Podcast: 'Freeride MTB Almost Cost Me My Life' - Matt Macduff

Jan 21, 2021
by Andrew Neethling  
Views: 11,364    Faves: 1    Comments: 0

@juliengrimard pic

Matt Macduff is one of the most creative freeride mountain bikers of the modern day. Matt set out to build and ride what he coined the Loop of Doom. It did not go as planned and he nearly died in a horrific crash. Matt has not only recovered but reflected on the event and came out stronger as a person and rider. We chat about so many topics including the crash, the ego and how one can manage it, his drive to try do what no rider as ever done before, his career now and much more. 

Don't miss his new edit here

Also available on Apple Podcasts / Spotify


  • 31 1
 Macduff was always one of my biggest inspirations as a mountain biker. And since his loop of doom accident he's become one of my biggest inspirations on life.
  • 9 28
flag Sirios (Jan 21, 2021 at 22:12) (Below Threshold)
 A guy that endangers his his life to make some money off of a stunt that could have killed him is an inspiration ???
Maybe you're inspired because he survived the effects of stupidity .
  • 6 1
 Evil Knievel sat in the same dangerous corner before his almost impossible jumps asking himself the same question "am I going to let my fans down and back out of this stunt" hell NO!
  • 12 6
 Does anyone have the video of him attempting the loop, every video I have found cuts off just as he goes into the loop...
  • 11 45
flag Lokirides (Jan 21, 2021 at 6:09) (Below Threshold)
 Go rent Faces of Death if you want to see s*** like that. A man almost dying doesn't need to be your clickbait. The photo is plenty for me.
  • 9 0
 I think he is asking if there is a full length documentary about this? I agree it's almost like there is a trailer for a full version of the doc but then nothing to be found. Like on the Rise site it just links to a story but not the full doc.
  • 6 0
 @Lokirides: I've looked for it cause want to see what happened...
  • 6 0
 @map-guy: Yeah, I definitely wasn't asking just to watch the guy get hurt, the only videos I could find of the loop at all were like 30 sec long.
  • 13 24
flag Lokirides (Jan 21, 2021 at 8:47) (Below Threshold)
 @send-it-bro: Hey, I get it. I like to watch car crashes too. I never miss a Friday Fails, and even sent in footy of my buddy wrecking so hard it made the FF cover. But I think this crosses a line - part of what MacDuff talks about is the pressure to produce something like this for viewership, and you asking to see that video, dispite that fact that the pressure to produce it almost killed him, shows that you didn't really hear what he was saying about what went through his head before dropping in.

The fact that a lot of us *want* to see the video should give us pause. It should make us reflect on why we push ourselves. Is it to look cool in front of our homies? Or is it for the love of riding, finding our own edge and the flow-state we achieve there. Surely if MacDuff released footage of his crash, it would get thousands of views and likes; but who gains? Certainly not him, and certainly not us.
  • 4 0
 @Lokirides: I don't want to see him hit the ground.

What would be interesting to see is the actual complete ride into and bail out of the loop from different angles. Stop it just as it was before, while he is in the air. Right now we are left guessing as to what went wrong...

I am still not sure why he wouldnt have done it a couple of times with nets, like Diavolo (see below) in the 1900s.
  • 4 1
 @Lokirides: Its entirely up to Matt if he wants to share it or otherwise, I'd sure as hell watch it because as nasty as it was, everything about it was f**king incredible, the build, the back story, the attempt, the crash, the photos, his interviews since, the fact he survived and is back at it. Go look at some kittens if you aren't ready for the consequences of stuff like this.
  • 11 15
flag Lokirides (Jan 21, 2021 at 10:38) (Below Threshold)
 @pbuser2299: Y'all are kidding yourselves, trying to make your desire to watch a man almost die sound somehow noble. Now excuse me I have kitten videos to watch.
  • 2 0
 @pbuser2299: there was a Matt Hoffman movie/show/mini doc about when he builds the biggest drop in or vert. He suffered some extreme injuries and almost died. it was actually a really good watch though.

This in the other hand, im done with loops. If you want to huck the meat into a loop, have fun, ill find something else to do.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Seen the Taj illustrated story of how he got his knee put back together? More horrible than this loop thing probably, Matt Hoffman's not even human. www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ36BPIoRF0&ab_channel=TajMihelich
  • 5 2
 Are there any stats on injury trends for MTB? e.g., are we seeing progressively more of them over time? I get this sense that more and more riders are competing for best/fastest/highest, whether it's in competitions or making video shorts, and that pushes them to take more and more risks if they want to stand out above the crowd.

