Mathieu Crepel


  • Name: MATHIEU CREPEL
  • Date of Birth: 26/10/84
  • Hometown: Anglet, France

  • Sponsors: Quiksilver, Orange, Domaine du Tourmalet, Coca Cola Zero, Gnu

    Profession: Snowboarder

    Favourite Snowboarders: When I was young my heroes were Serge Vitelli, Darius Heristchian and Jamie Lynn.

    Height: 170 cm

    Stance: Regular

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In a fitting climax to the Quiksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil sponsored Bali Big Eco Weekend, Bali legend Made Switra barreled his way to victory and celebrated his win at Single Fin as the sun set on a day of epic waves. The event brought tourists, local surf community members and legendary local and international surfers together to surf Uluwatu in order to highlight its beauty and the need to continue to improve the environmental welfare of Bali.


For his win, Switra had the honor of adding his name to the perpetual Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge trophy and having it presented to him at Single Fin by none other than 4-time World Champion Mark Richards and Simon Anderson, the inventor of the thruster surfboard.


Switra shared, “I didn’t think about winning the contest today, I just wanted to enjoy good waves with good friends and have some fun. I was winning already when I paddled out but it’s great to be the chosen winner of this event and I want to say thanks to God, thanks to the Ulu boys and to all the legends that joined in as well.



For just Rp2 million ($150 USD) entry fee, the lucky 40+ surfers paddled out in perfect 4-5ft Uluwatu to compete with Quiksilver legends including Mark Richards, Matt Hoy, Tom Carroll, and Simon Anderson. Joining the international legends were Bali legends that included Ketut Menda, Made Switra, Made Lana, Tipi Jabrik, Dede Suryana and Rizal Tanjung as well first time international competitors Dylan Longbottom, Ozzie Wright and professional snowboarder Matt Crepel for a total of 54 participants. This year’s Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge was run in the Eddie Aikau 6-person heat format where each surfer competes in two 30-minute heats and their two highest scores from their four best waves were then scored and totaled. Switra was the surfer with the highest two-wave score total of 17.5 (out of a possible 20 points) with a 9.0 (out of a possible 10 points) in Heat 1, and then an 8.5 in Heat 2, both being deep Racetrack barrels.


The 5th annual Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge this year was a fundraiser by Quiksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia for the Uluwatu based NGO, Project Clean Uluwatu (PCU), to raise money that will go towards new infrastructure programs at Uluwatu that will keep the world-class wave clean and pristine for generations to come. Bringing world-renowned surfing legends to Bali helps to draw attention to the challenges it faces with accelerating tourism growth.


4-time World Champion Mark Richards (AUS) didn’t get to surf in the competition this year due to a back injury, but counts this as one of the most enjoyable and important events he attends each year, saying “Bali is being loved to death by tourism, so it is under an incredible amount of environmental stress, so I think it’s important that anyone that is trying to make a difference is supported, because we need to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of this place for future generations.”


Richards added, “I know there are a lot of people that still long for the old days where there was just a couple warungs here at Uluwatu and you walked in over the fields, but unfortunately that’s not the reality of life…when you find something special, it’s impossible to just keep it for yourself, and I guess Bali is the classic case of where people from all nations come and want to enjoy this place, not just for surfing but the culture and just general tourism as well, so its vital that each of us, to whatever level we can, do our part to preserve Bali for the future.”


2-time World Champion Tom Carroll (AUS) recently underwent a complete knee replacement so was unable to surf with a conventional surfboard, but not to be denied Carroll gamely swam out on a surf mat to take on the 4-6 foot Uluwatu barrels. When asked about his adventure out in the Uluwatu lineup he replied, “Even though I couldn’t stand up on a board, I knew I had to go out and have a go! I figured it is also really good rehab for my knee by activating the muscles… I’ve been doing some training in the pool with little trainer fins but it was a different story getting flogged by those sets out there today… it was great fun!”


Regarding the event itself, Carroll said, “It is so great to see all the positive energy around this event…engaging the locals, local businesses, and the government, Coca Cola Amatil and Quiksilver have built an amazing CSR program that shows what industry can do to have a positive impact in the areas it conducts business. With the Indonesian government planning to increase tourism numbers to Bali there will be even more ecological pressure on the environment, so it’s going to be even more important to be in the forefront, keeping the flame alive and keeping up the visibility, which is the aim of the annual Bali Big Eco Weekend and Uluwatu Challenge. I can’t wait to come back next year when I’ll be back on my surfboard and getting barreled again at Uluwatu with the boys!”


