How to describe Mateo… strong silent type, polite and eager to get out and enjoy life. This was the first year I spent filming with Mateo. I constantly find myself seeing so much of Kazu [Kokubo] in him. They both have an eye for transition that no one else can see. He can lay down a flow powder turn on any slope and effortlessly charge down the mountain so fast with absolute control. It was these early moments with him that I thought to myself, I am witnessing something special. Mateo also is one of the chillest dudes in the world. So sometimes all you get is a shit-eating grin and you know he is having a good time. Canadian backcountry snowboarding has a bright future with young guys like Mateo around to rip it up - by Dustin Craven 

Age: 21 

Location: Revelstoke, BC.

Sponsors:  Nitro Snowboards, Autumn Headwear, Unlimited Skate and Snow

[o] Dan Stewart

Growing up in Canmore, you must have started out riding a lot of powder?

Yeah, definitely. I grew up riding Lake Louise and was never really introduced to the park scene for my first couple of years. The coaches and people I rode with were just very focused on riding the mountain, reading terrain, and learning board control. 

And then you started going into the city to ride Canada Olympic Park (COP) and do more competitions?

Yeah. When I was around 14, I decided I wanted to get into the slopestyle and big air competition scene. I started to ride more park at COP and then at Lake Louise as well, but COP was just the spot to be. They had a really good facility to go and ride. That's where it started.

When you started to compete, did you feel like it was a good fit for your snowboarding?

At the time, yes. Competing was all I wanted to do. I was super stoked on it. I loved the competitiveness. I loved having to do my best run under pressure when it counted. But the thing is, I was always more drawn toward the mountains. I'd find myself riding park and some days just wanting to go explore, but I'd have to ride these jumps... because that's what I had to do.

So was it hard to walk away from competing?

At first, it was a little difficult because I'd done it for so long and was very passionate about it. I’d made so many new relationships and friends along the way, and got to see a lot of the world in a very interesting manner. It was definitely hard to fully commit and walk away from competitions and change the direction I wanted to take my riding. Now that I have, I wouldn't switch a thing, because I learned so much from competing, which I've carried over into my backcountry riding. Very happy with how everything worked out.

Frontside 720 [o] Dan Stewart

This last winter you tried to move to Whistler. What happened with that?

Well, I was paying for a spot in Whistler for a couple months in the fall. Then I was doing some lodge work around Revelstoke, BC. We got a few early season dumps that were just unreal. I'd never ridden around Revelstoke with such good snow. So, it snowed for two months. I was staying at a friend's place and then pulled the pin, it was the spot to be. Very central, all the dudes around here are the realest. My guy Dustin Craven lives here, along with a lot of other great individuals I look up to. 

Nice. You recently got on Nitro snowboards. Was it hard to switch from Burton?

I mean, a little bit. Nitro helped me out when I was very young just getting discounts through a local shop in Calgary, but Burton was the first real sponsor that really supported me, which allowed me to pursue competing. It was definitely a little scary. I was unsure, but yeah I'm very happy that I chose to ride for Nitro. They feel like family and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities they’ve given me. They are the best, it's sweet. Much love to Ryan Willisko.

The guys around Revelstoke call you the future. Why is that?

I don't know, man. I don't know why. You got to ask them, but, I mean, I just love to board and try to keep it as core as I can. Just try to be real with myself and real to everyone around and who I ride with. And I don't know. I can't necessarily answer that question. I'm just being me.

Yeah. And do you know what a butt snorkeler is?

Butt snorkeler, yeah. A guy I work with thought it was a band name, so I corrected him saying it was an Instagram account. If you want to go look at it… check it out: Butt snorkeler.

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