Matt Rockhold – East Side On The Rise

An interrogation by Ken “Skin – Dog” Collins

Growing up in Santa Cruz, California as an up – and – coming pro surfer is very hard, especially with the sick pro crew that dominates the spotlight already. It’s easy to get lost in all the shadows. You have to do something really hot to turn heads, and that’s exactly what Matt Rockhold has been doing. It’s easy to overlook a grom’s progress, but when you’re a solid six – foot two and sticking tweaked out frontside rail grabs, then nobody can stop ya! Matt has broken into the ranks of the Santa Cruz pro scene and gained some international exposure.

He’s really quiet, doesn’t say much¿you know the type, you don’t even notice him until he punts one in your face. That’s one of the reasons why Matt’s underground; nobody knows who he is. Heck, I’ve known Rocky for over a decade and I still don’t know what he’s got boiling up in that skull of his. Let’s go drop in on his world and see what’s going down.

(Hosse) pull quote

“I’m no thug. I just like to get waves.”

What’s up, holmes? Looks like the East Side is starting to represent. You and your crew are getting your chance to shine. How good does it feel to see the rewards after putting in the work?

Yes, it’s true that the East Side is on a major come – up, but the truth is that I’m a mid – towner, and it does feel great when the hard work pays off.

Who are your favorite pros, and why?

Archy for his speed and airs. Rat because he does the best airs in the world, and Adam Repogle for his hard carves.


Kid Rock, Snoop Dog, and The Klick.

I’ve seen you doing well in those air – show contests. Do you like that format better than the typical surf contest, or do you just enjoy spracking big airs?

I think the air show format is more exciting¿going out and busting sick airs, rather than three to the beach.

What’s your master plan for the Year 2000? More contests or any crip boat trips? Are you going to see how high you can fly, bust a Y2K flip or something?

Doing air shows and other contests as well, plus all the photo trips I can get my ass on.

What else do you like to do besides surfing?

Mad Ping – Pong tournaments, golf, hanging with friends, and the home life with my girl Monica and dog Fiona.

I always see you hanging out over at O’Neill Surf Shop, kicking it with the crew. What’s going on over there, you working there or just chilling with Loco the manager?

Oh yeah, I do a lot of chilling over at the shop. I run the surf team and help the groms get it together.

Some of the kids say you’re a thug in the water and get any wave you want at Pleasure Point. Do the mass crowds of longboarders harsh your mellow, or do you just fade ’em?

I’m no thug. I just like to get waves. As for the logs¿fade ’em!

Do you beat the East Side groms much? They seem to be getting really cocky lately.

I beat them every chance I get. They’re getting pretty cocky, but they’re backing it up with their surfing. The groms are going off in this town!

What do you love about being from Santa Cruz?

I love being able to surf some of the best waves in the world, and being around some of the best surfers in the world.

Well Rocky, I’m really stoked to see you making a name for yourself. Is there anybody you want to thank or give a shout out to?

Oh, hell yeah! I want to thank the O’Neill Surf Shop crew, O’Neill Incorporated, Planet Earth, Freestyle, Destination Surf, and all of my bros who’ve always had my back. Special thanks to my girl for putting up with me. Peace.