Former world tour surfer, Matt Hoy, also carried an injury into the event having hurt it in the recent swell that lashed the Australian east cost, but as with Carroll, it wasn’t enough to stop him from surfing perfect Uluwatu with only a few other guys saying “As I grow older the friendships I have made through 30 years of professional surfing become the most important thing to me and to be able to share in the Bali Big Eco Weekend with Indonesian and International friends and highlight the importance of keeping our oceans clean is an event I pencil into my calendar at the beginning of each year.”


World renown as the inventor of the Thruster style surfboard (three fins), Simon Anderson thoroughly enjoyed himself, and when asked what were his highlights from the weekend he replied, “The surfing here at Uluwatu was the highlight of the weekend for me…I was hoping to get one good wave today, which I did this year, so I’m pretty stoked. I’m traveling with my wife this trip and she enjoyed the turtle release where the Bali Beach Clean Up program has now released more than 140,000 turtles back to the sea.”



Photos by Tim Hain and Josh Symon



They came. They built. They rode. Some conquered, and some got conquered — that’s just the way The Snake operates.



The Snake, meaning the Ride The Snake trail that Mat Crepel and his crew built for the annual snowboarding event. It’s half race, half pipe, and all core. Ride The Snake is built for imagination. And that’s exactly what Anthony Holland hit it with.




As a result, Tonton gets the prizes and prestige of winning one of Europe’s best snowboarding events. And you? Well, you get to enjoy these photos and go Ride The Snake yourself - the trail will be open to public until it melts away this spring. Get after it!


TheFourthPhase


What’s it called when you grab a board and slide down a collection of water that has been brought to you by the forces of nature?


Surfing? Or snowboarding? The correct answer is both.

While the connection between the two is obvious, our friends at Surfline wanted to see just how deep it runs. So, they talked to two pro snowboarders who surf and two pro surfers who snowboard. One of the pro snowboarders was our boy Mat Crepel. We think you’ll really dig what he had to say. Check it out below, and treat yourself to the full piece here.


On the feeling

“Technically, it’s not the same thing at all. You don’t know why a barrel feels amazing, it’s just like time is suspended when you’re in there. It’s the same when you do a huge turn in the pow. You see all the snow floating around you, then you go through the white room — not long, maybe seconds, kind of like a barrel. I don’t think I’ve gotten a barrel longer than three or four seconds. But you come out screaming and try not to claim because it’s not cool, but sometimes you can’t help it, and it’s the same with powder. You do a sick turn and you just scream. You can really explain it, but it’s the best thing.”


On inspiration

“The father and the mother, the Adam and Eve, of all action sports is surfing. It all comes from surfing, and we adapt ourselves to skateboarding and snowboarding. The way I see snowboarding and the way I snowboard is directly inspired by surfing, more than other friends that don’t surf as much. If I see a lip I’m gonna try to slash it – do a little layback or a hand-drag — to get that feeling.”


On airs

“With airs in the halfpipe, you want to land as high as possible in the coping to keep your speed for the next air on the other side. I feel like a halfpipe is pretty close to a wave, but at first I was trying to do airs surfing the same way I do airs in the pipe, and I’d always land on the back of the wave. I didn’t really understand why, so then I watched some surf videos, and figured out guys were actually pointing their nose towards the beach instead of towards the wave, like you would in a halfpipe. That is one of the main differences. Once you get this, once you’re in the air and trying to grab, it’s pretty similar.”


On big waves and backcountry

“Big waves and big mountains are where snowboarding and surfing are the closest in spirit – the way you have to commit to things. You have to train, but it has to come with experience, as well. You can’t really train for the big mountain. It takes time to get to know the snow and the terrain, how the wind affects the snow, for security reasons. And I think big-wave surfing is kind of the same. You can train as much as you want in the swimming pool, but you have to spend time in the ocean, too. You can’t just train all the time then step on a 15-foot wave right away, you have to surf six, eight, ten-foot…”

Read the full story here.


