How did Matt hunter do it?

Hi Lee,
I don’t know if you saw this photo yet:

Can you explain how this is even possible? It might make for a good lesson on cornering for all of us who can’t come close to this. The only thing I can think of is he must be going like Mach 10.


UPDATED with Matt Hunter’s side of the story!


What a great question, and one I’ve been getting a lot.

First the famous photo. It’s by Sterling Lorence and appears on

And the video:

I’ve asked Matt about this. Waiting on a response.

In the meantime, here are some thoughts:


From a pure cornering standpoint, that is a crazy lean angle. I’m measuring an overall lean angle (contact patch to center of mass) between 80 and 85 degrees.

According to my handy-dandy cornering calculator, a 80-degree lean angle correlates to a 6G turn. A 85-degree lean angle correlates to a 10G turn.

Matt is not pulling 6-10 Gs!

• Look at his Fox 34 fork. It is in the middle of its travel, which indicates his fork is being crushed by perhaps twice his body weight — not 6-10 times his body weight.

• Matt is a very special human, but he’s a human. I can’t see him supporting 6-10X times his body weight — especially with such poise.

• The biggest corning force I’ve measured is about 3Gs. That relates to a ~70-degree lean angle. We see that on well built pump tracks and in big, steep, fast berms.

OK, so Matt is not cornering at 80-85 degrees.

So what’s going on?

I think this is more of a wall ride. It looks like:

• Matt is riding super fast and with absolute impunity. He is skilled, strong and riding a great bike.

• As he reaches the top of the rise and the crux of the turn, he leans way to the inside. If this was a normal turn, he’d fall to the right.

• However, this turn has a downhill exit. He lets his body fall out of the turn, then he brings everything together later (we presume).

It’s not unusual to see this kind of angle on a wall ride.

That’s my opinion. I hope Matt gets back to me on this.

Ride with impunity!


Matt Hunter says:

Matt got back to me via Facebook, and we had a nice chat while his 7-month-old boy chattered in the background.

This looks to me like a wall right, right?

Yes. It absolutely is a cornering wall ride.

I was going pretty fast, entering the turn, then I saw it has this beautiful wall on the back. It’s cut directly into the hill. There’s no worry is the berm strong enough … the berm is the Earth.

You enter the turn, you see that wall and you just lean it over. When you turn the bike down, that moment happens. You fully commit to the fall, then, when the bike goes light, you pull it under you and ride it out.

Bar drag!

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised my bar was dragging. The first few times, I was like holy shit my bar is dragging. I’ve always wanted to do that. Fact is, if you ride that corner with good speed, that’s what happens naturally.

This is a real turn on a real trail!

The corner is on an XC trail at Kamloops Bike Ranch. “This is a real turn on a real trail, which makes it pretty legit.” Matt gives huge credit to bad ass trail builder Brad Stuart.

Check out the hashtag #nobradnoride.

Matt, thanks for much for your time and stoke!


Know more. Have more fun!

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6 replies
  1. Rusty says:

    You can tell it’s an uphill wallride of sorts because he comes from the bottom behind the turn and then exits towards the bottom on the otherwise. You can see him unweight his bike as he sets up for the turn and then compresses on exit.

  2. agleck7 says:

    This is so sick. I’ve heard more than a few people say they are disappointed that it’s *just* a wall ride with a hump there to drag a bar. I still think it’s amazing and insane timing and commitment.

  3. Toby says:

    talking of lean angles, my mate and I have been discussing Marquez’s (MotoGP) unique corning style.

    He’s getting so low he’s dragging his elbow and almost shoulder on the tarmac!

    Being a reader of your Mastering MTB Skills book, my theory was that he’s getting low so he can keep the bike a little more upright (i.e. “lean your body more than your bike”).

    This article suggests the same:

    I thought you’d find it interesting.
    What do you reckon?

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    That is interesting.

    When I was involved with street motos, I was told that the moto can only lean so much, due to clearance issues. To create a greater overall lean angle (to work with very high cornering Gs), we had to lean our bodies farther to the inside.


  5. Scott says:

    Nice assessment. I’ll add that, depending on the shape of the uphill, he could start “falling” before he even reaches the top. Acceleration isn’t velocity, so it’s possible to be moving upward but accelerating downward (this is what happens every time you go off the lip of a jump). The ultimate example of this is the “Vomit Comet” — the plane that lets you explore “zero g” by traveling in a parabolic arc. You start feeling weightless as soon as it starts the parabola, even though it’s still moving up. So if this hump is vaguely parabolic in shape, the friction of his tire doesn’t have to keep him up all by itself since he’s “falling” the whole time, hence not needing the 6-10g your calculator spit out.

    (excuse the egregious use of “parenthesis”)


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