'Meet the locals', a series about people of Perthshire
Matt, you are not a Perthshire local, what makes you live in Perthshire?
It's got it all really, rivers, mountains, lochs and great pubs!. I love the water, I mean, LOVE, the water and Perthshire is full of it. So that means whatever the weather brings I can play on it; surfing on river waves, kayaking on steep burns after the rain, Windsurfing, Kitesurfing and Windsurfing a loch in the wind or touring the magnificent scenery on my Paddleboard. All this underneath inspiring mountains and forests. Then, when the evenings come, you can't beat a pint in a beer garden or by a roaring pub fire!
What's your favourite activity in Perthshire?
I am a passionate Stand Up Paddleboarder, it has taken me all over the World surfing incredible spots. Yet, some of my favourite spots happen to be standing waves on the River Tay at Stanley. I might be many miles from the coast but I can (and do) spend many hours surfing these waves. It's always challenging, always exhilarating and by far my favourite thing to do in Perthshire.
You live in Birnam, what is it about Dunkeld and Birnam you love?
After spending most of my life travelling the World, it still feels like the only place I am truly happy to call home. Its the most welcoming place, full of people (both folks born and bred and incomers like me) who are full of passion and creativity. There are amazing craftspeople, artists, musicians, foodies, brewers and more who all help each other to make a small vibrant community with plenty going on.
It's got incredible watersports, climbing, hiking and biking which attracts visitors from all over the World, helping create a unique buzz to the twin Villages.
As we hit the Winter, what will be find you doing?
It's play time for me to be honest!. The peak season winds down for me teaching Paddleboarding with Paddle Surf Scotland. I then get to spend the Winter River Surfing the best and most consistent water levels. I have such a choice of Kayaking rivers to explore too. Then, when it snows, it is time to strap the Snowboard on and get to ride the many hills and mountains of Perthshire. Glenshee Ski Centre is right on our doorstep here in Perthshire, but just as rewarding is hiking a hill and then earning your turns.
Matt is one of the founders of Perthshire Adventure and owner of Paddle Surf Scotland