Alison Matasi, a.k.a. Nugget; if you skated Hastings Bowl in the early 2000s you would have seen her airing over garbage cans with her lil’ buddies. Her part in Villa Villa Cola’s Getting Nowhere Faster from 2004 was memorable and left us wanting more. From a lil’ grom shredding anything and everything, Alison’s style is one of a kind. When you see her on a board she straight up kills it. Alison continues to inspire us on and off her board, so let’s check in with her. — Rose Archie
Where did you learn to skate?
There were always skateboards around my house from my older brother, Lee. We grew up on top of this massive hill, and I’d just take his board and walk all the way to the top of the alley when I was like four years old, sit on his board, and rip down to the very bottom. I never had any soles on my shoes from all that hard braking. Eventually, after a few years, I started standing and would skate around the neighbourhood and to school. When I got a little older, Burnaby park was built and I’d just push mongo all the way there and skate around. I guess I taught myself. My brother held my hands to teach me to drop in. Then Hastings got built and me, Nicky Reu, Glenn Rebic, Sam Wilson, and little Ryan basically lived there off Slurpees. We were baby Hastings rats.
You had a full part in the Villa Villa Cola video. Tell us a bit about filming and travelling for your part.
That was a cool time and something different that’s actually rad to be a part of. It was a first for all of us and a good funny time. I’d go down to LA a bunch, we’d do little tours and stuff. It was definitely always an exciting adventure with that crew.
Tell us about your experiences at Slam City Jam.
It was a massive skate contest at the Coliseum—at the bottom of the hill where I lived—and all the pros from the states would come. Slam wasn’t like your typical bullshit everyday contest like X Games or Street League or whatever they have nowadays. It was a crazy, sick, fun, rowdy time. It was a gnarly and rad thing to see at such a young age.
I remember the first year I went. I don’t know why but my brother tried to bomb down our entire street, which is literally impossible to do. At the bottom there’s a hard left turn and it turns into a boulevard with cement barriers along the side. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and he bailed so hard, slid like 40 feet, flew up and wall rode through the long barrier corner with his body. It was insane. He literally was covered in head-to-toe road rash. He’s like, “Fuck it, still have to go to Slam, obviously.” It wasn’t our style to pay to go in, so Lee had this genius idea to go to first aid and pretend he was a skater that hurt himself on the course. The asshole ditches me and it totally worked.
So I’m like 10 years old, stuck outside in the back parking lot by the pro entrance area trying desperately to figure out a way inside. Then one of my brother’s friends, this rad chick, spotted me and said “hi.” She was with this gnarly big dude that seemed like he’d fucking kill you. But I wasn’t intimidated at all though, I actually thought he was amusing, so I started chatting him up with my 10-year-old skate banter bullshit. This dude’s smiling and laughing. He takes his bracelet off, puts it on my wrist, and goes into the van and gives me a brand-new black Real deck. I only ever had old hand-me-downs with no nose and tail up to this point. I was so stoked! I went on my way with my first brand-new deck and an all-access bracelet. I later found out that dude was Mickey Reyes.
You left Vancouver to go to go to college. What did you study?
I moved to Ottawa for a bit to go to school. I went for interior design and architecture. I got my degree in interior design and about half a masters in architecture
What are you up to now?
Now I’m doing a ton of fun stuff and some of my own personal projects on the side to keep me content on the creative side of things. I work for a company that does all types of re-builds of commercial spaces in all the towers and buildings in the downtown core. On the side, I’m building a ton of my own stuff anywhere from small-scaled carpentry projects right to design and building furniture and millwork. I love wood work.