Mateo’s riding style was once summed up by his buddy Henry as being “like a cat falling down stairs”. The mental image fits perfectly as an analogy for Mateo’s controlled, but out of control riding that he’s made a name for himself with.
Filming this video, I wanted to showcase my version of therapy - the creative process of going out into the woods, finding and then building lines that allow me to express my own unique style of riding. Hopefully this video gets people inspired to go out and build and ride their own way. A section of scrub bush a few kilometers out of town had recently burnt down, and we’d heard reports that it opened up some really good freeride potential. Upon arriving at the zone we were greeted with a barron, mars-like hillside that made for a completely blank canvas, with options for big rock features and chutes.The Rock roll at the top of the hill was one feature we really had to work for.
It required a rope to pull the bike up to the top, and the pad at the top was only a bike length long. The dirt was super skaty and there was lots of debris scattered around, so it definitely made things extra spicy on some of those chutes when the speed picked up. Luckily we survived filming there and came away with some epic clips. Still had to give a shoutout to some of the more iconic Queenstown spots. Thank you to Ashton, Dan and Nick for helping with digging. And all the sick riders locally that help fuel the stoke and keep me ready to shred.—Mateo Verdier