Boost your skills

Boost your skills

Words: DYLAN MUHLEBERG
Photo (above): Tyrone Bradley

Here’s how Moses Adams got to the top of the South African street skate scene

As one of South Africa’s best street skaters, Moses Adams is able to do things on a skateboard that defy gravity. Whether that’s a flatland flip trick or hurling himself down a flight of stairs, Moses never ceases to amaze. These are his top tricks…

1. Life is a competition

WHY: While it’s good to have fun and enjoying yourself is key, by upping the stakes and learning to thrive under pressure, you will become comfortable in competition situations.  Says Moses: “Soccer. Playstation. Even when we skate, we play SKATE. If you lose the first one, then go best out of three. And the loser makes tea.”

2. Practice makes perfect

WHY: Whether it’s Gary Player’s pithy “The more I practice, the luckier I get” or Malcolm Gladwell’s theory of 10 000 hours, no-one can deny that getting to the top requires putting in plenty of time. “Obviously it doesn’t land out of the sky,” says Moses. “You have to practise and learn from your mistakes. Watch skate videos. Progress.”

Moses Adams

Moses Adams relaxes during a training session in Cape Town, South Africa on the 29th November, 2013

© Kolesky / Nikon / Red Bull Content Pool

3. A poor workman blames his tools

WHY: Moses cut his teeth on broken, hand-me-down boards on a stretch of tarmac in front of the Milnerton library. Despite not having the best resources, he progressed nonetheless and when the equipment and skate parks arrived, he was more than ready.

4. Patience is a virtue

WHY: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Getting to the top of your game takes work. Patience and persistence has helped Moses achieve what he has. “It takes a few hours to stick a trick. I won’t rest until I’ve stuck it. Not even a two-minute break.”

Moses Adams

Moses Adams skates after the Red Bull Local Hero Tour in Muscat, Oman on February 1st, 2015

© Geoff Odell / Red Bull Content Pool

5. There will be haters

WHY: Not everyone will understand your path and share your vision. Those people are best ignored. Focus on yourself and forget the rest. “I was skating and there was this banker on his lunch break in a suit,” recalls Moses. “He started shouting at me. Telling me that I was wasting my life. And I said, ‘If you only knew where this has taken me. So keep walking.’”

6. Make your family proud

WHY: The awards and accolades are great, as are the groupies and the fans. However, it’s the approval of those who closest to you that matters most. “You need to have people around you who support you and will give you good advice,” says Moses. “When I came home with my first paycheck from a competition, my dad understood. He’s really supportive now. He told me that I have a good attitude and that I’m a good son. His opinion means a lot to me.”

Moses Adams

Moses Adams performs during a training session in Cape Town, South Africa on the 29th November, 2013.

© Kolesky / Nikon / Red Bull Content Pool

7. It’s about attitude

WHY: Nice guys finish last? Not in this game, where brands bank their marketability on how the public perceives their team riders. “A crap personality is not going to get you anywhere,” says Moses. “Good attitude? People will want to chill with you. They’ll want to know you. Work with you. They’ll spread your name around.”

8. Get a second opinion

WHY: Nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Listen to your body and if someone doubts you or your ability, then check with someone else. “One time, the doctor said that my arm was badly broken and that he had to put screws in it. I said, ‘No, I don’t want pins and needles. I don’t trust you guys.’ So he put the cast on and I waited, waited, waited and after two weeks my arm was fine.”

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