Matt Walker Breaks Knee Cap & Hand in Qualifying Crash at the Snowshoe DH World Cup 2022

Jul 30, 2022 at 1:38
by Ed Spratt  
Matt Walker battling through the fresh cut woods.

Matt Walker is out of this week's racing in Snowshoe following a crash during qualifying.

Matt has shared on social media that he has broken his left knee cap and hand after crashing during his qualifying run. The injuries will mean he misses this weekend's racing and the next round at Mont-Sainte-Anne. Matt says that his next steps is to head back to the UK to get the injuries checked and see how long he will be out for.

bigquotesA crash in Qualifying today has left me with a broken left knee cap and left hand. Next step is to travel home to get them checked out again in the UK.

Thankyou to everyone who helped me off the hill.

Obviously I’m absolutely devestated, I have undoubtedly some rough weeks ahead. My mind is already on coming back, in the next few days I will know more.
Matt Walker

We wish Matt all the best with his recovery and hope he is back racing soon.


  • 203 3
 Crazy that he's going back to the UK to get treated, he should get himself to the knee-wrist hospital immediately.
  • 35 55
flag Theysayivebeentheone (Jul 30, 2022 at 3:24) (Below Threshold)
 I agree but health care in the US is just stupid expensive. He’s looking at 100k-200k
  • 39 3
 I agree, but in the UK there is no cap on medical costs. In the US, he will be paying hand over fist
  • 10 37
flag scott-townes (Jul 30, 2022 at 3:58) (Below Threshold)
 Not at all. LJ Strenio obliterated his knee cap in Europe and flew back to Utah to have it operated on. Its a decision that literally saved his knee. Matt Walker, have fun with those heparin injections on the plane ride home! *shudders*
  • 3 1
 Duuuuuuuude ...Big Grin
  • 3 25
flag LaXcarp (Jul 30, 2022 at 5:21) (Below Threshold)
 @Theysayivebeentheone: Complete BS plus im sure he has excellent insurance provided by his sponsors.
  • 4 48
flag danielfloyd (Jul 30, 2022 at 5:28) (Below Threshold)
 @bendy12345: you'd only have to pay hand over fist if you don't have good insurance. and if you work full time, the company is required to provide insurance benefits for you.
  • 40 2
 @danielfloyd: that’s not true. There is no requirement that employers have to provide health insurance. There is a penalty for larger companies if they do not provide it but it’s not required. For smaller companies (under 50 full time employees) there are no requirements or penalties.
  • 4 1
 @bendy12345: You mean Hand over Knee !
  • 6 1
 Well the town he lives in does have one of the top bone hospitals in the country, and I’d guess in his line of work they’re used to seeing him socouldbe he wants go go with what he knows.
  • 1 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: these riders will have insurance
  • 4 0
 @drjonnywonderboy: welcome to the nation where insurance can drop you
  • 1 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: when I raced motorcycles in us I was required to carry insurance. So I could go straight to hospital and get care.

Why wouldn't these guys be the same.
  • 5 2
 Must not have read the article from earlier in the week: 6 of the Best DH-Worthy Knee Pads Ridden & Rated

