Podcast: Matt Macduff Talks Life-Altering Injuries & Life-Changing Practices

Nov 25, 2018
by HKT Products Ltd  

On this episode of The HKT Podcast we are joined by professional freeride mountain bike rider Matt Macduff. In 2016 Matt sustained a terrible fall attempting to make his way around the 'Loop Of Doom' and, on this episode we discuss the effects that day had on his mind/body. We also chat about the practises he uses to stay mindful, living with Brett Rheeder and Matt explains why the footage from that day has never been released.

bigquotesThe reason I rode with no brakes is because I couldn't afford to buy brakes!

The journey in-between these two photos is an interesting one

You can simply click the link above to take a listen or, you can also find the podcast by searching 'The HKT Podcast' on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Youtube. You can even shout at your smart home device and it'll do all the work for you!

Don't forget to follow us on social media too, it's @thehktpodcast on everything.


  • + 34
 Can’t wait to listen, shuttle those kids to bed ASAP! The footage must be too gnarly for public consumption, just a guess having not listened yet. Growing old with injuries suck, coming from one mere mortal to another. Dashed my good shoulder in a crash 14 months after doing in my back in a crash. At 41 w/ 2 young kids there’s a lot of regret about the casual destruction of my body. In reality, it was not until kids that I ever needed to be healthy and functional. Now, Im quickly coming to the realization that I cannot crash — a lifetime of injury is catching up and I’m just too fragile now. Matt McD is legend and I’m happy he’s still around to tell the tale.
  • + 15
 I hear you. I'm the same age and have had several injuries requiring surgery. Thankfully none are limiting me much physically at this point. Mentally is another story. After my last one it took 2-3 years to get right in the head. This year I was finally able to tackle bigger jumps than I had ever done. I still don't want to crash, so I try to pay more attention to that little b@tch in my head. If I'm not feeling it I'll save it for another day. It is becoming more frequent that I'm feeling it though.

*Subscribed and downloading podcast now, kids will be in bed in 15...
  • + 21
 Age 50 (with young kids, too) and I seem to have injury-amnesia. As soon as I heal up from what seems to be a career-ender, I return to the activity. I did give up riding park and sold the DH bike five years ago because I was headed for complete destruction. I also shed the armor because it always seemed to make me more daring.

But I still ride just as big as ever -- as long as I climb it, which gives me one or two big runs per outing instead of 20. This plan seems to be working well. I'm not riding like an old man picking my way through lines yet, but I think backing off to ride slightly below my peak ability helped me dial things in. My focus and confidence are way up and my riding is actually better than ever. Risks are always there, but I accept them under these terms.

