Catching Up With Robbie Maddison
By Michael Antonovich
Photos by Antonovich and Brendan Lutes
At this point in his career, Robbie Maddison needs no introduction. The Australian is easily one of the bravest and most well known motorcyclists on the planet, as his numerous feats at Red Bull’s New Years, No Limits have vaulted him to worldwide fame. While at the DC gear intro last week, we chatted with Maddo between motos to hear what he has occupied his time with since healing from his X Games injury and what the future for both himself and the sport holds.
Now that you are healed up from injury, what is the plan for the rest of the year?
There is a lot going on at this point. Since I have been injured, I have been analyzing the sport and feel like it is dying off a bit. We have a whole plan in play, and I think it is going to be a successful one. I have some great idea for event formats and I really want to switch it up. I think freestyle formats have been so similar for so long, and that is the stuff that lately I have been getting in to. You will probably see more of that in 2014, but the next thing in the cards for me is a DC shoot that we are doing. We will start filming in two weeks and it is a big push for DC. It is something that we have been talking about and planning for about three years now, and it has some really cool riding and out of the box kind of concepts that we are putting the bike through. People are going to see me get creative and see the things I think in my head. We are going to shoot it and it is going to be real. It’s like living in dreamland. I’m stoked to be with DC and just making this vision and dream come true. They are super cool guys that I am working with, the film is going to be cool, and I cannot wait for it to come out. We have a lot of things in the cards, but that is the first in the ranks for me, getting this film shot. That should occupy all of November for me. It’s looking like this year there will be no New Year’s Eve jump, so I get December off and will go to the summertime in Oz and see the family. In 2013, to give people a little insight, I have a jump I am doing with Skullcandy. It is an idea that has been a dream jump for a long time and is something that has never been done before. I am kind of just sticking to what I have been known for, other than the freestyle. But, back on the freestyle competition side of things, I am getting busy with the things that are a little bit different but fun for me. I’m excited about it.
How much exposure does jumping in New Years, No Limits get you?
Oh, it’s huge. Red Bull’s outreach and the exposure for that jump goes worldwide. It is crazy, because I show up in papers and news articles all through Europe, like France and Germany. My cousin lives in Singapore and he saw some stuff there from me. When you are on the New Year’s stuff, which has been great for me and I am honored that I have such a great relationship with Red Bull. They definitely give me crazy wings. So, being able to get those visions of what I want to do and be able to work with a great team that helps me put it together and pull it off, my great sponsors, and my wife, I am really stoked on doing those jumps. And now it is obviously what I am known for. People now know I am a freestyle guy, but I have a lot of people say, “Oh you’re that Red Bull guy!” That is really where my heart is at. I don’t go to bed dreaming of doing freestyle runs; I go to bed dreaming of crazy ideas I can do. It’s great having a relationship with sponsors that can make them a reality.
With the Skullcandy/Yo!GabbaGabba video that came out a few weeks ago, do things like that blow your image up even more? There are times I get on a website like Hypebeast and see you there, with things like the Red Bull cartoon that no one usually sees. Does that surprise you at all?
It’s crazy. For me personally, I don’t really go looking for it or type my name into Google. My Mom does; she gets it when things come up and she lets me know. It is cool to see the exposure come around, but for me it is like a dreamland. It is what I love to do and riding my bike is what keeps me sane. The exposure and outreach like Red Bull, DC, and the brands I am with have is amazing. I am just so fortunate that I can just go do what I do each day and have the guys I do put it into play.
You have such fame that you could go anywhere. What keeps you in America when you could go back to Australia?
In Australia, the same opportunities don’t exist. All of the headquarters of companies and my sponsors are all out here, so it just makes sense. If I am in Australia and I break a part, you can go to your local dealer or distributor and they will say, “Oh, we don’t have any in stock. We are on back order.” It might be a month before it gets there and it slows your development down. It is crazy, the lifestyle I get to live in America. Just being at the track, this doesn’t exist in Australia. We have met amazing people and the motocross industry is our family. Everyone who has been a sponsor or met in the past, now that we are out here on our own, have become more than just a friend. They are the people we are always around. It is tough to always be away from your family, but they have their jobs and I have mine, and this is where my workplace is. At first, it was really tough, but you get used to things and it evolved. I love it here with the people we are around, and I have a little boy now who is an American.
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