Matt Berger talks Real Street
Canada's best skate export in recent years, Matt Berger, has been pro for Flip Skateboards for less than two months and yet he somehow has the most traditional contest experience of anyone in this year's Real Street outside of Mike Vallely. With a series of amateur wins dating back to Maloof Money Cup and the 2014 PHX Am mixed with a few appearances in Street League while still am, Berger is equally as comfortable out on the contest course as he is in the streets. Luckily for X Games, he was able to break off a solid minute of footage while also filming his welcome to Flip and Etnies video parts. We checked in with Berger to talk about China, Flip and the filming process.
XGames.com: Aside from Mike V, you are the guy in Real Street with the most contest experience. How odd is that since you've only been pro less than a year?
Berger: When you put it that way, it can definitely sound a little surprising but that's just skateboarding. There's a lot of dudes out there that are out in the streets filming and skating contests and there's a lot that strictly skate street. That is what's rad about skateboarding -- it's so diverse and we all skate so differently.
What made you want be involved in Real Street? And to you, how does it differ to other contests you've been in?
I've watched Real Street over the years and I've always been hyped to see all the parts drop on the same day. As soon as Mike [Sinclair] asked me about it, I knew I was down -- it's something I've wanted to be a part of for a few years now. The contest is rad because it gives the dudes who are strictly in the streets filming a chance at potentially winning some serious cash. Everyone puts out some great street footage for the skate world to watch and someone wins some financial peace of mind. It's rad.
What was your approach to filming this Real Street part?
I honestly treated filming for my Real Street part how I would treat any other filming day. Just go out and skate and have fun filming with the homies. If we go to a spot that I'm feeling, then I try to get something. Of course, there was struggles involved for sure, but that's what skateboarding is about -- continually overcoming the mental battles and enjoying the hell out of it. It's a process I've loved since the first day out filming in the streets.
How long did it take you to film this Real Street part?
I was working on a Flip part and an Etnies introduction clip when I first was offered to be apart of it around a year ago. I essentially just kept filming for all of the parts and when It came down to editing time, I spent a few days and chopped up the footage. A lot of trips went into filming it too, so I'm stoked to have footage from multiple countries around the world. There's clips in my part from China, Poland, U.S. and Canada to be exact.
Any stories from the filming of this?
The quick clip that you see of me peering out behind a Chinese security guard in my part was an experience I will never forget. We were skating these marble ledges in Guangzhou and I saw in the distance a few security guards coming towards us. I assumed we were about to get the kick out from the spot but the security guards actually came over to just watch us skate. The security was so chill they even went to the extent of making sure people weren't in our way while we were filming. They kicked it for a couple hours watching, eventually leading to them asking if they could be a part of the film. Bottom line is: Good luck finding security guards that will let you skate and direct pedestrian traffic for you anywhere else in this world. China rules.
Speaking of China, footage from there is pretty polarizing. People either love it or hate it. What's your take on footage from China?
I mean everyone has their own opinions. Skating in China is unbelievable. It really is that good. My first overseas skate trip was to China and I couldn't fathom how incredible the street spots were. I come from a small town in Canada and the concept of a marble ledge spot in the streets is non-existent. To come from that to experience countless perfect marble plazas was a dream. If you like the eat, sleep, skate schedule, then China is the place to be.
Have you watched the other real street parts? Who have you liked? who were your favorites?
Yeah, I watched all of the parts as soon as they came out. I back them all. I was really hyped to see some new Mo footage though. Mike always comes in proper and his part was solid. Good stuff, Mo.
Who do you think is going to win?
I've got my bets on Mo. That fake big flip nose slide got my vote.
If you could see a new minute-long part from anyone past/present/future who would it be?
Marc Johnson has been one of my favorites since day one. We all know the entire skate world would be psyched to see another minute of MJ footage!
What's coming up next for you, Matt?
Right now, I'm in the streets as much as possible working on the Etnies video. Between being in the streets and skating contests, it's been a steady schedule but I wouldn't have it any other way. The next big trip coming up is Copenhagen and that leads into a Euro filming trip with Etnies. Let the good times roll.
To vote for Matt Berger's Real Street video part, check out the X Games Real Street voting bracket.