Mathias Roten left us...

I can't find the words...such a great loss...The always-smiling Mathias Roten, world class paraglider pilot left this world on Friday by a speedflying accident. He went out riding alone to Lötschental, not so far from his hometown (Thun) in Switzerland. He flew a small sky-diving parachute with not so good take-off ability - as he said earlier. Nobody knows exactly what happened, because as far as we know there are no witnesses of the accident. He attempted to take-off close to the peak of Hockenhorn at 3000 meter from the top of a cliff, but probably his glider did not inflate properly and he fell down 100 meter from the rock and died immediately...Soon after a rescue helicopter came for him, but they couldn't help anymore.

He was not only one of the best paragliding acro pilots with his unique, agressive style (1st in synchro overall world cup in 2005 with Dominique Steffen), but a very expert cross country pilot as well (1st team in overall world cup in 2004 and 2005 ). Despite these great successes he never took the stress of the competitions, only flew for fun and the results were not really important for him. In 2007 he also mastered Infinity Tumbling and expressed himself in speedflying (he also run the biggest speed-flying site on the web)
He had incredible talent and enthusiastic passion to everything he touched: he was kitesurf and ski instructor, test-pilot, sky-diver, speedrider and probably the best drum player I've ever heared. He stopped paragliding competitions 2 years ago and his attention turned to film-making. At the end of 2007 with some of his friends they released the Play Gravity movie, a masterpiece of extreme sport cinematography created by the ideas of Mathias.

He was truly the artist of life...a great person and friend...

We will miss you so much!!! :-(

Probably some of the last pictures of Mathias, from Chamonix, Outdoor Games.
Watch him in the winner movie of Ride the Planets

Some of his best results:

Paragliding Acro:

* 2005 FAI synchro overall worldcup 1st GIN Freestyle team - Synchro with Dominique Steffen
* 2005 Acrolac France 2nd – Synchro
* 2005 Red Bull Vertigo 3rd - Synchro
* 2005 Acroaria Italy 2nd - Synchro
* 2005 Acrofolies Annecy 1st - Synchro
* 2004 Acroaria Omegna 2nd - Synchro
* 2003 Red Bull Vertigo 3rd Synchro
* 2001 Red Bull Vertigo 4th - Synchro
* 2001 Acroaria 3rd - Synchro
* 2000 Red Bull Vertigo 4th - synchro

Paragliding XC:

* 2005 Team overall worldcup 1st
* 2005 Argentinian open 1st
* 2005 Taiwan open 1st
* 2005 Indonesian Championship 1st
* 2005 Pre-Worldcup Argentina 1st
* 2004 Team overall worldcup 1st
* 2003 Worldcup Overall 6th


* 2008 2nd Red Bull Speedride in St. Anton am Arlberg
* 2007 1st Freeride Air Cup Speedriding in Val Fréjus

Play Gravity trailer

Latest Comments

rebecca's picture

your birthday

nina's picture

it is a long time ago you now left us. Not until know I realise what happend. I just cannot believe it like everyone here. I just want to turn back the time ... i just wanted to do so much more with you than we had time. It has been such a nice time we spend together, I remember all and always will, every moment, every little second. You gave me so much, thank you for all.
Um es in deinen Worten zu sagen: Es kommt alles gut!
To say it in your words: Everything will turn out fine!
Ciao, ich denk an dich.

eden's picture

Sad to see someone who truly lived life paying the ultimate price. We all know the risks in our sport but carry on because of the love we have for it. To experience the best we have to risk the most in life. I would have liked to meet him one day.
My thoughts to his family and friends.
Blue sky’s Mathias RIP dude


Memories are the only thing we can take with us. Make them good!

alexs's picture

I just got back from Switzerland where I attended Mathias' funeral and stayed with his family. Friday morning paragliders from all over Europe came to fly and pay homage to Mathias, and in the evening we went to the mountain top where there was a gathering of his closest friends to celebrate Mathias and his memory. We talked, danced, and played drums all night long, and it felt like he was there in spirit.

Mathias was an amazing individual - he touched so many people during his lifetime, and I know that he lives on through his family, friends, and everyone he met.

blitz's picture

encante os céus!!!

arjan's picture

...too many good guys keep getting in trouble... I feel soo sad...

During Red Bull Vertigo 2004 I made a movie with such beautiful shots of you doing a great show on your 13m2 wing... You rocked !!... keep that music playing...

kitesurfa's picture

I never knew him or got to meet him personally, only through emails, one long phone call and the must see movie "Play Gravity". Being as enthusistic about Speed-Flying as he, but not actually flying at the time - posting about movies, information and questions on the website he asked me to keep it running by updating it with all the latest happenings in the sport when I could. Our goal was (and hopefully still is) to make the website the place for the worldwide speed-riding community. He had said if I was ever in Switzerland to let him know and maybe we could meet up and fly...

now forever flying....

RIP Mathias - one of the worlds best.

millerutah's picture

Super cool guy, super good pilot, he probably had more friends than all of us put together. We flew in Chamonix together a few weeks ago during the Outdoor Games and I was impressed what a cool guy he was. Rest in Peace Matty...

gforcepeter's picture

very bad news,
I hope it is possible for him to fly in heaven, perhaps syncro with Jimmy ?
be careful

bebetesteam's picture

Now he is flying with the Angels...looking down and saying: what a beautifull life i had !!
See you in the sky man...You marked this earth for life with your legendary smile...

petlualex's picture

I`m so sorry... :-(

charly's picture

shit dude's!

it's really bad
so we can see that our sport isn't easy and all of us shoud fly highly concentrated!

but accidents can happen to the best of us, that's a really important fact!

Rest In Peace Matthias, you are alive in our hearts!

Bauer's picture

That´s really bad.


arno0073's picture

I would like to thank him for the last time for all the things he has given to our sport.
He can be sure that wherever he is that we won’t forget him and that he will remain one of the most influential and gifted pilot from this sport.

rebecca's picture

I will miss you so much !

asanz's picture

I am very affected.
In these cases we see of the dangerous of our sport.
Please you are careful and practice with height.
RIP Matthias.

PalTakats's picture

The funeral will be on Friday ( 14.3.08) at 14:00 in Hilterfingen, close to Matthias' hometown.

JaroXS's picture


RIP Matthias



cool's picture

"In monents like this everything becomes slow, man" - You said these worlds after that crash happened at last summer in Organyá. Now things are pretty slow, Man?

Hoping that you will achieve great things at the other side too, in your next incarnations. Lots of us loved you here.

PalTakats's picture

Can't believe....why, why, why, why.......... WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY HIM?!?!? :-(
We could have also die together in Organyá, but we survived without a single scratch...but then again...WHYYYYYYYY??? Man, You were too good to make such a mistake...
I'm just sitting here in front of my computer and fuckin' crying .... :-(
Can't believe I can't shake hands with you anymore buddy...
Rest in piece my friend...