I had those broken body regrets and consider them every morning when I wake up feeling thrashed, but keeping extremely active at this age seems to be natural pain relief that I'm going to need forever.
  • + 7
 Gym. It's the only way I can keep up with my 11 and 8 yo. Helps undo all the damage and enables me to out wrestle them.
  • - 29
flag ka81 (Nov 25, 2018 at 23:30) (Below Threshold)
 Soo, it took at least 2-3 dozens (!) of years for all of you to understand some primitive logic about stupid unnecessary risks, dangerous and obligations?.. Hmm..
  • - 3
 You don’t need a 40 ft loop to get hurt either........ this guy almost died on a two ft ramp
  • + 4
 @oldfut: Totally!At 44 I had what I thought, and prepared myself for. A career ending crash early this year. While XC training....... (just my luck Smile ) 4 days in hospital with shattered ribs, collapsed lung an grade 4 clavicle separation, an a smashed up helmet. LOTS of physio an weight loss, got me back ready to train again an support the new injuries. BUT, the worst part was the mental aspect, trusting my upper body. the trail that I crashed on an even the riding the same bike! Now im getting ready to have the best riding year ever in 2019
  • + 2
 This! I feel the same way. I've had a few close calls and a couple of medium sized injuries - broken bones (those heal) and a separated shoulder that still nags me. But this mindset that you have (which I share) flies in the face of the "you only live once bro!" and "gotta progress the sport, man" mindsets that are too commonly verbalized by the youth. I can say, I'm 44 and I'm just as stoked now to get out on my bike as ever. I expect it will be the same when I'm 54. I'm glad my health doesn't keep me from having fun now, nor do I wake up in pain every day... I'm glad I didn't hit every jump when I was younger. No FOMO here.
  • + 1
 @SirWonky: classic dead babied
  • + 12
 Can someone listen to that podcast for me and grab me a quick snippet on why that footage aint been released yet. Would appreciate.
  • + 5
 Don’t mind me for being impatient but if I could get the hook up on that as well that’d be dope. Even if someone’s gotta paraphrase that shit
  • + 7
 Their making a two hour documentary about the loop - sounds like he’s gonna ride it again
  • + 4
  • + 10
 "Shout out to Kali Protective... that helmet saved my life!... They're making a movie about the loop. They followed the whole story about the loop....The footage is really dark... it's watching someons die...
A lot of people who were there suffered from PTSD, I feel pretty bad about that."
  • + 8
 @SirWonky: Cant ride it again, it burnt down in the wildfires in the region about a month ago.
  • + 0
 @SirWonky: damn Totes not worth it, the loop is old news
  • + 13
 So he's out of the loop now?
  • + 7
 FYI, first 4 minutes are intro and sponsor. Next 11 minutes are self-referential discussion (with Macduff) about podcasts. Actual interview begins a few seconds before 15 minutes deep. Ouch.
  • + 5
 Yeah. I generally like Davi but he takes a while to get going and says the same stuff over and over again about himself and the podcast.
  • + 3
 it was probably the worst idea in MTB history to try that trick. He hadn't finished the ramp yet or practised it yet and he just went for it. Like it was pretty obvious it was not going to work out for him. Pretty dumb really
  • - 5
flag TheUnknownMTBR Plus (Nov 25, 2018 at 21:39) (Below Threshold)
 While I don’t agree with some of your wording, questioning the risk vs reward or the ultimate motivation to do such things should not be down-voted imo. Frankly I could care less if someone pulls that off or not and neither do I ever care to see the video nor to even be there in person. Kind of like a Guiness World Record or something. It seems to me that people who need that might be missing something more important in their life. Accomplishing it isn’t going to help anyone else or change the world in any way. It simply lacks any meaningful purpose to me or anything in my life. It might have some value for him or somebody else, but make it or not, live or die; sorry, I just don’t care.
  • + 9
 @TheUnknownMTBR: tbh his motivation to get it done was probably down to the fact his backers had spent loads of money and it wasn't complete yet so he felt compelled to do it. The guys who are backed with good sponsors i.e. those at rampage who are trying really hard stuff will often just back out when they don't feel right - no questions asked
  • + 4
 @TheUnknownMTBR: i feel with that sort of logic, you could question why any of us ride mountain bikes at all... Who are you benefiting, or how are you benefiting the world in anyway when you go out riding?
  • + 1
 @qman11: Hopefully you're benefitting yourself and those around you by proxy. And the bike industry.
  • - 2
 @qman11: i’m not out putting on a hey look at me show with sponsors and such. Big difference in the level of ego, selfishness, greed, and risk between that and the bs poking around on trails stuff I do for the purpose of getting some exercise and relaxation outdoors. If people want to one-up each other on who can be the most foolish that’s fine, but again I refuse to participate in or support it in any way. What I was referring to is putting your life on the line to save someone else or even yourself as opposed to doing it for some pointless stunt.
  • + 1
 @TheUnknownMTBR: these guys are trying to make a living doing what they love. Sponsors are just one of the components that help them to earn money, do you honestly think any of these athletes are out riding and filming in their sponsors gear just because they have huge impeccable egos and greed/selfishness?
  • + 3
 I always love these nature yoga photo shoots. "Hey go meditate in the woods and look sirene... but also shift left. no right. okay shuffle down the rock. pivot a little.... okay meditate!"
  • + 4
 The reason the footage hasn't come out is because there is a film coming out about it.
  • + 1
 @theUnknownMTBR, it’s called progression and a feeling of wanting to achieve more than you did the day before, when your enjoying what your doing and progressing you keep pushing until you reach your limit. We all have different opinions, skills and blocks as to what the limit is. When the loop was being built and thought about Matt was on an absolute killer and it was just the he next progression, yes when you become a professional there then becomes added pressure from sponsors to push your self; but just look at Jordies videos recently and his comments it’s all about yourself.
  • + 1
 I guess we all have to do whatever we have to do to make life fun?, entertaining?, meaningful?...I dunno, choose your favorite adjective. I'm just damn glad I can have fun on a bike without trying shit like that. I like having body parts that still work at 49 years old.
  • + 1
 This quote:

"The reason I rode with no brakes is because I couldn't afford to buy brakes!"

Haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast yet for context, but if this is an issue maybe it's time to reassess ones priorities?
  • + 4
 That loop of death photo still freaks me out, every time I see it
  • + 2
 Always great to hear Matt, hearing him speak it makes sense with his riding. Top Dog.
  • + 3
 So has the video been.. Oh.
  • + 3
 Can't wait to see that Spanish street edit he mentions.
  • + 2
 I have always goosebumps when I see this photo.
  • + 2
 That was a fecking interesting podcast. It was time well spent ;-)
  • + 1
 Thanks mate, really appreciate it!
  • + 1
 Thanks a bunch for posting Pinkbike!
  • + 1
 7:10 coke
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