For many surf fans, Matthew McGillivray burst onto the scene late last year when he secured a spot on the Championship Tour with an incredible finish to the QS season in Hawaii. He placed inside the top ten at all the Vans Triple Crown events, and secured a commendable third-place finish at the Hawaiian Pro.
McGillivray brought a smooth rail game honed at Jeffereys Bay to the raw power of the North Shore of Oahu, and looked very comfortable in some of the most challenging waves on the competitive circuit.
The performances in Hawaii signaled McGillivray -- who is currently surfing and training on the Gold Coast -- was ready for the main stage, and it was clear this was a name fans were going to be seeing a whole lot more of. While the Covid-19 pandemic has put the Tour on hold, he's primed to make a big impact once surfers can compete again.
In the meantime though, he might have more time to pursue another passion: Sky diving and BASE jumping. While many surfers have interesting hobbies outside of wave-riding, it's fair to say there are few other professionals with a pastime quite as adrenaline inducing.
"I grew up being fascinated with flying as a kid. When I was pretty young, I saw a base jumping video on youtube and knew it was something I wanted to do," McGillivray told the WSL.
"When I was 16 I started doing my skydiving license with my older brothers. I realized skydiving was a lot scarier than I thought and that it was one of the best feelings in the world.
"In 2018, after building up enough experience skydiving, my brother, Jonathan and I did a trip over to Twin Falls, Idaho, to do a Base Jumping course at the only legal base jumping bridge in the USA."
After learning the fundamentals from experienced professionals and completing over 40 base jumps, McGillivray's dad bought him and his brother their own parachutes so that they could jump at home, in South Africa.
"I've done around 80 base jumps now and my brother many more. It's a very intense and beautiful activity and I hope to pursue it more in the future when my surfing career takes the back foot."