Feeling that itch to plan a trip?


Good. Maybe it’s time to embrace it.



We recently went on a surf/skate/snow/culture/madness/fun adventure through Spain and made a short film out of it. Watch it, right here and right now. It’ll probably leave you feeling like Spain is the perfect place to scratch the itch we just talked about. Which is convenient, because we already built a Boardrider’s Guide to help you get a grip on that beautiful land.


But in case you require any more persuasion, the Radical Times crew laid it out for you straight up. Here’s why you should visit Spain.


Now it’s up to you to take them up on it.



Discovering new places, having lots of fun, laughs and amazing food! What else do you need in life?


-Natxo Gonzalez



Spain is a full boardriding trip. Each part of the country offered something special and different, whether it was surfing, skating, snowboarding or just checking things out and enjoying life. This place really has it all .


-Mikey February



Spain is a beautiful country, both culturally and visually. It’s a full on boardrider’s adventure. You can skate some of the most amazing spots in the world and get some amazing scenic surf.


-Zach Miller



Spain is a magical country filled with magical humans. Skate, surf, snow, art, pintxos, tapas futbol...everything is incredible. The Spanish, Basque and Catalan communities will show you nothing but kindness. Find a cheap flight, rent a van, bring all your boards, bring all your homies. Maybe even follow our route - you won’t be disappointed!


-Bryan Fox



Pintxos before surf and pintxos after surf with a few more pintxos after that!


-Austen Sweetin



You can discover sick boardriding spots and incredible scenery where mountains meet the sea. If you're looking for an adventure, grab some mates and a few boards then hit the road!


-Mat Crepel


Photos by Ryan Heywood


Check out Radical Times below



It’s one of the best events in snowboarding.


Historic doesn’t do it justice. Iconic might. Legendary definitely does.


The Legendary Banked Slalom, held at Mount Baker in Washington State, has been around since 1985. It has crowned some of the best names in snowboarding as its champion. It is cool and it is core and to win it is an honor that you’ll remember until the last of your days.


This year, Quik snowboarder Mat Crepel walked away with that honor.


In the lasted chapter of Cretins Des Aples by Almo Films, we join the boys at Mount Baker and see how Mat made it happen. Strap in and ride!



Snowboarding is supposed to be fun.


It’s a simple concept, and it should go without saying. But in today’s world, that sentiment somehow gets lost in all the seriousness. But the Almo crew…let’s just say they didn’t get the memo.


Here’s another installment of their latest and greatest video, Cretins Des Alpes. It features nudity, debauchery, mega-rotations and most of all, fun. Dive in!



Earn your turn — that’s the sentiment of the second chapter in Crétin Des Alpes.


In this day and age, most backcountry riding starts with an environmentally-destructive helicopter dropping you off on the perfect perch of a snow-covered summit. So for this trip, the Almo crew decided to take a different route. As in, a route from the base of the mountain.


They spent a few days camping in an Alaskan no-man’s-land and earned every turn they took. Hiking up, riding down, then settling back into some pizza and bloody mary’s back at base camp. Not a bad way to live. As long as you don’t mind the cold.


Join their journey, right here and right now. Then come on back next week for Chapter 3.



They call it La Catapulta. You don’t need to have a degree in linguistics to translate that. And you don’t need to have a degree in physics to figure out why.


La Catapulta is a ramp that Mat Crepel and the crétins built in the Alps. Crétin, by the way, means “idiot” in French. While that title is surely a joke, you’d hardly be able to tell after seeing how they approach snowboarding — gotta have a few screws loose to go that big.


This is Chapter 1 from Almo Film’s “Crétin Des Alpes.” Every week, a new chapter from the movie will be released right here. So do yourself a favor and come back next week for more madness on the mountain!

EPISODE 5



After a run of bad weather, the rain stops and the wind calms down allowing Mathieu and Damien to take Noah for his first ever surf lesson. It brings them luck as the sky brightens up and waves get cleaner. Damien can finally share his passion for wild and cold-water surf with Mathieu.

EPISODE 4



Damien and Mathieu finally make it to the ocean. Damien is pumped to be back on familiar territory where as Mathieu is not so keen on the idea of surfing in such a wild and hostile environment. Damien's stoke soon fades when the weather turns and conditions are looking less inviting.

