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Mat Crepel: backcountry style


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!!!

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