Skateboarding has taught this CEO how to take risks
Robert Tadros is chief executive of Impress!ve Digital, King Content and eComlabs. He lives in Melbourne.
How long have you been skateboarding and how did you get into it?
I started very young. I was always fascinated by the skaters I’d see in the street. I was fascinated by their ability to lift a board high in the air, and over rails and stairs. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, so I made it my mission to be one of them. I would go down to the local skate store to hang out with them, and I spent hours watching skate videos on VHS.
How often do you skate?
Currently, twice a week, usually at weekends. Saturday is for me and Sunday I take my three-year-old son, Matteo. When I started, I became so obsessed with skating that I would literally skate to and from school, after school and on weekends. Basically any opportunity I had, I’d be on my board skating and learning new tricks.
Is skateboarding a sport, a subculture or performance art?
It’s both a sport and a subculture, one that encourages creativity and risk-taking, and it enables freedom. Skaters need to get creative with how they pull off tricks, the places they choose to skate and what they attempt. All of this ultimately contributes to their own unique skating styles and requires using the right side of the brain, the creative side. I’ve been skating since I was young, which I sincerely believe has contributed to my calculated risk-taking nature, in both my personal and business lives. As a skateboarder, you’re constantly falling over, getting back up and attempting the same trick over and over again until you’ve mastered it. This requires resilience, independence and a high degree of freedom.
What is your skateboarding style?
I’m a street skater, which means I skate in public areas and use things like stairs, walls, handrails, flower beds, picnic tables, bins and park benches as places to practice tricks.
What are your favourite skateboard fashion brands?
I’ve always been a big fan of Element, DC and Etnies.
Do you have a coach?
No, I am self-taught.
Do you have a fitness routine?
Yes, and it’s pretty varied. I do weight training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, boxing on Tuesday and Thursday, and I play golf. I also squeeze in some meditation for mental fitness.
When will you be too old to skate?
What is your view of skateboarding as an Olympic sport?
I don’t like the idea. Skating is all about finding your own unique style and tricks, not competing with another skater. It’s not about who’s better than who. Plus, the last thing I want to see is skateboarders wearing uniforms and Spandex!
Where do you most like to skate?
Definitely in the street.
Do you have a favourite location?
No. The beauty of street skating is the freedom and the excitement of finding new spots.
What is your most memorable skateboarding experience?
I recently bought my son his first skateboard for his third birthday. Toddlers typically lie down and push with their hands, but after a few lessons with me on the basics, he stood up and tried to push with his feet. Definitely a proud parent moment.
Any serious injuries or catastrophes?
When I was 17, I tried a backside boardslide down a steep 20-stair handrail and as I approached the bottom I didn’t get off properly, seriously injuring my right hip. I was out for almost a year.
How many skateboards do you have?
I only ever have one board at a time, but I’ve broken hundreds over the years doing tricks that have gone wrong.
What did it cost?
My current board cost around $150; however, over the years I’ve spent thousands on boards, trucks, bearings, wheels etc.
I don’t have one, but I generally ride Element boards.
>Do you need any other equipment, such as safety gear?
The appropriate answer is yes, you need it. Do I wear it? No.
What is your view on electric skateboards?
Boring – they take the fun out of skateboarding.
Who would you most like to skate with?
The American professional skateboarder Eric Koston. I’ve always been a big fan of him and his style.
Tips for skaters just starting out?
It’s all about practise, practise, practise.
What is the most scared you have been on a skateboard?
I did pretty crazy stunts when I was young, like clearing roof gaps, handrails and stairs. Although the adrenaline was amazing, it was pretty scary at times.
Do you dislike anything about skateboarding?
The pain when you land on your nuts!
How important is the social element?
It’s somewhat important, but personally, I like the solo aspect. It gives me time to myself.