Community Highlight: Maddy Balt

Community Highlight: Maddy Balt

From building snowboard parks in the winter to skating in the summer, and now running a private skate school, Maddy Balt wears many hats.  We caught up with Maddy to learn a bit more about her history with the brand, her rough road towards the Olympics, battles with a brain injury and what she plans for the future.  

Coal: Can you tell us your history/background with the brand- how did you start wearing Coal. 

Maddy: I started to see Coal popping up when I was still boarding back in Ontario. if you know me you’ve probably never really seen me without a hat on my head... so I’ve always been on the lookout for rad hats/toques. When I moved to whistler, I worked at The Circle Skate Shop which is where I really started to learn more about the brand and riders learned about how coal wasn’t just about snowboarding and skating but also about community, adventures and just enjoying nature. I knew it was a community and brand I wanted to be a part of. There’s people on this team that I’ve looked up to since I was a kid so seeing them wear the brand had me even more excited. I met the rep through the shop and was flowed some hats and within a month or two I was dealing directly with the big dogs at Coal. These guys keep me sorted year-round with the best hats for snowboarding and skateboarding. Super grateful to be a part of such a sick company.

C: Why Coal? 

M: Well the hats and gear are dope and can have you prepared for any weather scenario... that’s a given. Aside from that I’ve always loved how community-oriented Coal is. Pretty much any super cool contest, event, or meet up that I see pop up has Coal as a sponsor. Coal’s just so down to support the industries as well as the people in it which is amazing. A prime example is how they mostly use their athletes for look books/catalogues, some brands will just hire random models which is not supporting the action sports industry at all. 

C: What does a typical day consist of for you?

M: Life is good right now! I worked full time all winter so I could have a chiller summer for skating. A typical day starts off with a big breakfast and gym session. I’m currently taking some coaching courses and working on launching my own skate school, so I chip away at that after the gym. My afternoons are wide open right now so I'll either go skating, hiking or on some type of adventure with friends. I’m super lucky to live right on the water here in Vancouver so on the days the sun is shining I’m definitely chilling on the beach for sunset.

(Update: since this interview Maddy's skate school is now up and running!)


C: What is you transition like from winter to summer?  Going from building in the park and snowboarding to skateboarding.

M:The transition from winter boarding and park building to summer skating is pretty easygoing. To start it's nice not having to wake up at 5:45am to get up the mountain, however I do miss those mountain top sunrises. Snowboarding and maintaining/building the park all day is exhausting on the body. It’s nice to have a little more time and energy to enjoy these summer days where the sun stays up late. Snowboarding actually helps my skating a ton. Hitting big rails and going super-fast on my snowboard makes everything in the skatepark seem pretty small. I think it’s actually one of the main things that helped me to start skating the big section at world cups and Olympic qualifiers... those rails are way gnarlier than any typical skatepark rail.

C: Speaking of the Olympics... Can you tell us your story about the road to the Olympic qualifiers, the injuries you endured and the recovery process? (whatever you feel comfortable sharing)  

M: My attempted road to the Olympics was chaotic to say the least. A serious ankle injury took me out of the running right before the Tokyo Olympics. I worked hard and rehabbed that, won a contest so I was feeling good heading into the Paris 2024 qualifiers. A week after that contest win, I was in a near fatal car accident on the sea to sky highway driving towards Squamish. I broke my neck and orbital bone, cracked my skull and had a pretty serious brain injury among other minor injuries. I was scared and heartbroken to say the least. I knew it was going to be a long road to recovery but I also knew the first qualifier for Paris 2024 was eight months later and I wanted to be there.

After many months of the neck brace, rehab, blood, sweat and mental breakdowns I made it to that qualifier. Over the next year I worked so hard, I relocated to LA so I could skate and train full time which was fun but also tough as I was dealing with the aftermath of my brain injury. I really haven’t talked about this much, but it seemed like no matter how hard I was working my mental health was continuously deteriorating. I unfortunately didn’t have the resources to make everything happen and burnt out, hard. I’ve recently decided to take a step back from competing and even though my journey didn’t quite take me to the Olympics I am super grateful for the experience. You can catch me in the streets going forward!

C: How does the brand help you reach your next peak moment? 

M: Keeping up with Coal’s community/team on socials is always inspiring me to get out and get after it! Everyone is so rad and going on the wildest adventures, can’t’ help but to be inspired.


C: What are your fav hats/beanies for spring/summer?

M: The Hardin, The Encore and The Frena


C: Any fav hobbies besides skateboarding and snowboarding?

M: Surfing, road tripping, hiking, camping and traveling. 


C: What's a song you love to listen to while cooking dinner?

M: Matte black - $uicideboy$

C: Fav song to pump you up for a skate session?

M: Crank that- Soulja Boy

Thank you Maddy!  

Photos: Tyler Ravelle