Living By The Board: Matthew Martyn Talks UMD Skateboarding Club

On a crisp Wednesday afternoon, senior Matthew Martyn suggests we sit in the Baltimore Room of Adele H. Stamp Student Union to avoid the cold weather and obtain better audio. The accounting and finance double major recently posted in a University of Maryland Facebook group, advertising to around 10,000 people that the UMD Skateboarding Club is available to join: “no experience necessary.” 

Though he’s not the organization’s original founder, who has since graduated, Martyn plays a heavy role in promotion, from starting its Instagram page to using his Youtube channel to show off  the clips of tricks and locations used by the group. 

Martyn says he’s used around five or six cameras since he started uploading to Youtube in 2009, but has since started using more advanced digital single-lens reflex cameras: “It’s a whole different ball game but it’s a lot more fun because I can really make the trick—when I’m filming I can get it to look exactly how I want it to look because I have more access to lenses and that type of stuff,” Martyn said. 

Although he got his first skateboard at about 10 years old, it wasn’t until a few years later that he “just fell in love with it.”

For novices wanting to learn, Martyn says, “The biggest thing for me was just skate as much as you can. Don’t worry about anything else. Don’t worry about what your friend can do. If you can’t do that trick, don’t worry about it. Just be you. Just keep skating as much as you can and that was really how it worked for me.”

Still, he also says the group has lessons every few weeks for people wanting to learn how to skateboard, and he has experience teaching people regardless of the level they’re at. 

“We’re very informal but...I definitely skate with people from the club at least three days a week,” says Martyn on the meetup process of the group, which he says consists of 20 to 30 regulars.

The club’s future, as Martyn sees it, will use its increased membership to lend to more professional videography. They’re planning on releasing a video that’s “85 percent just [shot] on campus, just us doing tricks at spots all around campus” with the hopes that it’ll be released in Stamp’s theater. 

Despite the challenge it is to learn how to skate, UMD Skateboarding Club welcomes individuals at any level to come participate in their campus-wide shredding by contacting Martyn or the group through social media

For Martyn, the difficulty of skateboarding isn’t discouraging because tricks may get “harder and harder but you can never beat it. That’s what I like about it.”

Check out one of the club's many skateboarding videos here!