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Matthew Gibson

Matthew Gibson

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Matt Gibson

Also known as Matty G and Xpat Matt

Photo Matt Gibson

Born and raised in a small town in British Columbia's Rocky Mountains, Matt began skiing at the age of three and started racing a few years later. Snowboards were still called snurfers back then and Matt hadn't yet heard of them.

Matt's first snowboard was a Kemper Mini Rampage. The year was 1989, his board had a whale tail, his pants were neon orange, his jacket was lime green, and he said words like "rad" and "gnarly" with a straight face. It was a glorious time for Matt in terms of both fashion and snow sports.

Although Matt's first love was snowboarding, he's since expanded his board sport repertoire to include surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing and kitesurfing.

When he's not on a board, Matt spends his time writing for travel and outdoors publications like Kootenay Mountain Culture and AFAR and managing his award-winning adventure travel blog from his home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Experience:

Matt grew up on the snow spending pretty much every weekend on the ski hill for 15 of the first 18 winters of his life. Growing up in the Rocky Mountains near resorts like Fernie, Lake Louise, and Sunshine Village, Matt never needed to travel far to find great snowboarding. He has, however, explored mountains in Washington, Idaho, Utah, and California. He's embarrassed to admit that he hasn't yet snowboarded in Colorado.

In 1998, Matt became a certified CASI Level 1 Snowboard Instructor, but decided to pursue outdoors writing, rather than teaching, as a way to combine snowboarding with his career.

Education:

Matt always wanted to be a writer. In high school he enrolled in the Honours English program and creative writing. He received an 'A' on his first short story, which confirmed that he was the literary genius he had always suspected, so when he was asked to write an essay about junk on his Honors English final exam, Matt instead wrote a short story about a junkie who kicked his habit when his stash got lost in a pile of junk and went on to open a junkyard where he was killed by a piece of falling junk.

That summer Matt applied to the University of Victoria's creative writing program. He was accepted on the condition that he attend a class on how to write a proper essay.

In Poetry 101, Matt burned a poem as he was reading it in front of the class. The 'incident' (as it was referred to in the teacher's lounge) highlighted for Matt the program faculty's inability to recognize art, so he quit the Creative Writing program and enrolled in the only other writing program at the school, a professional writing minor. Matt chose to compliment his writing minor with a major in Sociology because his Sociology 101 professor had been really cool and most certainly would have understood the significance of The Fire Poem.

Shortly after graduating in 2002, Matt found employment in one of the few jobs available to unpublished writers that didn't involve a hair net or apron: teaching English in Taiwan. While in Taiwan, Matt founded a magazine called Xpat, which grew to become one of the largest and most popular magazines for expatriates in the country.

In 2008, Matt sold the magazine and left Taiwan to pursue big waves, fluffy glades, and a career as an adventure travel writer. He now spends his winters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the rest of the year traveling to any place where he can find a good story to write.

By Matthew Gibson:

In case I haven't made this clear yet: I. Love. Snowboarding.

Snowboarding is partly social and partly meditative. You get to enjoy time with your friends on the chairlift and in the lodge, but when you're floating down a powder bowl in long soft arcs it doesn't matter how many people you came with or are on the slope around you -- you're alone.

Snowboarding can be fun, silly, crazy, contemplative, or extreme depending on the person doing it. It's a sport that intuitively customizes itself to the rider, thus, it's truly a sport for everyone.

Snowboarding is hard at first, but becomes rewarding around the time that the novice learns to link turns fluidly. With proper guidance, this should take no more than a few days on the hill. From there, the enjoyment only increases as the rider expands their skill set and moves into new types of terrain.

I write this guide to help novices move past that initial hump so that they can start to enjoy this enriching sport as quickly as possible, and to help experienced riders take their abilities -- and enjoyment of snowboarding -- to the next level. I do this by constantly writing fresh and easy-to-follow tutorials, offering useful tips, and providing honest reviews of resorts and the latest gear so that you can find everything you need to know all in one place.

To get the most out of this guide, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so that you don't miss out on any updates.

If you see me on the hill, come and say "hi". I'll be the guy in the neon orange pants and lime green jacket.

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