Matt Coulter, the Kangaroo Kid, is a world class stuntman from Gold Coast, Australia His stunts are performed on Quad Bikes. Over the years he has created many “Guinness Book of Records” records – amongst them jumping 14 4 x 4 Jeeps and 4 moving 4 x 4 Jeeps.
Matt’s story begins in 1969 in Mornington Australia and takes him on an incredible journey to America, France, Italy, Holland and finally to the UK where in 1989 he embarks on a career as a showman.
At the age of seven Matt’s mum Joy bought him a 70cc Honda from the local hardware store. Not long after that Joy found herself taking him along to the local schoolboy motocross events and found that her son had a natural ability for racing.
Matt progressed to Quad bikes when they were imported into Australia and was one of the first to compete in the newly formed Australian Quad Racing Championships. After becoming Australian champion he took off for America to compete in the USA Quad Championships. Matt then went on to compete in the French, Italian and UK championships, becoming the Italian and UK Champion.
Matt’s career as a showman took off when he started to perform at county and motor shows around the UK. Matt attempted the first paddle steamer jump at a Wild West theme park in Cornwall. He had done little preparation and had agreed to the jump without thinking about the consequences, he hit the top of the paddle steamer and was catapulted into the river. Mike Bryant the cameraman was convinced that he had killed himself, but to everyone’s amazement he was dragged from the river unhurt, all be it shaken.
On 13 August 1992, he tried to jump his bike over a steamboat on a lake at St Columb Major, Cornwall, England. However, the landing conditions for his bike were unfit and there was a crosswind. He ripped every ligament in his knee and a nerve, which left his left leg partially paralyzed.
A year before that he tried to make the jump but the ramp was only 8 feet tall and the steam boat was 20 feet tall on the water. His back wheels hit a vent and he landed face down in the water. He was pulled from the water and walked away with a few bruised ribs.
Footage of the accident has been widely screened on TV shows and across the internet. A year after the first paddle steamer jump Matt returned to Cornwall and attempted the stunt again. This time the ramp was made too big; again he had allowed the owners of the park to do most of the preparation and took off with such height that he had to drop the bike in mid air. He made the jump but landed very badly, breaking his leg. His doctor told him that they would need to amputate his leg at the knee because the break was so bad, but he convinced them to leave it and to this day he walks with a limp and has no feeling in his foot.
When Matt returned to his home country to perform at a number of shows, he was shocked to find that he had testicular cancer. It was midway through the tour and he again convinced the doctors to go against their better judgement by allowing him to perform at his weekend show and then operate on him on the Monday morning.
Matt also sustained an injury when he set his first Guinness World Record, he landed very hard and had to be driven to the hospital with suspected concussion, which turned out to be severe bruising to the brain. He was kept in hospital for the following week.
Matt would also show a different side of himself when he saw people in difficulty or was asked to help someone less fortunate than himself. Matt’s friends are aware of the big kind heart he has and they were not surprised when he offered to do many shows, free of charge, for charity. In 2013 Car Fest was one of the Charitable Events supported by the Kangaroo Kid. He also helped Graham Hicks, the deaf and blind quad rider to achieve a world record in 2001. See also http://www.kangakidsfoundation.org/ for the work Matt does for children with lower limb abnormalities.
In 2005, after two very busy years Matt decided to retire from the UK show circuit and only performed at four shows in the UK in 2006.
In 2013 The Kangaroo Kid made his comeback to the UK show circuit, bringing in record crowds to many of the events. In fact due to the massive success of the 2013 season and because of a huge demand, the Kangaroo Kids have decided to come back in 2014. From 2015 Matt has been offering one of his biggest fans the opportunity of a lifetime to be part of his shows and the coming 2016 season looks set to be another big Kanga adventure for 29 Year old Paul Hannam.
The story of the Kangaroo Kid continues….