Who is Matt Chappell and where did he grow up?
I moved to Truckee from Guerneville in 1997 to go my own way—balancing the dream of snowboarding with college studies. It was in this moment that I truly grew up and found my line. Since then, I’ve worked with creative teams, sharpening my focus at Olab, a Truckee based design studio. On the most normal day, you will likely find me tucked into a banked turn on mythical singletrack just a few miles from Olab’s downtown studio located within Gray’s Cabin, a historic mountain toll station established in 1858. I am a passionate father, adventure athlete, community cultivator, and designer.
What is the Truckee Dirt union?
The Truckee Dirt Union is a community-based 501c3 non-profit focused on creating positive outcomes for mountain biking and the environment that holds it. Founded from the heart-and-soul of mountain biking, TDU members are passionate riders, trail builders, and outdoor people seeking to create positive outcomes for mountain biking through collaboration and good times. I co-founded the Truckee Dirt Union in 2020 and currently lead the organization's efforts as president of the board.
Favorite place to BASK?
My favorite place to bask is on the shores of Lake Tahoe with my family. Lake Tahoe is very soul cleansing.
What is OLAB and that rad log cabin your office is in?
Olab is a strategic creative studio. Heightening awareness through informed design, connection, and responsibility. I co-founded Olab in 2009 after working at various design agencies in California and Australia for about ten years. At the time, living in Truckee and wearing a creative hat was rare. Remote working didn’t really exist yet, and we wanted to push our multidisciplinary creative spirits without having to leave the mountains. We aspire to do meaningful work collaboratively, and to cultivate a strong group of local creative professionals in Truckee. It seems so simple now yet at the time of launch most people would say “good luck”. But we persevered and we built a rad client roster both near and far, launching self-initiated projects like the Truckee Dirt Union and others, and we took ownership of Truckee’s oldest building—Gray’s Cabin. After remodeling the town’s historic staple by hand, Gray’s Cabin, est. 1858, has become a clubhouse for local creatives, businesses, and nonprofits right here in Truckee. We collaborate with like-minds, host events, cultivate knowledge leadership, and strategize about how to create a measurable positive impact in our community all from Truckee’s oldest historic building.
We see you on the prone board, what exactly is that all about it?
I grew up near the ocean and spent time living in Australia. I identify with water culture but when I committed to life in the mountains I had to adapt to my environment. A few friends got into prone paddle boarding to make paddling out to the surf lineup less of an ordeal, and what started as a simple cross-training trick for surfing, ended up becoming a much greater part of my life. Gliding across the water at speed, catching small wind swell bumps while trimming a line, and traveling across distances on clear waters, all human-powered and simple, has had a life changing impact on me.
“Easyday” is a word pairing that resonates with me meaning to “make it an easyday.” For me, in everything I face I seek to make it an easyday, even in a most exposed and challenging physical or mental moment, I just repeat—make it an easyday. This motto helps me focus my mental state and channel needed confidence when my senses and surroundings shout otherwise.
What does Live Life Outside mean to you?
It inspires me to prioritize my outside time, to seek the sun, adventure, and the elements, and to share my stoke for all things outside with everyone I come across.
What's your fav Sunski Shades and why?
The Couloir shades are my favorite. I like how functional they are for everything I like to do. If I’m on the water or the snow, I can pop-in the sun shields, they look awesome all-around, and stay on my head during fun shreddy activities.