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Mat Crepel Compares Surfing And Snowboarding


What’s it called when you grab a board and slide down a collection of water that has been brought to you by the forces of nature?

Surfing? Or snowboarding? The correct answer is both.

While the connection between the two is obvious, our friends at Surfline wanted to see just how deep it runs. So, they talked to two pro snowboarders who surf and two pro surfers who snowboard. One of the pro snowboarders was our boy Mat Crepel. We think you’ll really dig what he had to say. Check it out below, and treat yourself to the full piece here.

On the feeling

“Technically, it’s not the same thing at all. You don’t know why a barrel feels amazing, it’s just like time is suspended when you’re in there. It’s the same when you do a huge turn in the pow. You see all the snow floating around you, then you go through the white room — not long, maybe seconds, kind of like a barrel. I don’t think I’ve gotten a barrel longer than three or four seconds. But you come out screaming and try not to claim because it’s not cool, but sometimes you can’t help it, and it’s the same with powder. You do a sick turn and you just scream. You can really explain it, but it’s the best thing.”

On inspiration

“The father and the mother, the Adam and Eve, of all action sports is surfing. It all comes from surfing, and we adapt ourselves to skateboarding and snowboarding. The way I see snowboarding and the way I snowboard is directly inspired by surfing, more than other friends that don’t surf as much. If I see a lip I’m gonna try to slash it – do a little layback or a hand-drag — to get that feeling.”

On airs

“With airs in the halfpipe, you want to land as high as possible in the coping to keep your speed for the next air on the other side. I feel like a halfpipe is pretty close to a wave, but at first I was trying to do airs surfing the same way I do airs in the pipe, and I’d always land on the back of the wave. I didn’t really understand why, so then I watched some surf videos, and figured out guys were actually pointing their nose towards the beach instead of towards the wave, like you would in a halfpipe. That is one of the main differences. Once you get this, once you’re in the air and trying to grab, it’s pretty similar.”

On big waves and backcountry

“Big waves and big mountains are where snowboarding and surfing are the closest in spirit – the way you have to commit to things. You have to train, but it has to come with experience, as well. You can’t really train for the big mountain. It takes time to get to know the snow and the terrain, how the wind affects the snow, for security reasons. And I think big-wave surfing is kind of the same. You can train as much as you want in the swimming pool, but you have to spend time in the ocean, too. You can’t just train all the time then step on a 15-foot wave right away, you have to surf six, eight, ten-foot…”

Read the full story here.
Posted in Surf Snow