"You're worthy of what you dream of."
This is the message daredevil Robbie 'Maddo' Maddison wants to share with the world. Achieving the impossible is what this Hollywood stunt performer and record-breaking freestyle motocross rider does best.
In our latest Think Bold series, the legend of freestyle motocross and long-time Insta360 collaborator sat down with us to discuss fatal obstacles, keeping Evel Knievel's legacy alive, and his ultimate dream.
Watching his heroes
Growing up around dirt bikes, Maddison was hooked on the sport from the age of four. But watching his hero, Evel Knievel, attempting (and often failing) monumental jumps fueled his desire for daredevilry further.
In 1989, Maddison's namesake, Robbie Knievel, jumped Caesars Palace. This jump was no small feat, as his father, Evel Knievel, attempted and failed the same record-breaking jump 22 years prior. For 8-year-old Maddison, watching this stunt was a life-changing moment.
"I wanted to be Robbie Knievel... that was really when the dream hit."
On the brink
Before his freestyle motocross career even began, however, Maddison faced a life-threatening jet ski accident aged 16. Ingesting a mouthful of dirty water caused him to contract viral meningitis and encephalitis, resulting in stroke-like symptoms, vision loss and, ultimately, Second Impact Syndrome. This condition means that every stunt he attempts is potentially fatal.
"When I have a traumatic injury, I go into seizure, and if I don't have medical people there to take me out of seizure, ultimately I die... I've been paddled back to life four times, so I definitely know I'm here for a purpose."
Face your fears, live your dreams
It was a long road to recovery. The traumatic experience meant he lost memories and needed to relearn a lot. But with tenacious perseverance and determination, Maddison came out with a new mindset and different ambitions. Even death wouldn't stop him from living his ultimate dream.
Looking at his framed photo of Evel Knievel and his Guinness World Record, Maddison knows that's what drives him to keep going.
"I have an ultimate goal... I'll be happy to hang up my boots
when I can achieve what Evel Knievel couldn't."
Multiple world records, epic freefalls, and jumping the Las Vegas Arc de Triomphe would be enough for most people. But Maddison's thirst for adventure hasn't shown any sign of slowing. His wildest endeavor to date combines his love of dirt bikes and surfing: his water bike.
"I had this crazy idea and decided to follow it... it's led me to be able to ride on water."
It took countless tries and fails before this achievement was possible, and it's a nerve-racking experience each time he takes it out for a spin. But instead of giving in to these negative thoughts, Maddison embraces them and uses them as motivation.
"I train to have a relationship with my soul and ask my soul to guide me... it's crazy the way the universe has guided me."
Capture it all
Insta360 cameras have allowed Maddison to showcase how extreme his stunts really are. Maddison can reframe his 360 footage with action cameras like X3 to show viewers exactly what he is up against, while accessories such as the Invisible Selfie Stick help capture mind blowing third-person views and epic shots of his bravery and daring.
Something special in store
Without giving too much away, Maddison hints towards a stunt bigger than anything he's previously attempted. One that will put his bravery to the test and be the greatest tribute to Evel Knievel's legacy.
Armed with an abundance of Insta360 action cameras to capture every second, Robbie Maddison is ready to inspire, dream and think bold.
"If you believe in something enough, then go and do it."
(Courtesy of Insta360 - written by Laura Nellis)