Robbie Maddison: Why I re-mortgaged my house to become a stuntman

Published: 05 August 2015

Robbie Maddison, the most revered motorcycle daredevil in the world, has spoken about the moment he decided to risk it all to chase his dreams of risking everything.

Maddison holds the record for the longest motorcycle jump at 378 feet (though he’s managed 394 in practice), has jumped 96 feet onto the top of an Arc de Triomphe replica in Las Vegas, backflipped on Tower Bridge, is a Red Bull X Fighters champion and rode on the latest James Bond film, Skyfall.

He’s also captured the attention of the world with his most recent stunt, surfing the waves of Tahiti on a converted KTM motocrosser for the latest Maddison YouTube hit.

But working as a daredevil is a second career for the Australian. He told MCN: “I originally started working as an electrician when I was 20. I was a hard worker and I’d managed to buy a house when I was 18. I had a mortgage and a steady career, but there was a part of me that wanted more. I also had this burning desire to be a world renowned motorcyclist and stuntman. 

“I was left with two options. The road I was on was safe; I could pay my bills and live a comfortable lifestyle with a steady job. Or I could go down another path which would be a huge risk and where nothing was guaranteed. 

“It was tough risking everything I worked so hard for, but I wasn’t passionate about my job. I felt trapped in the safe option and wanted to see what I could really achieve. I borrowed against my house so I wouldn’t have to rely on hand-outs and walked away from my old life at 21.”

Robbie is set to star in a new film called The Search for Freedom, which he reckons sums up his lifestyle choice of finding something you’re passionate about and going for it.“The film focuses on extreme sports experts and all the athletes involved are so passionate about what they do,” he says.

“We wanted to show people that there is this other side to living. One where you are so captivated that you don’t stop to think about fear or what could go wrong. You just believe in it so much that it comes true. 

“It’s about broadening people’s awareness. Most of us get stuck in ruts, and this film shows that there is freedom out there. It doesn’t have to be life changing; it can even be doing something different on your weekend. Just find something you’re passionate about and do it,” he says.

The Search for Freedom focuses on how athletes have helped shape the action sports revolution we know today, from skiing to mountain biking and wingmen. The film is available August 10 on Blu-ray, DVD and Amazon