The big breakthrough for Canadian freestyle rider Matt Hunter came in 2003, when he beat Cameron McCaul to win the second Ultimate Freeride Challenge online video contest, a competition which had been won the previous year by Tyler Klassen. The victory secured him a sponsorship deal with Specialized, the company he has been riding with ever since.
Since that early victory, Matt has focused all his attention on shooting photos and filming video segments rather than participating in contests or races. Two of the most popular movies in which he has appeared are Follow Me and Strength in Numbers, made with Anthill Films Creative Director Darcy Wittenburg. “My career isn't based on race results,” says Matt. “I guess it's a bit more creative, working with filmers and photographers. It could not be more fun.”
Matt was born in 1983 in Kamloops, the small British Columbia town which also spawned riders including Richie Schley and Dustin Adams. Singletrack zigzagged through the hills behind his parents' house, and young Matt explored them whenever he could. At the age of 12 he began cross country racing, and at 15 he was building big jumps and gnarly trails with his friends and beginning to focus more on downhill.
Matt says that what he enjoys most is ‘finding adventure’ in the mountains - whether it be challenging moves and airs or a multiple day ride. He also takes inspiration from big mountain skiers and snowboarders - “the way they shred the mountains in the snow inspires me on dirt,” he says.
- Age: 31
- Nationality: Canada