And he watches others skateboard on Youtube, where a few videos of his own action can be viewed, among them “Little Matt Goes Pro.”
“He lives for the skateboard,” Kim said. “My suggestion to any parent is if you find something a child likes at a very young age, run with it.”
As Matthew has learned the sport, older children and teenagers have taken him under their wings, helping him and teaching him.
“They all try to take care of each other,” said Kim. “He’s the littlest kid on the block, and they all helped him and taught him.”
Matthew’s persistence has also been important to his progress.
“He just doesn’t give up,” Dean said. “He has stick-to-it-ivity.”
Matthew’s skateboarding skills include the half-pipe, as well as the technique called grinding, which involves skating on a narrow beam.
And, he has a request of his grandparents.
“I want to get an indoor pool.”
An indoor pool? What does that have to do with skateboarding?
“He saw a movie where people were skating around in an empty pool,” Dean explained. “So that’s become a thing for him. He asks, ‘Build me a pool, but don’t put any water in it.’”
Dean and Kim are considering taking Matthew to Vermont, or perhaps to New Jersey, so he can participate in skating competitions.
“There aren’t any around here,” Dean said.
They wish the North Country had opportunities for indoor skateboarding during the winter. And they are also interested in new outdoor spaces for skateboarding.
The Carpenters try to bring Matthew to a variety of skate parks in the area.
They have watched eagerly for progress on the Saranac Lake SkatePark, which recently was awarded $25,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation for the project.