Catching Up With Robbie Maddison
By Jennifer Leads
Robbie Maddison is a busy guy between riding, filming, traveling, and of course being a family man, but when he stopped by our TWMX offices earlier we had a chance to sit down with the Red Bull sponsored daredevil/FMX athlete, and catch up on the latest from X Games, to his nonprofit charity work, to his new son that he anxiously awaits.
The last time we talked to you was right before X Games; how did it go for you in LA?
X Games was okay—it didn’t go the way I expected it to go, but I kind of knew in the back of my mind that it could go that way. Just being involved in a judged event kind of sucked as far as not getting recognition for how I was actually riding, and I felt that the camera angles didn’t really represent the turn down very well. It was really good for a Supercross whip, though, so since X Games I’ve been working on my Supercross whips, and I’ve got something for the boys when we compete at Monster Cup next month!
What’s the plan for Monster Cup?
Monster Cup has their Biggest Whip competition by Dirt Shark, and hopefully they will have a way of judging it to tell which is the biggest whip rather than going by who’s the most popular dude. Not that I hate on that, it’s just that we’ve seen those results at X Games before, and if it’s going to be that way then just give Twitch a medal now and I won’t even bother going out to Vegas [laughs]. But if it’s going to be on how people are actually riding, then I’m going to go and see how I stand up against those guys. I think that being involved with that will be a cool thing, and it’s great to be recognized on that level. Recently I’ve been throwing some big whips, and it would be really cool to see an outcome based on the facts—if it goes that way then I’m hoping to be in at least the top three.
You’re always really busy with projects, filming, and riding; what do you have going on at the moment?
I’m doing a little bit of filming. I’ve hired a part time filmer to do some content stuff, and I’m actually going to do some testing on a new concept that I have and we’ll be filming and capturing all of that. We’ve also just shot a major piece that’s going to come out next year, so I’ve been up in Canada editing that and it came out really good and I’m really excited. It’s going to be part of the new On Any Sunday film that Red Bull is doing, and it will be released next year. After that releases, we have viral content with a back-story on the film and how we shot it, and that will be launched through Skullcandy. I’m really excited about it and the editing process for it was really in-depth, and I got to piece it together the way I felt that it looked right and the way it represented my style best. It seems really smooth and consistent and makes a lot of sense, and there are some really cool angles and some epic footage of some gnarly stuff that I did. The rest of the year I’m really just at the drawing board trying to come up with bigger ideas. I don’t want to go on film every time I ride like a lot of guys are doing—they just film themselves riding and cut it up to a song and that’s pretty much it. It’s just been done so much that I feel that video stuff has been getting played out. Now people can do it themselves and post it on their Instagram, which is different and cool, but I really want to do stuff similar to what I did on Aircraft and just keep changing the game and evolving. So I’m not going to rush it and do another edit like everyone else and have some normal riding cut to a song. I need to do some serious planning and get some unique obstacles and terrain that has never been seen before and do some kind of epic filming!
No plans with DC for a sequel to Aircraft?
Some big changes have been going on in the action sports world lately, and a lot of companies are hiring and firing with a lot of structure changes, so we put shooting the next Aircraft on the back burner. We’re in talks for it now, but we’re nowhere near the time for filming it. Hopefully it will happen before the end of the year. My current project that I’m shooting next will be featured in a Hollywood film next year, but I wanted to do a social based launch of the concept and the idea through my social channels. Right now I know that what I’m filming is different and unique so I’m really trying to find the right place—I don’t want to just blow it out on my Instagram and have it only go to however many followers I’ve got on there.
Tell us a little bit about your new DC shoe…
I’ve got a new shoe from DC and it’s the Bridge Maddo edition; it’s a sleek little shoe—I like it. I used to be big on the fat skate shoes, but I’m not skating anymore, and I think that style-wise this is just what’s trending right now. It’s a lightweight shoe, it’s super comfortable, and I really dig it. I had a big input into the color layout of the shoe, and I’ve got my new logo on there—that Logan from Project 7 designed for me—and I’m stoked on the new Robbie Maddison logo! It’s an “M” with a star in it. It’s very similar to DC’s logo, because they have a star, but this star is important to me is because it has the seven spikes like on the Australian flag, so that’s a little bit of a back-story.
You just recently attended The Celebration of the Motorcycle in Del Mar, California. Tell us about that event and what you were there for.
The Celebration of the Motorcycle was an event with some really nice restored bikes—Evel Knievel’s replica bike was there which was really nice. I was there to bring awareness to cystic fibrosis and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; it affects a lot of young Americans and kids all over the world. Cystic fibrosis is something that I’m really passionate about because these young kids contract this disease entirely through genetics. It can significantly affect and slow down their lives and they never get a chance to follow their dreams. There are no government funded programs for the research, so all of the research for cystic fibrosis comes from private money that’s raised. The event that we did that weekend raised about 10,000 dollars to assist the research. I feel that they are pretty close to finding something. It was cool to go down there and be with legends like Ricky Johnson, Broc Glover, Mark Blackwell, Eddie Lawson, Dave Ekins, and Johnny Campbell. It was fun to see a cool group of guys come together and support such a noble cause. There wasn’t a whole heap of public awareness for it, but we did well and hopefully they’re able to find a cure soon. Another organization that I support is Mission Australia, which gives money to kids that come from broken families. I think that a lot of kids are just born into bad situations and have delinquent parents that have no respect and no consistency in life, and these kids just become products of their environment. We’re trying to provide them with an opportunity to seek a proper education and a more stable life. I was able to raise 20,000 dollars for the organization in the past year—I’m just trying to do the right thing.
We know you’re always pretty banged up, but we noticed that you are wearing a knee brace; what’s going on with your knee?
This knee brace that I’m wearing is called a medial unloading brace. It’s made by Ossur, who also makes the CTi 2 knee brace which is a sponsor and partner of mine. I’ve been having a lot of pain—I tore my ACL in my left knee when I was nine years old, and back in those days there wasn’t a whole lot for medical check-ups, so I’ve lived with this busted knee over the last 30 years. It’s caused some severe decline in my knee function and I have pretty severe arthritis right now. This knee brace actually separates the arthritis and it gets rid of the uncomfortable aches that arthritis causes. If I wear it about three to four times a day it totally eliminates the arthritis pain from my life! Today just happened to be a day where I could feel the arthritis so I had to wear it, but after I wear this today I wont have to put it on again for the next two days. It does quite a lot of work and I can torque it up and adjust it as the day goes by, and my knee gets pulled to where it needs to be. When I turned 30 is when it really started to get bad, and I was looking to get another knee surgery, but I just couldn’t afford to take six months off. So this knee brace has allowed me to continue doing all the activities that I like to do like golfing, surfing, and riding my bike—all without the pain. It’s a band aid instead of an overall solution, but it’s something that hasn’t slowed me down one bit, and I’m able to still suck at golf, have some fun in the water on my surf board, and continue with life.
Speaking of continuing on with life, you have a new son on the way. How excited are you?
I’m super excited! My oldest boy Kruz is turning three soon, and then just weeks after that we are expecting our new son. We’re trying to work out a name for him, and I put out a tweet for name suggestions and a lot of the names that came through were names that were already on our short list. I don’t think we’ve found the one yet, but everyday we kind of come up with a new name. We named our first son Kruz King and that just fits him so well, so I hope that I find a good name that fits the new one, but we’ll see. I have a few more weeks [laughs].