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Interview with Ian Matteoli: constantly growing

Text Riccardo Zanirato

Photos Hologram Media

 

Powered by DC Snowboarding Union Binding Company

Ian Matteoli, 15 years old and already part of the DC Snowboarding and Union Binding Company. He’s getting better and better every time and is closing tricks like the Double 1000 and the Fs 1440 with a crazy airtime!

Hi Ian, how are you? We saw you gassing up the snowpark in Stubai, where are you now? Can you snowboard despite the new restrictions?

I’d say I’m doing well, I’ve been here in Stubai since the end of October and I should be here until the end of November, despite the restrictions I’m able to ride very well, all the lifts are closed, but the Primepark sessions go on regularly, there’s practically only us on the whole glacier, a surreal environment, but great riding days.

 

A few years ago your videos started to excite the freestyle audience and you were only 9 years old, today your bag of tricks is starting to have a certain depth. How do you experience this change?

I think it’s part of growing up, when I was 9 years old, you didn’t see so many kids on the slopes with snow, I didn’t even know what Instagram was. Now online and on the slopes you see a lot more Groms gassing up in the parks…I talk like I’m already old!

 

What does it mean to be a pro-rider at 14 years old? What are your main daily commitments?

Honestly, I don’t feel like a pro yet, there’s still a long way to go. Here at the Primepark sessions there are the real ones, who not only ride like crazy, but also have an incredible list of victories including X Games and Olympics.

The days are pretty standard, in the morning we all go up together, clearly respecting the rules on Covid imposed by the Austrian government, once arrived at the top of the park we start with the warm up, and then we enter the session working on the goals that we have set. The slope style that they prepare for us every day is fantastic and maintained like an ice sculpture, during the mid-morning re-shape we stop for a break and analyze the videos. Generally we finish raiding around 2pm, arriving at the cable car yard around 4pm. We are lucky that living in a camper, as soon as we get off we make food immediately without having to drive those 20 minutes to get to the village so we can relax and study the curriculum.

 

Let us know what kind of rider you are: what music do you listen to when you snowboard?

I think I’m a pretty laid back rider, I like listening to Rap, it gives me calm and concentration, if there was a company interested in giving me a sound system I would be very happy!

You are part of the climate change generation, living many months in the glaciers, what is your idea of what is happening?

Climate change is happening and has shortened the summer riding seasons and made the conditions too variable. I generally prefer to skate in the summer, also to disconnect from the snow environment. The idea I have is that in the past the land has been exploited to the hilt and these are the consequences we have to pay for. My dad showed me how the glaciers have fallen by about 50 to 60 metres in the last 30 years. At 2 Alpes, on the rocks below the chairlift, the glacier’s height has been painted since the 1980s.

 

Last season, which was particularly short, you closed with a Double 1000. This season, which is full of unknowns, you started with an Fs 1440. Are you following any special training?

Yes, last season I managed to close with 2 doubles 1080, with 2 more to go! This one I started with the 1440 flat, much harder than the doubles, by the third round you wonder where you are, but you know you still have one more to go. The 1440 is a great trick to do, there’s still work to be done to get it really good, after that I’d like to get more spin. I train a lot outdoors, alternating between skateboarding and sessions dedicated to how the body reacts to situations different from what we are used to.

 

I’ve watched your 1440 at least a hundred times, you have an amazing airtime. Tell us about your feelings.

The airtime is really a lot, it would be hard to turn it around on a smaller jump (at least for me), this is a 20m, and in the run-up you get about 70km/h. Sometimes when you push so hard in the air you tend to lose track of the number of turns, which are 4 anyway. The best feeling is when you close it and you can make the next jump!

 

What is your set-up at the moment? How do you get on with the board you are using? 

The set-up is the same as last year, completely symmetrical on the board to favour riding in both directions, with a pitch proportionate to my height.

My board is a DC Play 150 cm, a real bomb, I really like it, it gives me great confidence both in jumps and on rails, it has a very fast and resistant base, and the graphics are awesome.

The bindings are Union Bindings, they fix the feet to the board perfectly, they’re comfortable, they don’t squash anywhere and the transmission of movement is excellent. They are light and compact and above all indestructible, and the fluorescent orange colour I chose is the best.

 

We’ve often heard you say that you’d like to learn how to “do the races”. Do you concentrate more on tricks or on your emotions during a competition? 

At competitions you pick up what you have sown during the training days, my type of training is based both on the construction of the trick and on the mental attitude to be able to perform it at its best, during the days of competition I can get very excited and reach a good concentration, on an emotional level it gives me a lot of charge and generally I can express myself at 100%, we hope to do more competitions in the future!

“The airtime is really a lot, it would be difficult to turn it on a smaller jump (at least for me), this is a 20m, and in the run-up you reach about 70km/h. Sometimes when you push so much in the air you tend to lose count of the number of turns, which are 4 anyway. The best feeling is when you close it and manage to make the next jump!” 

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