Learning from big brother

Learning from big brother

Words: DYLAN MUHLENBERG
Photo (above): Tyrone Bradley

Allan Adams is lucky enough to have one of South Africa’s best street skaters for an older brother

Allan Adams is the 18-year old skate prodigy who is nipping at the heels of his super-star big brother, Moses.  While Allan is very quiet, he’s also perceptive, absorbing everything around him.

Here’s what the young Padawan has learned from the master:

1. Don’t party

WHY: Keep your eyes on the prize and focus on what’s important. Don’t allow any distractions to get in your way, because it’s like Allan says, “It’s bad for you, drinking and smoking and all that. Not for me.” Instead, Allan looks at how far his brother’s professional approach has taken him, and aims to emulate that.

2. Ask big brother

WHY: Because why make the same mistakes that your big brother has already made and learned from? Allen uses Moses’ experiences and then builds his career on those foundations. “I won’t say names,” says Allan. “But Moses got messed around a lot in his career. Now if someone tells me something, I run it by Moses and get his advice first. Learn from his mistakes.”

Allan Adams

Allan Adams performs a kickflip K-Grind at the Red Bull Unlocked in Cape Town, South Africa on April 25th, 2015

© Tyrone Bradley / Red Bull Content Pool

3. Have fun

WHY: This is skateboarding, not quantum physics. By putting fun first, everything else falls into place. “The film parts are fun,” says Allan. “Competitions as well. Whatever, just be yourself and have fun. If not, you’re going to stress. You’ll be nervous. If it’s always about having fun, then you relax and that’s how you progress and learn faster.”

4. Dare to dream

WHY: If you can dream it and you believe it, then you can achieve it. The only limitation is your imagination and even when Allan doesn’t consciously think about something, it comes to him in his sleep. “Yesterday I learned a new trick. I dreamed about it and the next day I went out and did it. Five attempts and I stuck it.”

Allan Adams

Allan: “Yesterday I learned a new trick. I dreamed about it and the next day I went out and did it. Five attempts and I stuck it.”

© Tyrone Bradley

5. Let someone else go first

WHY: Whether it’s playing a game of SKATE or throwing himself down a flight of stairs, Allan will always wait for his big brother to go before him. This could become problematic further down the line but for now it’s working. “I’ve finished school now and following in my brother’s footsteps. My parents think it’s great. Moses proving that he could make it has made it easier for me to go full time with my skateboarding,” Allan says.

6. Do, don’t talk

WHY: The British philosopher Bertrand Russell once said that the trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. There’s a beauty in Allan’s humility and how he’ll never tell you how he can do something if there’s a way to show you. “I’d rather go do the thing than talk about it,” he says. “There’s a lot of guys who speak a lot and then don’t do anything. I’d rather skate.”

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