Matt Rodriguez has been laying down sick, unique tricks on his board for decades. So while chatting to him about a selection of his moves in his Seasonal Blends part, we also discovered that he’s starting a new shoe brand called Beautiful Planet.

Intrigued to find out the backstory behind both and hear the steps he’s taken to put down those tricks and put his foot down on his new brand, we had to find out more about them.

Read Matt’s Reel Cool Interview below to get his rundown on a series of his standout tricks from his Seasonal Blends part, his thoughts on how to push yourself to land new moves, his influences and inspirations from Tim Jackson and Daewon Song, his favourite memories of Keith Hufnagel – who he dedicated his part to and discover his future plans for Beautiful Planet footwear with Matt Field, Matt Pailes and more.





So in the first line in your Seasonal Blends part it looked like you were making a homage to the Backside 180-land-on-your-nose to Switch FS 180 out you did back in the day but with a Nollie instead?

Yeah, that was a sequel to the Tin Can Folklore one! I was like there’s got to be another version of that. Oh wait, I think I got it! I’d been working on it a little bit. Then finally, I said to my buddy we’ve got to get it, I’ve got this spot, I can do a little something and end it with that to kind of highlight it. We got it and futurised it. I was stoked.





How do you do that trick?

You’ve just got to imagine it. Don’t think about it. Just see yourself doing it. Nollie Back 180 to Manual stall and land just less than a second and then woosh, 1-2, make it happen.



That’s dope. The one that you did was really stylish. What about the run off board Shuvit Powerslide to Slappy 5-0?

That’s an old Tim Jackson trick where he’d throw his board out but I was like you could do that and then ba-bam throw it right into a Slappy. So it’s two old school tricks put into one.





Interesting to hear where that one came from. It’s old school but looks new. That trick has gotten lost somewhere.

Oh yeah, it’s all about incorporating old school stuff like that kind of combo. Like a flip in flip out but even more bare bones than that. Fucking, throw away your board and then catch it again and then bam, throw it into an other old school move, kind of like keeping that old approach alive.



Yeah for sure.

Whether a trick is easy or not, the point is, is it fun? I respect technicality, you know but it comes to the point where it has to flow. Some kids got it like that, you’re like holy fuck or like Daewon, he’s just fucking whipping his board all around in all kinds of places but he makes it look flowing, he doesn’t look like he’s struggling. So the thing is it doesn’t matter how hard, simple, technical or how old something is, it’s what you can do with it.





It’s like a guitar lick. It’s like a chord that’s been played over and over but there’s a different way you can play that chord and mix it up with some other stuff and play it in a whole unique rhythm that makes it yours. That puts your touch on it, you know what I mean?



For someone who just started skating, every trick is new, but even skaters who have been skating for years were caught off guard on that one!

Yeah, like what the fuck!? There’s super old videos that still stoke me out, like what…you can do that right there, I should do that right now. But do it on an obstacle, or add it to a combo. That’s what’s cool about skating, it’s endless. There’s no limit to imagination. It’s however you can see something that hasn’t been done or that strikes you as different. You never know, so try it.



What about your Backside No Comply Flip off the wall into the bank? How did you come up with it?

That was one I’d been working on for a while, then I was like alright today’s the day, we’ve got to get it! I’ve got to finish this part up. Hell yeah, I was stoked on that. A lot of that footage was filmed 3-4 years before it even came out. I was just sitting on it. I was like what am I going to do with this? I was like well I’ve got to put it out and get some more clips too.

I also wanted to dedicate it to the homies. Especially to Keith Hufnagel. Fuck, that was a brutal one man. Fucking brain cancer. Got to skate for the homies who aren’t here anymore. Fucking rulers.





How did you get to know Keith Hufnagel?

I got to travel a few tours with Keith back in the early Stereo days. Man that dude, he was the fucking coolest dude man. I remember, I’d be stressing over a trick, like ah man, this sucks, like fuck!

In his deep ass New York voice, with his mop top hairdo he’d be like, hey rude dog, and I’d be like what!? Then He’d be like, you got it! Haha

That voice of his. He and Mike Daher. They would both call me Rude Dog. Rudie. Rude Dog Rodriguez! Keith would sound like Rocky Balboa with his deep old New York voice. So I had to finish it up and dedicate it to the homies. That year. We lost a few people over those few short years that I was filming for this.

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends, so therefore your friends are your chosen family.



Matt and Bennett Harada: Shot by Nakai Shouten



For sure. So back to your part, the Frontside No Comply Wallride Kickflip Out, what’s the secret to nailing that one?

I was throwing a tantrum and it accidentally flipped and I was like, oh shit! I could do this on purpose…But then I was like fuck I can’t get nothing. But then I shoved my board up against the wall and it did a Kickflip and I was like, wait a minute, I could jump back on this.

I did it before where it didn’t flip and it just popped off the wall and I caught it in mid-air and jumped on it back on my board. It’s in the opening part of the section. That was a fun one, it felt good, that was therapeutic.

Then I started from there and that’s when it started trying the flip, so I was like I’m going to take that.

I’ve got to try to get it on lock. It’s a fun one to pull out of your pocket and throw it down wherever. Those are the things, it’s not gnarly you know but it’s fun, it’s creative. If I had that on lock, I’d be doing it everywhere I could going down the street.



Sick. So you said you were working on a new shoe brand?

Yeah, it’s a big project I’m working on with my buddy Hiroshi Nishibayashi from Japan. We’ve got Bigfoot involved with some art. I’m going to have all the Matt’s back on this. So Matt Pailes, Matt Field and myself. I know that Kenny Reed wants to be a part of it too.





What’s the ethos behind the Beautiful Planet brand?

We’re basically going to do IPath, without it being IPath. It’s all about doing what you can do to preserve this Beautiful Planet and keeping it that way.





We’re going to release a Cat version, just like it was in the original style, just like that, as soon as possible. After that, we’ll do a Grasshopper version for Field and then after that do something for Pailes and just keep it going and see where it goes.



Ok, that sounds cool. Will the branding and style be just like IPath too?

It’s going to be earthy vibes, we’re going to use alternative materials. Hemp, canvas.

We never left that path but the owners that went on to own that original iPath name are holding it hostage and are trying to sell it for some ridiculous price. So we’re like alright. We’re just going to go around that and do an evolved version of it.





Rad. Anyone who followed IPath knows, it was you three who truly made it what it is, so it sounds sick, look forward to seeing Beautiful Planet come to life

Beautiful Planet. BP. Stay on the good path and keep it that way. The world is a small place but when it comes to skateboarding it is even smaller. It’s a big community worldwide, but skateboarding is a world within a world. We’re just going to have fun with it, push the good vibes and just do our thing.