessity for uk riders: drying your ramps is a necessity for uk riders

MBUK: What plans do you have for the compound moving forward?

MATT: I’m really stoked with what I’ve got so I’m hoping for some good weather and get loads of riding done. But I’m keen to build an open-loop, or something a bit different like that!

MBUK: What’s the biggest jump and how many are there in total?

MATT: I’ve got a flat drop at the start – that’s about 11ft tall – that then runs into two wooden kickers. The steeper one has an 18ft gap and the mellower kicker has a 24ft gap. After the big jumps there’s a choice of a smaller mulch jump or an ‘up-box’, which is pretty fun to have. Then there’s a 15ft vert quarter pipe to finish it all off!

Matt jones getting upside down: matt jones getting upside down
Matt jones getting upside down: matt jones getting upside down

MBUK: What tricks have you dialled here?

MATT: It’s been rad being able to ride consistent jumps that are big enough for big tricks. I’ve done a few double backflips here along with learning 360 no hander to barspins, which is quite a technical trick for me. There are definitely new tricks in the pipeline!

MBUK: What are your plans and hopes for 2015?

MATT: My focus is definitely on contests for 2015. The FMB World Tour is our stage to show off our winter training and I’m hoping that I’ll be bringing some new runs to the table next year. My main goal is to be on the podium a lot this year and see how things go at Crankworx!

Olly Forster

Staff Writer, UK
Olly started riding in '94 after reading Mountain Biking UK as a teenager, and by '97 he'd done his first downhill race. Having worked in the bike industry since 2000 in a range of roles, he's still as hungry as ever to test new kit and explore fresh trails.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Downhill and trail
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada IPA
Back to top