Corbin Harris, 28, is a professional skateboarder, author, TV presenter and designer – and he put in all the hard yards to get there. In 2000, Harris visited the U.S. for the first time on a skate tour, which ignited a long held love affair for the land of the stars and stripes.
What’s your favourite U.S. city?
New York because it’s the most inspirational place in the world and you really feel like you can do anything – it’s all right there at your fingertips.
What’s your favourite bar in NY and your drink of choice?
Southside, only on Thursdays with a vodka dry or a Café Patron (top shelf tequila).
How do you cure the hangover?
Drink water throughout the night or have Mexican food the next day.
Enough booze chat, let’s talk about skating. Do you remember your first skateboard?
It was a Powell Lance Mountain board. Wow, I still love that thing.
What do you remember most about your first US competition?
I was scared as hell and I still am.
It’s the freedom and that feeling you get when you do something you have never done before; I learn something new everyday.
What songs are on your pre-competition playlist?
There are some strange ones – Iron Maiden to Elton, Alicia Keys to Mobb Deep, Strokes to Sinatra.
Do you have any pre-competition superstitions?
Never walk under a ladder, never put new shoes on a table, and no hats’ on beds.
Hats’ on bed’s? We will have to discuss where that came from over a beer some time.. Who are you currently sponsored by?
BlackBerry, Element Skateboards and clothing, Nike Skateboarding, Red Bull, Surf Dive and Ski, Modus Bearings and Ogio bags.
Congrats! How do you celebrate a win?
Take all your friends out to dinner.
And to get over a loss?
Get somebody else to buy you dinner.
What are you currently working on?
An Australian show called Pop Gun. It’s on Fuel TV and it’s a 1950’s inspired action sports talk show.
So like Madmen with Don Draper on a skateboard?
Yeah, think that type of set and outfit. We wanted the best action sports athletes in the world to feature on the show, so we got Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater and Robbie Maddison to get involved. We just wrapped season one.
What do you make of ‘action sports’ in Australia compared to the US?
The US embraced action sports years ago and it’s only a matter of time before Oz does too. I think it will gain momentum once we educate the public in Australia about the sport. Kids definitely have a lot more awareness with video games and TV shows, whereas in my parent’s generation it wasn’t as common.
What changes have you seen in action sports over the past ten years?
There is a lot more money and responsibility for riders.
Who are two skaters you look up to and who do you believe have changed the industry?
Dustin Dollin, cause he made it big from down under and just rules at life in general. Tony Hawk, because he is a business machine but he still rips it on a skateboard.
Who or what inspires you?
My mum and dad, my grandfather, smiling and honesty.
You’re quite the ‘tweeter’ @corbinharris. Why is it important for you to maintain a presence on social networks?
It’s massive for my job. I use it as a tool so people can stay up to date with what’s going on in my skateboarding and TV life.
When you’re not working what can you be found doing?
Getting on the D floor with a few friends!
Where would you love to be in 5 years?
I’d like to be pushing myself and still doing the same thing. Just bigger and better!
Do you have a favourite quote?
“Be a do it now person” – Lee Harris
Who are some inspirational Aussie’s living in America you look up to?
Andrew Flynn- He’s been my best mate for years and I have never seen anybody operate like he does. He’s creative and knows what’s going to be in and cool at least 18 months before anyone. He attracts good people because he’s awesome and a good bloke. Must be the tiger blood. WINNING!
Dan Single/ George Gorrow- I really like what these guys have done in Australia and the general vibe of their company (Ksubi)
Julian Wilson- A young competitive surfer who just signed as Nike’s biggest new frontman. Big things coming…
What about from the action sports world?
Travis Pastrana, Robbie Maddison, Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning and Parko
Advice to the kids
Advice for up and coming Australian skaters who want to become pro and compete overseas?
Passion and drive, you’ll need heaps of it!