Nahhh, I don’t need pads.
  • 2 0
In the uk he doesn’t need health insurance. Even if he did have insurance it would still be cheaper ANYWHERE else
  • 1 1
 @Mcphisto1978: Yea, but he was in the US, so theoretically he could have gotten treated here and insurance would have been needed. US healthcare isnt as bad as the the rest of the world thinks.
  • 8 0
 @LaXcarp: LOL you think insurance covers everything? And yes, the US healthcare system is as bad as everyone else thinks. People dying because they cannot afford life-saving medication and treatment in the wealthiest country on the planet is about as bad as you can get.
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: No I dont, but that the notion that an insured person is going to be looking at $100-200k of medical debt for 2 broken bones is beyond even the admittingly poor US healthcare system.
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: You're living on another planet if you think surgery is not required for a busted kneecap and who knows about his hand. But yeah you're right. In a country that charges $70k for a routine appendectomy, there's no way his treatment would have been expensive. LOL
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: You know this is the internet right, where you can verify BS that people spout? Average cost for an appendectomy in the US is $13k. Quit being a fear mongering drama queen.
  • 1 0
 @danielfloyd: you need to do some research on this one.
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: how much for a complicated birth ?
  • 1 0
 @Matt115lamb: my wife had 2 of them and they were $3k a piece.
  • 1 1
 @LaXcarp: complicated births
  • 1 1
 @Matt115lamb:damn right they were, you don’t know our story so don’t even try to internet judge you prick
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: who’s judging , just asked a q !
  • 2 1
 @LaXcarp: You know medical costs vary greatly even in different towns and counties. But I guess having an appendectomy isn't real life experience. Quit defending an obviously broken system.
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: ohhhh you mean Obama care? Yea another lie.
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: we had a complicated birth with my boy. It cost us nothing with our public health system.
  • 1 0
 @Mcphisto1978: Im not saying our system is the gold standard, I'm just trying to demonstrate that in most scenarios its not nearly as bad as the rest of the world thinks. The costs are grossly exaggerated when discussing US healthcare
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: bitch it’s September both of you get over it damn
  • 1 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: jeez dude it just a discussion how bout you peace out.
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp: woke me up now lol
  • 85 3
 For the full West Virginia experience, all Matt needs is an oxycodone or two washed down with a swig of moonshine.
  • 24 1
 Funny, and sad.
  • 27 1
 Even with a long injury list. Something aboot a broken knee cap that just sounds super painful!!
  • 10 1
 this track straight up mobster
  • 1 2
 First thing I did when I got a Mtb 25+ yrs ago was try a rock walk (yes, I have a bmx background ;-)) it didn’t go well and I drove my unprotected knee into the asphalt…it still gives me jip
  • 4 2
 or just some good 'ol fentanyl
  • 1 0
 Been there done that. Would not recommend. Way worse than a broken arm
  • 4 1
 I broke my kneecap almost 2 years ago. Now, while not all breaks are the same, a typical fracture is not painful at all, unless you are trying to put weight on the broken bone. I've broken a finger, a thumb, my wrist in several places, my ankle, and my kneecap. All are less painful than road rash. However, if he needs surgery to perform an open fixation on his kneecap, his post surgery recovery will be very painful. The things the surgeon has to do to wire a kneecap back together involve some serious reefing of the area, which causes pain later. Plus, the recovery involves complete immobilization of the knee for about two months. Then, the recovery of muscle loss, really the quadriceps, will be lots of work. Getting back to pre crash strength may take 6 months to a year, maybe longer. Of course, if he doesn't need surgery, be could be back in a month.
  • 1 0
 broke my kneecap three days ago on a pumptrack, had to walk home and only realised something was wrong when I was unable to move my leg and my knee swelled up to twice its size. Really feel for matt right now, heeling vibes!!
  • 16 2
 Maybe this wouldn’t have saved him but how is there not a high minimum standard for the protective equipment DH and even XC World Cup racers need to wear to compete? If you don’t make everyone wear it then wearing the appropriate bulky pads are an impediment to speed. But it is just stupid not to.
I don’t love rules for rules sake but in racing safety rules put riders in a position to not have to decide between a performance advantage and proper safety equipment.
  • 7 0
 So what pads was he wearing?
  • 2 2
 Thats probably cause most kneepads slide down once grip the soil... Not the case with long kneeshinpads like old times...
  • 4 0
 I think this is up to the national federation where the race is being held. I seem to recall people having to find extra pads at some European stops?
  • 9 15
flag d-man (Jul 30, 2022 at 6:48) (Below Threshold)
 Better add roll cages, seat belts and make sure the course has no rocks only 3%grade and pad every tree.
Then you can feel good that the riders are protected....
  • 5 0
 @d-man: but helmets, those things are okay, right?
  • 4 17
flag jrocksdh (Jul 30, 2022 at 8:27) (Below Threshold)
 It's called freedom..self reliance.
Kinda of like what type of health coverage you carry/or how much u save for retirement.
  • 2 0
 Huh? I’m sure he had knees on lol
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: I think Italy requires spine protection. The fact that everyplace does not is kind of ridiculous
  • 1 0
 @d-man: stupid comment. Most car races and motorcycle races require safety equipment. The reason is that if you don’t require it for everyone it creates a disadvantage, or at least a perceived disadvantage to those who wear it.

DH is a very dangerous sport even with the pads, why not assure a reasonable level of protection for these athletes?

By your logic why have a course? Just let people all find their ways down. Also why wait for the official to tell you when to go? Why require a helmet?
  • 4 0
 @jrocksdh: what does freedom and self reliance have to do with a completely controlled, third party business event/contest. Do you sign up for a strictly controlled race course, where you get disqualified if you go off course at all, and people control the exact times when you get to ride to experience Freedom and self reliance?

I didn’t suggest we regulate peoples riding choices when they go out on their own and ride. This is a race, where almost all aspects of the riding are normalized. How is requiring a spine protector or a certain level of knee pad any different then requiring a Full face helmet?
  • 1 0
 @NERyder: my logic has nothing to do with the course, not is based on there are enough rules in the sport. Yes its a dangerous sport and the athletes realize the danger.