EPISODE 3



Switching Snowboards for whitewater rafts, Mathieu and Damien finally make it to the riverside. The next challenge is to find their Gold Digger friend somewhere along the trail stake a land claim and start mining.

EPISODE 2



Damien and Mathieu spend a week hiking the peaks around the camp. Mathieu feels right at home, but the splitboard gives him a new approach to snowboarding in Alaska by accessing the lines by foot. While for Damien, it’s a real challenge. He has to adapt to an environment and a sport he is not totally familiar with. The first part of their adventure is nearly done as they make their way towards the river.

EPISODE 1



In this episode, meet Mathieu and Damien and get to understand what led them to go on an adventure following the course of water in Alaska.

As they get there, they meet Will, a big mountain guide that will spend the first part of their journey with them. They also meet Drake, a legendary bush-pilot that will drop the Odisea Team on the glacier where they’ll set up their base camp and start exploring the glaciers.

 

TRAILER



Imagine loading up the truck in ALASKA and dropping off the radar for a 5 week adventure, hunting down fresh pow and empty waves.. That's exactly what the Odisea expedition is about, a five part series all about shredding the Mountain and the Wave or as Mathieu describes it:

 

"The goal of the ODISEA expedition is to discover. Discover a place where Nature makes its own way far from any human interference. Discover the cycle of water and the interdependence of the environments with two of the best action sports riders. Surfing and snowboarding as a common language to get closer to Nature."

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mathieu Crepel

 

Mat Crepel and the Absinthe and Almo crew scored the best off-piste and back country on offer in Switzerland, Italy and Haines-Alaska. They also just so happened to be shooting their latest clip: No One Knows.

Here's Mat's interview and his part from the film dropping later this week:

You mentioned on social media there were also scary times on the shoot – just how scary was it riding out that avalanche?

Well those kind of things always happen when you let your guard down. I kind of knew that this face could slide, but I thought it was a small face and wouldn’t do much damage even if it did. I was wrong, it slid as soon as I touched the face. The snow was a bit heavy so I manage to stay on top and make my way out. I guess surfing helped me on that one!!! When it happens you’re on auto-pilot and let your sub-conscious do the job, but when you think about it afterwards, it’s pretty scary!


That was some of the sickest back to back free ride footage we've seen from you in a while, who's inspiring you and your bag of tricks right now?

There is a younger generation of backcountry riders coming through and pushing hard, so I just wanted to show them that I’m still here!!! Freeriding needs experience and with experience comes confidence so I guess that allows me to take my freestyle skills background to Alaska faces for example. That’s really the way I see my riding evolving in the future.


You're now well known on the freeride scene, do you ever consider putting the contest bib back on?

Actually not at all!!! I really don’t miss a thing from contest. I really liked it when I was on the tour, but I’m now doing something really different and I find it really interesting. There is no routine, you have to adapt to whatever the day brings and I love that.


With the new clip released and the season underway, what's lined up for you and the crew this winter?

A bunch of things. I’m working on a clip for early season shred to make people want to go ride and have fun. Not necessarily the craziest stuff or anything but just happy riding with friends.

Then I’m planning to go to Mount Baker for the 30th anniversary of the famous banked slalom. I won it in junior a few years ago so I’m invited to the legends race, that’s gonna be epic. The Baker Banked Slalom is the greatest contest in history of snowboarding, and we are planning to stick around for a few weeks to shoot backcountry as well.

And then I’m working on an expedition in Alaska to go hike mountains to snowboard, then float the rivers on raft to meet the ocean and surf. That’s a pretty big project that we’ve been planning with Damien Castera (French pro surfer) for a while and that we’re really exited about.


You recently added surfing one of Europe's big wave spots, Belharra, to your list of achievements. How does charging monster waves compare to Alaskan steeps?

Being used to speed and bumps definitely helped me approach Belharra. It’s a fun and scary feeling at the same time, but I need to spend more time training to be able to experience the full potential of the wave. Big wave surfing is something that excites me, but it’s like freeriding, you need to go step by step and gain experience. For now snowboarding takes most of my time so I can’t be fully ready when the big swells hit Europe in the winter, but I keep an eye on the forecast and if it’s looking good I’ll try to get back in time to get a few waves!!!