Matt Berger may not hail from a skateboarding hotspot but that hasn’t hindered his dreams in the sport. After seven years of competing as an amateur around the world and re-investing every dollar he earned back into skateboarding, Berger won one of the biggest amateur events, the Phoenix Am, in 2014. That gave him the opportunity to compete in the Street League Skateboarding (SLS) Pro Open in Los Angeles, where he was the only amateur in a field of more than 20 recognized skateboarders. He finished eighth, the highest-ranked non-SLS pro, earning him a spot on the SLS Tour and changing the entire trajectory of his career. He was the first amateur to ever qualify for the full SLS Tour.
In his first year, he made the finals of every SLS contest and was the first rookie to ever qualify into the SLS Championship where he placed fifth. He finished the season at number seven in the overall rankings. Berger turned pro in 2015 and posted two top-10 finishes on the SLS Tour. He also made his X Games debut, finishing in the top-10 in the street competition in Austin.
Unfortunately, Berger had to undergo knee surgery at the end of 2015, forcing him to miss the entire 2016 season. When he returned in 2017, he finished second at the Copenhagen Open and posted his best result at an SLS Tour stop, placing fifth at the Pro Open. He also competed at the X Games in Minneapolis. But his season would get cut short as he needed a second knee surgery, this time a cartilage and bone cadaver implant surgery that required 10 months of rehab.
Berger returned in late 2018 to skate at the SLS World Championships in Rio. In 2019, he was back on the SLS Tour at the London Open. After grinding through qualifiers just to reach the main draw, he finished sixth overall. In his Dew Tour debut, he finished fourth in the Pro Street Final. He also competed in two X Games events, finishing third in the best trick competition in Minneapolis and fifth in the street competition in Norway.
In 2021, Berger placed ninth at the Dew Tour in Des Moines and then finished sixth at the world championships in Rome. He made his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
A Little More About Matt
Getting into the Sport: Started skateboarding at age 5 and competing in local events at age 8… The house he grew up in had a large cement patio to which his father added ramps and rails when he realized his son loved skateboarding; his dreams of being a pro skateboarder began on his small personal park… The creativity of skateboarding was more enjoyable than the drills done at practice in other sports… Hopes that Olympic inclusion will positively impact skateboarding so that local community councils/organizations support it more… Outside Interests: Enjoys playing basketball, cycling, spending time with friends… Travelled to Ethiopia in 2014 with ‘Let it Flow’ to fix a water well for 2500 people and build a small skatepark… Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: “Rest at the end”…
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Notable International Results
Olypic Games: 2020 - 20th (street)
SLS/World Skate World Championships: 2021 – 6th; 2019 - 13th; 2018 - 23rd; 2014 - 5th
X Games: 2019 Norway - 5th (Street), Minneapolis - 3rd (Street Best Trick), 18th (Street); 2017 Minneapolis - 17th (Street); 2015 Austin - 9th (Street)