Matt Smithies

Unknown-1
From: Paignton, Devon, England
Division: Am Division
Sponsored by: N/A
Age: 28
Skating: 12 years

Matt grew up in a small village with little to offer a skateboarder, in fact it would be almost 5 years before he rode at a real skatepark. Although the influence of the Tony Hawk games and Rodney Mullen videos paved the way for his interest in freestyle, his core trick base was developed in isolation. Due to this he would make the claim that he had developed a relatively unique style within the community. Matt didn’t realize there was a UK freestyle contingent or even websites for the cause until 2007, he’d always felt as the outsider looking in. After his hiatus from 2007 to 2011 he rejoined the community where he organized the NASS events in 2011, 2012 and the World Championships in 2013. During 2011 and 2012 Matt was fortunate enough to work closely with the late Hans Lucas whose help was invaluable to bring the contests to life at NASS. Those contests help to contribute to the relaunch of the UK freestyle scene which Matt considers has evolved to harbour one of the strongest and most varied of individual styles in the world over the last couple of years. His main points of inspiration come from Tim Byrne, Joe Flemke, Tony Gale, Stefan Albert and Marco Sassi. In 2012 he was featured on Andy Schrock’s (Revive Skateboards) YouTube channel where it had amassed over half a million views.

In 2013 Matt graduated from Plymouth University in Computer Sciences with a focus on Android development. He is currently the Senior IT Developer for The Asset Works company, working primarily on Android, IOS and backend systems. Matt went on to create the YourFreelanceMentor website where he has developed a free course and content to help passionate graduates transform into remarkable professionals. Teaching them a range of frameworks for building a personal brand from marketing, mindfulness, niche development and market research. His overall long term aim is to encapsulate and teach the soft skills and mindset that we all develop from years skateboarding to a general audience. This goal is inspired from Rodney Mullen’s TED talks on ‘Getting Back Up’ and the response that he received from his peers. In his off time he dabbles with magic card tricks, wants to become an accomplished yoyoist, loves cooking and making awesome handmade chocolate and finally when he has the time he love to explore abstract programming concepts. He also says that he plays a fierce triangle, but hasn’t played in years.

Since 2013 Matt has been primarily focusing on growing his skateboarding abilities and his professional career. He’s been to a few small freestyle events in the UK with regulars such as Tony Gale, Alex Foster and Callum Bowran, but feels he’s now ready for the World Round-Up. Apart from that he has been pretty reclusive and feels great to be able to come out of hibernation and start releasing videos again. He is looking forward to building new relationships and meeting his friends, where Text’s have been the only contact for years. As Matt has been skateboarding for over a decade now, he’s developed and grown thanks to skateboarding in ways in which he could never imagined. His hope is that through this contest he will be able to truly earn his place in the top of the amateur ranks with the goal of one day pushing into the professional division.

RECENT CONTEST HISTORY:

2016 Late Tricks Fantasy Freestyle Contest: 1st Place Amateur
2011 World Championships: 14th Place Amateur
2011 NASS Freestyle Championships: 6th Place PRO/AM