Saturday, June 22, 2024
From The MagMatchu Lopes - Strapless Wave Riding 

Matchu Lopes – Strapless Wave Riding 

Kitesurfing Magazine: What is style anyway? 

Match Lopes: You have a style or you don’t have a style. It’s like dancing. How you move your body, your arms and legs; and what you transmit in those movements. The power, aggressivity, confidence, smile, good vibes; that all comes together.  

KM: And how would you describe your personal style? 

ML: The people who are watching me or know me better say that I have a pretty cool style. But if I’m watching videos of myself I think that it’s okay but nothing incredible. I always try to do better, more perfect, smoother, make nice curves, with a variety of moves in the waves. I think my style is okay (laughs). 

KM: How do you see the connection to surfing? 

ML: Surfing is the base. All the movements with the whole body, with the hands and with the board should come as much as possible from surfing. And also the position and stance on the board come also from surfing. We try to ride the waves as similar as possible to surfing. So it’s not only surfing, but 80 per cent surfing and 20 per cent kitesurfing because we hold a bar with a kite in our hands. But with the kite we don’t have to paddle out, we just pull the bar and ride. With the kite we can ride more wave per session.   

KM: What is your goal when you ride a wave? 

ML: My goal when I ride a wave is to get the most out of it, to enjoy it to the maximum and do what the wave allows me to do. But I go with the wave not against the wave. I want to get barrels, I love barrels. I’d like to do very beautiful, perfect, critical top turns, and 360s on the wave. And sometimes I’d like to ride the wave as similar as possible to surfing and let the bar go. And may I briefly add my favourite conditions? Sideshore wind, 2-to-3 metres of waves, barrelling and clean Indonesian water. 

KM: Many guys say you have a unique style, but what is it that makes it so distinctive? 

ML: I put so much love into it. I do it because I love it. I’d like to make it so aggressive. I’d like to be expressive. When I make the most of a wave then it’s the best feeling ever. I put as much love into it as possible.  

KM: What are the roots of your style? 

ML: Be smooth, very techniqual, be precise. I wanna have fun with no bad energy on the water. 

KM: Does the island of Sal have an influence on your style? 

ML: I believe yes, because I’m on the water with our local scene every day. The guys all have a different style on the water. And I watch the little differences here or there and we all push each other.

KM: How many videos have you watched? 

ML: I watch so many movies you wouldn;t believe it! Every day when I come home from the water I watch surf movies. I watch all the competitions of the World Surf Tour. Yes and sometimes I watch kitesurf videos. But to watch surf movies is like watching football on TV; it’s like football for me. Like when Bayern Munich is playing Real Madrid.

KM: And you are a fan of Bayern Munich?

ML: Yes and I like Robert Lewandowski!

KM: What inspires you? And who inspires you?Are they also surfers like Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater or John John Florence? 

ML: Rob Machado and Italo Ferreira! Rob Machado is my dream surfer and I have to meet him one day before I die. I am crazy for this guy, he has a beautiful style! That’s the reason I like to kite waves: because of him and his style. Rob Machado!

KM: Do surfing videos inspire you more than kitesurf movies?

ML: The kitesurf videos push me a lot. It’s Keahi, Airton, Mitu but there not so many videos. My favourite kitesurfers in the waves are Keahi and Mitu.

KM: Is your style as individual as a fingerprint? 

ML: No one on the world has the style from Keahi, Airton, Mitu, me and so on. I don’t know how incredible my style is, but, yes so it’s individual like a fingerprint. That’s a good comparison! 

KM: Many strapless riders try to copy you. Did you try to copy someone?

ML: No, I don’t like to copy much and when I copy someone’s movements I’d like to do it differently.

KM: Okay what’s your favourite set up? For Ponta Preta, side offshore wind with 20km?

My 8 metre Neo SLS and my Session 5’8” Duotone board. 

KM: And your favourite set up for side onshore conditions on Sylt?

ML: The Fish SLS 5’1” from Duotone with the Neo SLS kites. 

KM: How dependent are you on certain conditions? Are there any conditions that suit you better? Or do you have different styles for changing conditions? 

ML: My favourite conditions are wind from the left, sideshore, 20-25km, with 8 metre Neo SLS, with the Fish 5’1” or the Session 5’8” if the waves have more power.

KM: I suspected that you would prefer Ponta Preta (with wind from the right)?

ML: No I prefer Mauritius, Indonesia and other spots. 

KM: Because you are goofy!

ML: Yes I’m goofy. It’s different!

KM: What is still possible for you in wave riding in the future?

ML: We’ll see the direction go to pure surfing, even closer to pure surfing. The kitesurf wave boards wil be as good as a normal surfboard. We’ll see more radical surfing, more style from surfing and more professional surfers kitesurfing in the waves. And beside the pure wave riding? More aerial tricks!

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