The 2020 Pow-Wow competition made it’s much anticipated return to Kona Skatepark this year and despite some heavy adversity in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic, the show still went on and we are highlighting some of the colorful characters that made the Pow-Wow‘s return extra special.

This time around we spoke with distinguished Southern gentleman, Mr. Matty Schrock! Matty has been a staple of the Pow-Wow since it’s inception and has seen it grow from a small regional contest into one of the biggest and most anticipated blading events worldwide.

Here is what Matty had to say about his experience at the Pow-Wow.

PHOTO: KEVIN DOWLING, @kevindowling

Hey Matty, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Considering all of the multiple events that Pow-Wow holds, what do you look most forward to during the Pow-Wow weekend?

I look forward to the best trick contest, and I believe most people do as well.  The best trick contest is held on a different course than the other events.  Also every year it’s setup differently so new big tricks keep coming out.  People throw down!

The Pow-Wow and Kona staff added many incredible new features to the park for the event. What was your favorite obstacle to skate or most enjoyable to watch?

The building crew hands down did a incredible job with building up a street course that was not there days before.  They murdered it.  My favorite thing to watch was the Dead box and down rail.  People were grinding up and down, fucking it up, and some even transferred.

PHOTO: DREW HUMPHREY, @dhumphreyphotography

The state of Florida is well known for producing infamous stories. What is the wildest thing you experienced while visiting Jacksonville?

I know Florida is known for its crazy stories.  I would have to say wildest thing I witnessed how the community came together during a time of unsureness and fear.

Wow, great answer! Since you have a first person account of being at the event during the initial days of the Corona virus escalating, how did that affect the overall atmosphere of the event in comparison to previous PowWows or events that you have been to?

For sure with the Corona virus escalating the week of the Pow-Wow it changed the atmosphere at the event.  From all the Pow-Wow’s I’ve attended I’ve never been to one where people were so down to make it happen.  It was for sure one of the toughest ones in history and I believe it was one for the books.  One of my favorites to date!

PHOTO: DREW HUMPHREY, @dhumphreyphotography

From each of the events (amateur, female and pro) who were your favorite skaters to watch during this Pow-Wow event?

That is a really hard one to say. I would say out of all the people that attended, Montre (Livingston), (Brian) Shima, Sascha (Simms), (Garrett) Slobey, (Joe) Atkinson, Joey (Chase) , Fish (Billy O’Neill) , (Jon) Bolino, Chynna (Weierstall). There are too many to name them all.

Our good friend Fritz Peitzner was seriously injured at the Pow-Wow event. In your opinion do you think making the athletes wear a helmet to compete should be a requirement going forward or leave the decision in the hands of the athletes?

Yeah, it was not easy watching Fritz hit his head.  From having fractured my skull with blood clots years ago.  Its rough watching others do the same and I wish him the fastest healthiest recovery.  From having head trauma personally I still don’t wear a helmet.  Most people would call that dumb or stupid.  I believe the choice of wearing protective gear is up to the athlete.  Also I’m a street skater.  If the contest requires the athletes to wear a helmet.  They should have to wear the helmet to compete.


What is the most difficult part of judging a competition like the Pow-Wow?

Besides making sure you get to see everybody tricks they are doing.  I would have to say judging people doing the same tricks or similar tricks on the same obstacles.  Judging them down to style, how far they grinded, did they gap the trick, roll away smooth.  

I am sure there were so many noteworthy moments from the event but what was your favorite moment from this year’s Pow-Wow?

Seeing Brian Shima shred the bowl.

What makes the Pow-Wow different than other blading events that you have been to?  

I’ve been to so many blading events, and by far Pow-Wow is the raddest.  It’s a contest where you are camping at a skatepark. Not only a skatepark, but one of the oldest in the U.S. Pow-Wow has more events at it than any other.  Did I say camping at a skatepark with all the blading family? Also you can shred all night if you wanted to, and people do!

PHOTO: DREW HUMPHREY, @dhumphreyphotography

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