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Welcome to the Team: Matty Hong

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Matty Hong is strong. And we’re not just saying that because it rhymes. In 2016, he climbed his first 5.15a, ticking Chris Sharma’s Papichulo in Oliana, Spain. But that was just the beginning. He followed that up with two more 5.15a’s, both in Spain, and solidified himself as one of the country’s top sport climbers. That’s not all Matty’s good at, however. Sure, he’s also bouldered V15, but when he’s not climbing, Matty can wield a camera as deftly as he executes intricate crux sequences. His photos and films are poignant portraits into his world of climbing—a world we’re now proud to be a part of. Welcome to the team, Matty!
Video: Joe Kinder

Not many kids grew up playing in the dirt beneath the country’s famed limestone walls of Rifle, Colorado. But then again, not many kids’ dads have the climbing legacy of Matty Hong’s, whose father, Steve (yes, that Steve Hong) helped pioneer hard climbing in the States—from 5.13 splitters in the Creek’s infancy, to 5.14 sport climbs on the steeps of Rifle.

In other words, Matty grew up with climbing in his DNA.

For years, Honngy, as he’s affectionately called by friends, climbed with his dad during summers in Rifle. By the age of 17, however, he’d started to become his own man, and even began surpassing his dad. The elder Steve was stoked, seeing his protégé and son develop into one of the country’s strongest climbers.

Images: Joe Kinder

Now, at age 26, Matty has taken those skills honed with his father to the world stage of sport climbing. In 2016 he climbed three 5.15a’s in Spain, sending Papichulo, La Rambla and Joe Mama. He’s bouldered V15 and even followed in his father’s footsteps with first ascents, adding two 5.14d’s to his old haunt of Rifle.

Adding to his impressive résumé of hard climbing, Matty is also an inspired filmmaker and photographer, having studied the arts at CU Boulder. His photos have now been seen by the world over—with iconic frames, such as the one of Margo Hayes after her send of La Rambla, becoming forever etched in climbing history.

We’re beyond proud to have Matty join the BD family, and can’t wait to follow along as he climbs and documents his way into the future.

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