Mátyás Ricsi interview05.04.2021 - Exclusive
Photography: Bence B
How long have you been skating with the Rios Crew?
I have known most of the homies for 10 years plus. Most of us were already skating together and building the Rios DIY and making videos way before we started to call ourselves Rios Crew.
What has the crew been up to? I checked and the last edit Toló 2 was released March 2020.
Corona and life kicked the doors in, but we already working on the next video. Things just got slowed down a bit I guess.
I hear you live two hours outside Budapest. Tell us about where you live.
I was born and still live and work in a small town Keszthely about 200km away from the capital by the biggest lake in Hungary called Balaton. Lots of birds singing, forests and hills. I wouldn’t trade bird singing in the morning for smoggy Budapest but I wouldn’t trade any Budapest spots either!
How often do you go to the city to skate?
In the last 4-5 years I went to film mostly on weekends so on week days each night before falling asleep I had time to fantasise and try to imagine what trick where and how I should do it!
Do you skate in your home town too?
There were quite long periods when I would only skate on weekends in Budapest filming for new videos but lately yes, I’ve been visiting spots I grew up on and have nostalgia sessions.
Bence’s videos give Budapest a raw feel. It seems like a lot of people don’t like skating there.
There are still a lot of the old heads from the socialist system. They think we are vandals, hooligans and a threat to society, but sure it’s slowly changing thanks to the more open-minded younger generations.
How is the skate scene in Budapest today?
Overall I’d say the scene is thriving and there are more skaters than ever, a bunch of small tightly-knitted crews, including lots of girls too, which wasn‘t always a common thing in Hungary. So kids are all right because they picked skateboarding over anything else.
Bence mentioned that you write poetry, Tell us about that.
I wrote my first poems when I was 15 years old, they were love poems for my first girlfriend. I don’t want to get into my relationship with the educational system, but I never read the mandatory books in literature class. Instead I read a lot of poems and those were the basics of why I expressed my feelings the way I did. Later on as I aged I stopped reading poetry in the hope of understanding and expressing myself more clearly – I didn’t want any more influence on me.
Are there any links between skating and poetry and how you think about and approach them?
Not on every level but there are links for sure. I noticed I write more poems if I’m down compared to when I’m happy, and I also skate more when I’m down. For example if I’m mad at myself I find it easier to try some risky shit. If there was no skateboarding I wouldn’t have definition of self, so I dont think I could write poems at all without skating in the first place.
Congratulations on your new Rios part. I did not recognise any spot, although that’s not unusual for a Rios video. I get the impression you thought carefully about spots for this project. Can you talk about the process?
I’ve been going to Budapest to skate since I was 13 and I also went to high school there, so any time there has been a full length video project, I’ve had a lot of spots in mind already. We also share spots in the crew a lot of the time, which is a very nice thing. I guess I just stuck on the trick and spot selection train when it comes to filming. For this part I figured with Bence that if possible, we should find more narrow, bank and ball spots. I really love to film with Bence because he has a good vision and helps a lot when I’m stupid and struggling with a trick or spot.
Bence said you are the only one in the crew with a spot list.
I wouldnt say that’s completely true. Others have their spots in mind, I just need to write them down because I’m stupid and I would forget otherwise.
There is a theme of narrow spots, often high up. Is Joe Valdez an influence?
Yes, he is a big inspiration and a living legend. When I saw his skating I was blown away by how simple yet less travelled his spot choices are and how raw his body language is. He is truly a diamond in the rough.
I hear you used to skate big gaps and stairs. To me the stuff you’re skating now is just as dangerous, if not more.
I was jumping down shit mindlessly until I was about 20 I think. After that phase as I got older I started to consider risks and I chose to work on my long flat gap and fifty skills. I just tried to fifty every possible spot I could – that was around 2013. As I grew even older my trick selection started to shrink even more so I chose to concentrate on my favourite basic tricks. Because I’m a one trick pony without tricks, I try to select spots the best way I possibly can.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are there any Rios projects soming up?
All I know is I want to film as much as possible this summer, maybe have a book of my poems published some time in the future and just keep having good relationships with my family and friends that surround me.There is a new Rios video in progress so yes, there will be an upcoming project.
Watch Mátyás’ new Rios part here.