santa monica, ca
the mountains, the ocean
BagTowel by urban barrels (shameless plug…boom) minnow skateboard by bureo. i use it everyday to get around. mazda 5 – when i have to drive, i choose a minivan. remington fly rod.
we tracked down mat for a coffee at the tom’s flagship store in venice, ca to chat on what it’s like to live a life to surf. an hour well spent proved us right on why the co-founder of california based upcycled apparel and accessory brand, urban barrels is someone we’re keeping our eyes on.
lattes with mat and brother / business partner jp, only further inspired us to push the boundaries of the norm to keep living a life of merging adventuring and the daily grind.
peruse on through our Q & A and find out how surfing shaped a life of passion that continues to inspire his professional visions. as if we weren’t before, we’re pumped to get out, catch some waves and discover what else inspires us.
what peaked your interest in surfing?
our dad used to take us over the hill to santa cruz to surf when we were young kids. he loved longboarding steamer lane while we gradually made our way up the point chasing bigger surf. we were always involved in watersports and surfing was a great extension of that.
i ventured south for college and found an even greater connection to the ocean in malibu. my brother graduated from high school two years later and joined me at pepperdine after seeing the community that existed there surrounded by such an amazing landscape of ocean and mountains.
when did you know this was it?
that moment! it happened at a surf spot in malibu. i don’t know what it was about this one wave but it hooked me for life.
what’s kept you in the water?
the ocean has and continues to have such an important impact on my life. i rely on it for my physical and mental health everyday. i swim in it, surf it, dive in it and enjoy it as often as i can. i’m inspired by the people the people that introduced me to enjoying our oceans in so many ways. even further, i’m inspired to do the same for others.
i’m inspired to keep pushing my relationship with the ocean because, simply, it makes me feel good.
what’s a typical day in the life of mat look like?
i wake up, have a coffee, and meet with my brother about the future of our business. there’s never a day that i get up and think that he’s not 100% committed to realizing the dream that we’ve built for our company. there are so many great things about creating a profession that blurs the lines with your passions. now i can’t imagine doing anything else. it’s damn daunting at time though.
everything seems to happen in these massive highs and lows. nothing feels middle of the road. i guess that’s what makes life exciting though. i’m truly blessed by the people that i’m surrounded by because they inspire me and push to me to keep going. my brother and business partner, our mentors, our friends, our family and my girlfriend. without these people, i would undoubtedly be a thousand or more steps backward in so many ways than i feel i am today.
what is the toughest part of balancing catching waves and owning a business?
knowing when to stay home and get shit done. it’s hard when you see the report blowing up in mexico or you hear the fishing on the kern is firing. staying home and taking care of business comes first. we work so hard, late nights and most weekends, so we can take the right time to adventure outside.
who’s someone that really inspires you?
i first found out about peter and his work when i was researching non-profits to get involved in in los angeles. he started an NPO called xprize. it is founded on the idea that we are in a remarkable time in human history as our minds and the technology around us are evolving at unprecedented speeds. xprize utilizes private donation dollars to incentivize the world’s greatest thought leaders to develop solutions to our global communities most pressing problems. the organization is tackling problems related to a global literacy crisis, oil spill clean-up efficiency, waste management and landfill issues and so much more.
peter wrote a book called abundance that i recommend everyone take a look at. it has and continues to inspire me in my daily life as both a community member and a business owner.
i’ve found that teaching someone about your craft is one of the best ways to slow it down and look into the mechanics of what you’re doing. i’d recommend learning from others as much as possible and also sharing and teaching those same skills with others interested.
when you’re not catching or pushing barrels, what’s taking up your time?
seinfeld. many hours of seinfeld. my love for coffee has reached weird limits as well.
we’re stoked to have caught some barrels with you, see you out there soon. until next time…
Stranded on Land