Hard work does pay off. Anyone that says otherwise doesn’t have enough belief or drive. For our fifth instalment of the Étiquette Collective we’d like to introduce someone with an attitude that speak volumes when it comes to working hard and chasing dreams into reality. Meet Corbin Harris. This Australia born pro skateboarder and fully fledged TV host and producer has navigated the almost impossible task of combining his passion with his career.
Corbin’s humble beginnings ensure his feet stay firmly on the ground, but on any given day you could find him skating backyard pools, hosting TV shows or writing books… His style is unique and slick, combining originality with some stand-out flair. We caught up with Corbin in-between his hectic schedule a few weeks back in Melbourne for a Q&A and discussed all things skateboarding and living abroad. Sit back, relax and enjoy the read!
Photography by Will Hartl
Tell us a little about your background. What do you do?
I’m a professional skateboard athlete, TV host and producer.
You’ve recently moved to the USA, what made you move across?
As a young skateboarder it’s the only thing you ever want to do growing up, move to America and skate for a living. It was like a bucket list. And when I moved into TV (around 24 yrs old) I couldn’t see that there was any positions for me to move into that I would be happy with after I did FOX Sports & FUELTV. I wanted to do inspirational, fun and exciting TV and that wasn’t an option in Australia. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just that we don’t focus enough on the things I loved -action sports, street wear and hip hop culture.
How did you get into skateboarding? Did you always plan to make a career out of it?
An indoor facility opened a few km’s from where I lived and it was love at first sight. I remember riding my bike down with my brother Shannon (who was a keen skateboarder from years prior) and looking through the security fence and thinking.” This is the shit”. And i never looked back. I really mean that. I surfed, but I didn’t even go in the water for 3 years from that day. I played rugby league and rugby union and I fell from A’s down to the last possible team at Waverley college because i chose contests over playing St Joseph’s (which is a cardinal sin if you play A’s in union for a private school). I know people think “fancy” when you say private school but we came from a blue collar family. Extremely hard working and with the help of my grandfather they paid for a schooling we couldn’t normally afford. I thank them incredibly for that.
How do you find the skate culture in America compared to back home in Australia?
It’s a lifestyle and a whole world in America and Europe. Here I feel like we are still outcasts.
What defines Corbin Harris’s style in a few words?
Original and extremist. Depends how I feel that morning how mild or crazy I go.
What’s your relationship to jewellery?
My mum has worn jewellery, silver and gold though different seasons (summer & winter) as long as I can remember. I’ve always liked it because it sets you apart.
Favourite skateboarder of all time and why?
Jason Dill, Lance Mountain and Dylan Rieder. All because of the choices they make on tricks and style. Unique and original.
What’s three wardrobe essentials you can’t live without right now?
Ksubi bomber jacket, RRL Boots and James Perse plain T-shirts. Plus my long sleeve overalls from hard yakka.
You’ve had few years of interviewing people and TV presenting, what’s been the key to your success?
Seriously, I don’t take no for a answer from anyone and I keep trying until I have got what i want.
Talent(s) you would love to have?
To have learned both French and Spanish and continued in the footsteps of my father in art.
What word/phrase do you think is overused?
Amazing and Legend.
What does a typical day involve for you?
Everyday is completely different. Could be out in a van filming and shooting skateboarding tricks in the streets or a backyard pool or could be in a studio hosting a show. Training at the gym or going for a surf.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always remember to tag your ETAG in your new hire car.
Which Étiquette piece is your favourite?
The one i am wearing.
Favourite travel destination?
Tokyo, New York and anywhere that’s hot with blue water.
What’s next for Corbin Harris?
Work harder and enjoy having exceptional people around me constantly.