Rob Dyrdek Interview

Talking with Pro Skater Rob Dyrdek

Rob Dyrdek Interview
Rob Dyrdek Interview. photo provided by Fanscape

Rob Dyrdek is a pro skater, reality TV star, businessman, and much more. In this interview, I talk with Rob Dyrdek about skateboarding, how we got his start, his TV shows, and what he feels is most important.

Early Days

I kicked off the interview asking Rob to tell us a little about the road he took to becoming a pro skater “I grew up in Ohio,” Rob started, “and I got my first skateboard in October 1986 from my sister’s boyfriend. 24 days later I entered my first contest and got into Neil Blender’s car. A month later I was sponsored, and 6 months later I was sponsored by G&S, was in the NSA and winning contests. I was sponsored by Alien Workshop at age 16!”

I asked Rob how he went from that to where he is now. “I’ve always had a business mind. I started my first company at age 18,” Rob explained. “I’ve always liked the creative side of skateboarding. The freedom inside the sport of skateboarding, and how it’s not about how good you are. So I’ve always been doing crazy creative stuff.”

“When we started doing the DC Video, I knew it would be the biggest in history, and I knew that my skateboarding would not impact people as strongly as others. So I came up with the bodyguard idea! You know how skaters are always getting kicked out of spots. So then we started traveling and touring together.”

Reality TV

I always thought that Rob and Big Black were friends before the show. “No man, that was all scripted!” he said. “One call to a San Diego Security Company.” Crazy how things get started sometimes!

I asked Rob about how the show Fantasy Factory came about. “MTV wanted another Rob and Big season, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be known for it, you know? Plus my businesses were being effected, my skateboarding was being effected, and I hated that it was being filmed at my house. So, once we had a little break, it evolved. I thought, what if I added a skatepark to my business? And once it came to that I started slowly thinking about a big warehouse. I thought, what if I put all of the people who actually work in one section, and build a huge room…”

“The show was originally called Fantasy Life. But one morning I was talking to one of the producers and I was like, this is like Willy Wonka's! The BUILDING is the main character. This is a Fantasy Factory!”

“Anything I do creatively, I let it evolve into a place where I 100% believe in it. Otherwise, it’s not worth doing.”

I asked about season two of the Fantasy Factory. “Season two goes deep into the bizarre. I buy a racehorse and become a jockey named Bolt Speedmen. I write a song with John Mayer. I come back as Bobby Light and open with Travis Barker and Blink 182. I get pulled by Ludacris on a motorcycle! We have the Fantasy Factory vs. the Berrics, to see which has the best skate team. We bring back the sidehack… it’s crazy.”

I asked him what his favorite part from ​the previous season was. “Making the world’s largest skateboard, and riding it with the mayor of LA, and him saying that LA will no longer look down on skateboarding… that was really cool. And being attacked by a shark, and how we somehow made that funny…”

“I approach making the show like skaters approach filming for a video. Once it’s done, it’s in the bank forever. It’s part of your legacy.”

I asked Rob if he regretted anything from last season. “The sidehack in the skatepark was a bad idea. I didn’t recover for the rest of the season. I blew my whole body apart in the first three weeks of the show! And the only way to heal from something like that is to not do anything…”

Advice for Other Skaters

I asked Rob if he had any advice for skaters out there. “Stay inspired! That’s the key to life and success in anything. Put yourself in a position where you get up each day and can’t wait to get out skate. When you go to bed, think about the tricks you didn’t land, and keep yourself in a place where you just can’t wait to get up and try again. The moment you become uninspired, everything becomes half-assed. Your skating, your life, everything you do. Put yourself in a place to STAY inspired.”

“And go see Street Dreams!”

Rob Dyrdek is one of skateboarding’s most likable personalities, and he has done a LOT to promote and progress skateboarding, and how skateboarding is viewed.