Several years ago, Grant Brittain started shooting photos with this Australian guy named Matt Mumford. They met when Grant was on a trip to Oz, and later, when Matt came to the States, they’d hook up all the time. At the time, I didn’t pay Matt much attention, until I saw the sequence of him frontside bluntsliding this ledge off stairs at a school called Rincon. After that, I gave Matt the respect he deserved.
In those days, Matt was riding for Invisible Skateboards and living at Dave Bergthold’s house in the middle of nowhere in Southern California. In the backyard of that house was the Blockhead ramp, and when it had been re-plied, Kevin Wilkins and I would go out there every day after work to skate. That’s where I first saw Matt skate, and he seriously ruled the place. Soon we became friends, and the Blockhead sessions went on until Matt returned to Australia.
In January of 1996, Skin Phillips, Jeff Taylor, and I made a skate trip to Oz, where we hooked up with Matt on the Gold Coast. We traveled with him and Chad Bartie in a van for two weeks, from Brisbane to Sydney to Melbourne. During that time, I learned just how good of a skater Matt actually was. We skated street, parks, vert, and whatever else, and Matt ripped on everything. I left Australia knowing that if and when Matt came back to the States, he was going to make a lasting impression¿and I was right. To this day, I still regard the trip to Australia as the best skate journey I’ve ever been on.
Matt moved back to the U.S., toured with Invisible, did an interview in TransWorld, had a sick video part, and decided it was time to move on to a new sponsor. Enter Jamie Thomas and Zero skateboards, and some hard times for Mr. Mumford. For the next year, Matt seriously broke his ankle while filming and had to have surgery. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time, because Zero was taking off, and the new video had to showcase the talent. Matt’s part was noticeably short and didn’t do him justice. The world would have to wait. Matt got hurt again during the filming of Misled Youth, but he still pulled through with a solid part and is capable of so much more.These days Matt is fully recovered both physically and mentally from his injuries, and he’s skating better than I’ve ever seen. His part in the upcoming TransWorld video, The Reason, should definitely be one of the best skating segments of 1999. Look for it. Congratulations, Matt, you’ve come a long way. – Dave Swift