Winter Antics: Freerider Matt Hunter

What the great and good of mountain biking get up to in the off-season

Specialized-sponsored Matt Hunter is known as one of the smoothest big mountain freeriders out there. His film segments are filled with a myriad flowing lines, stylish jumps and the odd huge booter thrown in as a crowd pleaser. In the latest of a series of mini-interviews, Callum Jelley spoke to him to find out what he gets up to in the off-season. Here are his Winter Antics.

Name:

Matt Hunter.

Location:

Kamloops, BC, Canada.

Preferred riding style:

Mountains, please.

Single or triple crown forks? 

Triples for sure.

Describe your favorite winter trail/riding spot:

Ollantaytambo, Peru.

How has winter been treating you so far?

So good! A Baja surf trip and some epic days in BC skiing, I can't wait to get back on my bike though.

What does a pro mountain biker do to keep busy in the winter?

Every year I go surfing somewhere warm. It's a good time to rehab the injuries from the season before and relax. I have a couple friends I go with, we just take boards and camping gear and sleep on the beach. We've surfed Central America a few times, Mexico a few times, Indonesia and Peru. This year we went to Baja.

Winter is pretty long in BC so I'm also really into skiing. Watching big mountain skiers inspires me on my bike. I'm really really stoked on backcountry skiing these days – there are no crowds, no fashion show, and the element of survival makes it really cool.

Do you do any specific training in winter?

Absolutely. I do a lot of physio for old injuries and I have a training program designed specifically for the way I ride. I'm in the gym a lot in the winter, because once summer is here there isn't much time for it.

Any preferred cross-training methods?

Yes, two favorite methods – either six-foot swell, offshore winds and sunny, or 50cm fresh BC powder and a sunny day. Take your pick!

What's your ideal winter trip destination?

Baja. You can surf, bike, camp and fish. It's amazing. Plus, it's easy to just drive there.

What are your goals/ambitions for next season?

I want to film a movie segment that captures how awesome the riding in Kamloops really is. I've tried with other segments but I haven't nailed it.

How are you liking Specialized's new SX Trail?

It's sick. The perfect trail bike for me.

Have you got a segment planned with the new film-making collective Anthillfilms for this summer? 

Yeah, that is who I want to film my dream segment with next year.

And finally, what's your favourite hot or cold beverage?

Hot: A nice cup o' tea. Cold: A pint of something dark.

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