If racers felt they need more protection they would wear it.
  • 1 0
 @PauRexs: Thats why you should always buy kneepads that have an outer plastic shell, like iXS Carve Race, O'Neal Sinner Aramid, Leatt 3DF Hybrid, etc.
  • 1 0
 NERDrider, am I right?
  • 1 0
 @NERyder: why no require that in xc too then?
Bc lack of knee pads wont result in near death trauma as head/spine injuries would. Does motocross require specific knee pads/braces?
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: I agree that their need to be a limit. The speed and severity of crashes in DH I feel warrants requiring extra protection. Regarding motocross I am no expert. Does Motocross have large trees and rocks throughout the course? knee pads are effective at reducing impact injuries with hard stationary objects like on a DH course.
  • 1 0
 @NERyder: ya when I say motocross I mean to all encompass super/moto/woods/hard enduro etc
I dont think any do. Street ski etc
Ya u just gta have some 'faith' that athletes can make an informed (pro)choice.
  • 16 0
 Speedy recovery to him
  • 6 0
 Having broken one of mine into a zillion pieces, I can say that it is excruciatingly painful. Having to deal with a wrist at the same time is awful. I hope he can heal fully and quickly.
  • 4 0
 True, difucult to use crutches with a bad wrist.
  • 1 1
 @inside-plus: Oh yes.I had to use a gutter crutch on the left to begin with as I had sprained my wrist, changing to a normal crutch was much better.
  • 10 0
 Heal fast Matt!
  • 9 0
 D30 v hard plastic ..????
  • 4 1
 I bought a new knee pad with this new D30 stuff in and the foam feels so thin in comparison to the old one. I don't quite believe it offers the same level of protection.
  • 5 1
 Sponsored by Fox but i’ve also seen him wearing IXS and Bliss Protection knee pads, hard to say what he had on. It’s possible to break your knee cap inside of a hard knee pad too, just far less likely. You’d almost need a layer of D30 inside of a hard shell for a super hard impact to rock like I assume happened here.
  • 2 0
 I recall some research that D30 style padding hardens too much upon impact and actually transfers most of the force to whatever is being impacted.
  • 1 5
flag PauRexs (Jul 30, 2022 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 Thats probably cause most kneepads slide down once grip the soil... Not the case with long kneeshinpads like old times...
  • 2 0
 @LaXcarp: only review I ever found with impact testing. There are big performance differences.
  • 6 0
 This is shit news, Matt has been riding well this year! The injury list this year is crazy sadly too many riders getting injured with having to push the boundaries just to be in the top 10 far less for the win.
  • 3 0
 Not sure why the comments about cost get downvoted! It's true! I crashed and fractured my patella in 4 places and injured the patellar tendon, surgery took one week to get scheduled (no immediate danger, just had to keep leg in a brace). Got surgery in Massachusetts, USA. Without insurance, it would have been $95k. And that's without any PT!
  • 2 0
 Having destroyed my kneecap in Squamish a few years back I know how grim this can be. Two lots of surgery and six months before I could ride a bike again. I was grateful for Squamish mountain rescue and all the mountain biking doctors and nurses at the hospital making me feel better by telling me their own tales of breaking themselves on bikes in foreign lands. Also the surgeons back in the UK (insurance stiffed me, read the fine print folks!) for piecing together the mess and the physios for getting it all working again. Fix up Matt.
  • 6 0
 Speedy recovery!
  • 4 0
 That track looks brutal. He was clearly pushing the limits. Fast recovery and make sure you get the best treatment Matt.
  • 2 1
 The Fox Launch knee/shin guard w/x-up strap is literally the most comfortable, stable protective knee pad ever created. I bought the last three pairs I could find.

Fox discontinued it...please email Fox to keep it goin!
Silicone straps suck and circular round closure strap systems don’t keep the pad in place..pulse soft shell pads suck
  • 4 0
 I just wish him a quick and full recovery, seems about the only thing appropriate to say when something like this happens.
  • 4 0
 Oh no, ffs. Get well soon
  • 2 0
 That's rough, season done. Healing vibes
  • 1 0
 He is the second person I know of breaking a knee cap at Snowshoe. Sheesh…
  • 1 1
 Correct me If Im wrong but doesn't pivot cycles provide emergency insurance for their riders in case of an injury like this.?
  • 1 0
 Damn, thats some bad damage. Season more than likely is over for him.
  • 1 1
 Yea and probably next season trying to get up to speed again
  • 2 0
 Damn. Heal up buddy
  • 1 0
 Gutted. Hope he heals up quick & gets back to racing.
  • 1 2
 That’s my fantasy league chances screwed then.
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