One angle is that all riders can take personal responsibility for the risks they take, no one makes them take those risks. The successes inspire people, and returning from accidents can also inspire. But is there a limit / tipping point? Do we glorify unsafe riding and accidents too much? And if that's true, what would we (or anyone else) do about it anyway?
  • 3 0
 It would be interesting to see data on this, but I'd like to offer a possible alternative view. I do agree that riders today are going bigger than they ever have. I can't believe the progression just in my community over the last 7-8 years that I've been riding. I go to my local jump park and the amount of people throwing backflips is insane. But I think there have been other tools introduced that help make progression easier and safer. There are foam pits and resi ramps for example. I think building has progressed a ton too. Take a look at Bender hucking his body off a cliff from 15 years ago versus the Fest series jumps of today. Those jumps aren't built; they're engineered!
  • 6 5
 I love Matt Macduff although initially I was one of his biggest haters...after listening to his own podcasts I turned 180.On the other hand however I dont like the cockiness of Nethling. Never liked it. Convince me otherwise please.
  • 14 7
 I'm not sensing any cockiness in Neethling, If you want to find your own bad habits, see what bothers you in others.
  • 8 1
 Just based on you saying you were a Macduff hater at first and then saying that Needles is cocky, maybe you jump to conclusions quickly and don't give people the benefit of the doubt? Nothing about either of these guys rubs me all that wrong so I don't really see what you must be seeing.
  • 3 1
 @kelpaso: well I did not intend to upset anyone,I dont know I always felt like Nethling was cocky and I dont think I like that. And YES I have admited several times I was very wrong about Matt. Very wrong.
  • 6 0
 @barbarosza: I wasn't upset, my dude. I was trying to respond to your request to convince you otherwise. I'm just trying to make a guess that maybe you have a tendency to not give the benefit of the doubt. I'm going off just a single comment though, so it's very limited data. I was being dispassionate when I suggested it, but man it's hard to appear dispassionate in a comment section.
  • 7 6
 I don't know who built it, but it seems danger (stupid?) as it is. Whu not placing some security? like....side guard? as minimum....
other features should be a placing foam on the return side, in case the speed wouldn't be suficient to perform the loop... yeah, if you were sucessuful, you would eventualy smash into this, but given the reality.

after several attempts, safety could be removed...

PS - Nevertheless, THANK YOU! Progression hasn't been done anywhere with fear. But I think being a little smart and safe? it's the way to go, when exploring the unknown.
We only have 1 life!
And health, as infiniti as it appears, is one of our most precious things, that only when we don't have, is when we value it
  • 2 1
 I was wondering the same thing when this first went down. WHY not foam pads all around that thing!?
  • 4 1
 @jeremiahwas: or....hear me out... if you're concerned about safety you don't build a loop.

Seriously, its like once every 2 years some action sports athletes build a loop and someone gets a career ended. At this point I won't even watch these videos, the stunt is all risk, no reward.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: I thank you this Riders, to progress the sport.
It doesn't mean I will attempt, but if you watch Freeride movies back in the day, you conclud that some of the stunts are made by riders on Enduro&Trail bikes, wearing only knee pads as extra protection.

I meant good! No intention on making negative comments.

Protection is essencial, and it's the reason there is foam tanks and other fail safe protection. to train and walk home, or at least reduce injury.

keep safe,
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: I mean nothing negative about the rider, and I hope he heals. I also hope everyone shreds as hard as they can and not get hurt. I also hope no more action sports athletes of any kind build anymore damn loops.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: But I agree on pushing the envelope! in 2000, riders were dropping 3,4 meters, full of protection. Today some of us do, with knee pads (and some without extra protection. maybe in the future, if Loops are consistantly being made, with no major issues, we'll find then in some trails. How could would it be?
PS - not for me! LOL! But would love to see!
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: and in 1990 people were getting wrecked in loops. Riding a loop has nothing to do with pushing the sport, its just a Jackass style stunt. Guess what, nobody cares about people cleaning loops, its been done a million times, the ONLY reason this is news is because homie almost died.

If I ride my bike off the roof of my house into a pile of shopping carts is that pushing the sport too?
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: I agree in some part.
But can you imagine, when the first riders (bmx/skate) started riding walls? It's defying, not for all, but I really do enjoy some stupid stuff, that rider can do it, without being knocked out.

One of the things I started following is MX Freeride (meaning - street), and it's an absolute blast, what riders are doing - some of the things I would consider STUPID,but seeing those riders performing such stunts, places me in my place (lower place Smile hehehe!)

Chears Man, don't take me wrong, ok?
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: true story, my dad was a pro skateboarder in the 70's. I get to hear the story all the time of them carving pools and this young kid (Tony Hawk) who most of them though was goofy for airing out over coping. Most of the guys back in the day thought it was dumb and didn't want their boards leaving the ground. I've heard that story hundreds of times, the difference is that pushing the sport, thats advancement in thought and progression of the sport. So to answer your question I dont have to imagine the first vert skaters, I grew up with one in my house. I also grew up with a 9 foot vert wall and a 6 foot half pipe in my back yard, it isnt that I have a problem with taking a risk or trying something new. I've only been doing mtb for less than 10 years, but I've been involved in "action sports" my whole life and its pretty easy to see most bad ideas from the start.

Loops are literally "hold on tight for the sudden G's, if you can handle it NBD, if you can't you go viral". Loops aren't new and loops aren't progression. This isn't stunting a mega ramp or something.
  • 4 1
 That still, STILL amazes me to this day. Even though it's a horrible outcome, It's an amazing image MacDuff is THE raddest
  • 1 0
 wow the comment section makes me want to quit. Matt Mcduff is a beast. Always will be. Thanks for the podcast Matt. I listen to your show during my nightshifts and find some of the storys so great to listen to.
  • 1 0
 Where we can get these historic photos of the guy in a top hat doing the loop with a cut out?
  • 5 0
 Here is the cut out pic...maybe?

  • 1 0
 Matt is a beast, freeride can cost you your life but its 100% worth it in my book
  • 2 1
 Vidéo ?
  • 1 0
 Oh, meeErda.
  • 1 0
 Silly man.
  • 1 2
 well, the comments really reveal who had a helicopter parents, lol
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