The Kangaroo Kid
Matt Coulter, the Kangaroo Kid, is a world class stuntman from Gold Coast, Australia. Most of his stunts are performed on a Quad bike. In 2000, he created two new "Guinness Book of Records" records by jumping 14 4 x 4 jeeps and 4 moving 4 x 4 jeeps. In a wild west theme park outside of Cornwall, England, His double failure at jumping over a Paddle steamer named the Lady Retallack on his quad bike appeared on television. Years later, Matt admitted to crashing due to not having a clue what he was doing back then. Being the first person to jump a Quad a long distance he has said he had a few crashes before he learned the trade. The Paddle Steamer jumps have aired on TV all over the world on documentaries and action sports shows since 1992 and still do to this day.
Matt's story begins in 1969 in Mornington Australia and takes him on a 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 50cc Honda from the local hardware store. Not long after that Joy found herself taking him along to the local schoolboy motorcross 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 250cc 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. On November 13, 1991, Matt attempted his first Paddle Steamer jump over the 20 ft Lady Retallack on a canal at a Wild West theme park in Cornwall, England. Using an 8 ft high ramp, Matt had done little preparation and had agreed to the jump without thinking about the consequences. His back wheels hit the top of the paddle steamer, taking out a funnel and causing Matt to be catapulted facefirst into the canal. Mike Bryant, the cameraman, was convinced Matt had killed himself, but to everyone's amazement he was pulled from the canal with only a few bruised ribs.
On 13 August 1992, he attempted the same jump with a bigger ramp 25 ft high and 100 ft long. However, the landing conditions for his bike were unfit and there was a crosswind. He ripped every ligament in his knee and a nerve, leaving his left leg partially paralyzed. He was airlifted out, and released after 2 weeks in the hospital.
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. Or when he helped Graham Hicks, the deaf and blind quad rider to achieve a world record in 2001. Around this time Matt also jumped over a flying airplane, Firstly in the UK and then a bigger plane in the USA just outside Las Vegas.
In 2005, after two very busy years Matt decided to take time out from the UK show circuit and only performed at four shows in the UK in 2006. Matt did another full season in the UK in 2009 but then took another few years off away from the UK show circuit.
In 2013 The Kangaroo Kid made his comeback to the UK show circuit. This time bringing with him his Joey (Sam Coulter). The two stunt riders performed at over thirty different events in 2013, bringing record crowds to many of the events. Due to the success of the 2013 season and because of a huge demand, the Kangaroo Kids decided to come back in 2014. In 2015 Matt Introduced his friend and Quad racing champion Paul Hannam from Devon to the show while his son Sam went to pursue other endeavours. Also in February 2015 Matt had a full knee replacement on his left knee to repair years of ongoing damage and pain caused from the Paddle steamer 2 jump. He started the season on time and jumped as normal only 11 weeks after the operation.
In July 2017, The Kangaroo Kid was performing at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells when Matt fell off his Quad Bike while completing a stunt over a 30 tonne dump truck. He was Airlifted to Morriston Hospital in Swansea as a precautionary measure. He sustains an injury each to his shoulder, leg, and rib, but no serious injuries.
Matt kept riding for the rest of the season and had a shoulder operation to rebuild his shoulder at the end of the season. 2018 show season marks the 30th year since Matt did his first stunt show.
- BBC news (24 July 2017). "Stuntman Crashes at Royal Welsh Show". BBC News. Retrieved 24 July 2017.