Archangel – Matt Archbold

[IMAGE 1]Archangel: Matt Archbold
By Chris Cote

When Archy walks into a room it fills with his aura. That might sound lame, but I swear when he walked into our office you could just tell he was a living, breathing, ripping legend. He’s got this aura that glows with coolness. Everyone from the youngest kid to the old-school purist hails Arch as one of the most innovative, aggressive, and talented surfers ever. His longevity alone stands out in a world where surf stars fade faster than boy bands. One thing remains true after all his years of fast living and real-life adventures¿Archy f¿king rules.¿C.C.

So you’ve got a new sponsor. Tell us about your relationship with Von Dutch clothing¿what’s been going on with that lately?

I was into Von Dutch before they even got the clothing going because of the old original hot-rod guys. Mike Cassel and Bobby Vaughn got the rights to Von Dutch and started making the clothing¿they brought back all of his Von Dutch’s designs and put them on T-shirts. They were making cool stuff. Von Dutch always gave me clothes, even when I was riding for another company. I was always wearing their stuff, probably when I shouldn’t have been. I always wanted to surf for them. Then things didn’t work out with this other sponsor I had, so I called them up to get clothes and I guess they were going to call me. They were ready to do it finally. They grew a bit and had money to spend on a team, so I hooked up with them. They’re really cool, and I’m stoked with them. It’s just more my scene, the hot-rod-greaser vibe. That’s what I’m into, old cars and cruising.

Where are you living now?

I’m living in Costa Mesa, California right now.

It seems you have a lot of drive these days¿people have been seeing you everywhere, and you’ve been getting a lot of photos. Has anything changed to get you focused?

I don’t know. I just love surfing so much. I think that’s the biggest thing behind the drive, just loving surfing. I’m trying to take care of myself lately¿eating right, and staying in shape¿except for smoking, I won’t be giving that up for a while. Now I have people behind me who want to send me on a lot of surf trips. The people I was with before really didn’t send me on too many trips. It was like pulling teeth trying to get a travel fund put together. Now if I want to go on a trip, they’ll send me on a trip. [IMAGE 2]

I was living in Hawai’i, and I moved back a year and a half ago. Over there is cool in the winter, but in the summer and the rest of the year¿you kinda get forgotten about. You end up just partying and shit. Since I’ve been back, I’ve just been surfing every day, either in Newport Beach or Huntington Beach¿anywhere I can get a ride to.

Are you still working on cars?

Yeah, I have a car right now I’m building. It’s a ’49 Ford. I’m doing the whole thing from the ground up. It’s pretty cool. I’m still working on getting my license back laughs, so I can’t even drive yet. But that’ll happen soon.

With Von Dutch, do you have a lot of input about designs?

Yeah, I’m pretty much designing the surf line with the people who work there. They’re putting it on me to tell them what we should and shouldn’t do. We’re going to stick to mellow stuff, mainly jeans and T-shirts¿a lot of denim stuff. But the surf line will have pretty much everything, but not so neon and Day-Glo like a lot of people I see putting out¿I won’t name any names, though. We’re going to make it cool¿kinda old 50s style, real clean stuff.

How do you think you’ve changed in the last four or five years surfing-wise?

I was getting burnt out on it for a while. I’m more into it now, I want to learn new stuff. I’m surfing a lot these days. I still think I’m a kid, and I think that’s important¿to keep a young mind. Once you think you’re getting old, then you’re old. You start getting hurt.

Who’ve you been surfing with lately?

I mainly surff with some friends from Newport and Costa Mesa. But I like to surf with Nathan and Christian Fletcher because they’re so different. You never know what they’re going to do. I like surfing with Andy Irons, too. The only time I really surf with other pros is on surf trips, or if I see them out in the water. Usually those guys follow the photographers, so if I’m in the same place, I’ll surf with them. I don’t try to follow them around too much.

How about contests¿anything coming up?

Yeah. I just entered the Trestles contest, and there’re a couple other little ones I’m probably going to do. That is, if I show up laughs. I usually have a hard time getting there. Sometimes the waves are better somewhere else, and I’ll go there instead.

Do you miss the San Clemente days?

Sometimes I think about it, like when I was a kid growing up there. That was cool because we had so many good surfers growing up together, we’d push each other so much. But now I don’t even go down to San Clemente that much¿there’re a lot of people I don’t know there, it got big. So I really don’t miss it that much.[IMAGE 3]

A lot of people are concentrating on airs now, and you were one of the first surfers to do that. What do you think when you see kids trying airs on every wave?

I think they should learn the basics first, like how to surf on rail, do carves, and hit the lip with style. I think they’re too worried about trying to do airs. They end up not even doing real airs, just chop-hops. I think it’s really important for kids to first learn the basics; rail surfing, power, and speed. The rest will come.

How do you get so much speed?

Laughs The shaper.

What’s your outlook now? What do the next couple of years hold for you?

I don’t know, hopefully a big push. I don’t see myself fading away¿if anything, getting stronger. I’m mainly trying to travel a lot this year, do a few contests, and help Von Dutch out.

There are kids who might not have been born when you were starting out but still look up to you and name you as a favorite surfer. There aren’t too many surfers like that. How does that make you feel?

It makes me feel good¿I’m stoked. Sometimes I take it for granted, that I’ve been doing it for so long. Then sometimes I’ll just stop and think about it, and I feel grateful to still be doing it. I’m stoked.

Well, we’re stoked you’re back.

Thanks, man.