Anton Roux – Reckless Behaviour

Anton Roux always skates with reckless abandon, he just goes for things full speed! It’s pretty insane to watch, you’re either going to see an incredible trick or the heaviest slam. We caught up with Anton for an interview on the occasion that his video part just dropped.

Are you still living in the Gordon’s Bay area?

I’m still staying in Gordon’s Bay, I don’t think I have any reason to be anywhere else. I’m fortunate to have my family and friends nearby and it’s fairly safe, I think I might even forget to lock my house every now and then.

You recently stepped back from skating a lot to focus on your career and family, when did you make the conscious decision to stop being a fully sponsored skater?

So I stepped back from being a sponsored skateboarder for multiple reasons and I’m honestly so glad I did it. It all happened around the time Session shifted to online only content. I felt like South Africa lost a platform in skateboarding where anyone can tell their story and it would be set in print. That same print mag can be picked up years later and that story of some kid who pushed beyond his boundaries to get a photo or interview will still be there and might even inspire the next generation. I could have adapted and shared my story online like everyone else, but that is just not for me. There was an issue I had with being sponsored as well. There are so many good kids out there that need that product or exposure a lot more than what I needed. I can go buy a new board or shoes so why stand in the way of someone else’s future when I can look after myself. I did have a particular issue at the Vans Park Series bowl competition at The Shred where I rocked up with my girlfriend and I asked if she could get a VIP ticket, but I was sadly denied. Meanwhile there were drunks in that VIP area that probably don’t even own a skateboard. I don’t have an issue with the Vans brand at all, they gave me so much and they are currently the only ones doing any good in SA. I just felt a bit cheated I guess. Then probably the biggest reason I stepped back from being sponsored is the fact that it was so time consuming. I made a decision around that time to focus on my life the same way I did with skateboarding over the years. That meant getting a job where I could grow and become successful. Starting a family, because nobody wants to be alone in the good or bad times. I also wanted to look at my future and know that I’m independent. Skateboarding came first for me but I realized if I was going to continue with that mindset I wasn’t going to get anywhere.

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 11.38.51 AM
Photo – Jansen van Staden

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 11.39.16 AM
Photo – Sam Clark

You have a pretty intense job, can tell us about that?

So I started working at Energy Partners Water, a company dedicated to providing clean drinking water, no matter what the source might be. We build massive water plants and then sell the water instead of the plant, but also give the client a choice to buy it whenever they want to. Double payday. Energy Partners also focus on solar, refrigeration, steam and fuel. So they can basically take a company completely off the grid and it will cost the company less money than usual. I’m currently a Senior Water Technician/Manager focusing on the day-to-day management while also building these incredible water plants. Best of all is that I’m an Aquarius.

You were involved in a project during the heavy Cape Town drought a couple years ago. Can you tell us what your company was doing to help the city during that period?

So yeah our company helped out the government during the water drought period. We basically built plants at hospitals, prisons, youth care centers, malls and shopping centers. We did such a good job that we received a 5 year maintenance contract from the government, and for plants that were built by other companies. Water is such an essential part of our daily living and seeing that planet earth consists of 71% water, of which only 2,5% is fresh water, we are fucked if we don’t start saving our water source. Luckily our company can purify just about anything so we have a bright future ahead.

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 2.42.12 PM
Photo – Joubert van Staden

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 11.44.37 AM
Photo – Jansen van Staden

How often are you still able to get out and go skating nowadays?

Well I can skate pretty much any weekend I guess, but honestly I sometimes need a brake to relax and get my head in the right place. I also feel like if I skate every weekend then I’m losing out on a lot, so I skate whenever I’m itching to get out there. When I do skate I normally roll with my brother and Gerald, and occasionally I get to skate with the so-called ‘Damd Crew’, but it’s not nearly enough. I should definitely make some time to get out there.

You first became known in the scene as a younger ripper in the Damd crew, and AD (former Session editor and designer) was like a driving force behind that, do you know what AD is up to nowadays?

Well AD is a husband, father of three and a servant to God. I think he is exactly where he needs to be and I’m hyped for him. I see him from time to time, but not nearly enough.

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 11.46.31 AM
Photo – Jansen van Staden

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 11.47.07 AM
Photo – Jansen van Staden

Have you got a house in the suburbs yet, and any plans for maybe a mini ramp in the garden?

So I’ve got a 3-bedroom house, but I’m still renting unfortunately. I’m definitely looking at buying in the near future though. I’m also turning the house into a home by bringing in a new addition into the family. Jady is currently pregnant and she is expecting a baby boy on the 12th of July 2020. We decided to have a natural home birth with a midwife and a doula to fully experience this wonderful gift of life. I’m really excited to start this new chapter in my life and we are thankful for all the help we have received from family, friends and colleagues so far. So there’s no mini ramp for me, but perhaps more like a ‘man cave’ in the garage.

You went to a whole bunch of places on Vans trips during the filming of your video part, what was your favourite place you visited?

So I was fortunate enough to travel all over SA with Vans, but there is no particular place that stood out for me. I honestly enjoyed being with the oaks on the road and the destination was just a cherry on the cake. I mean you could hit a spot in some small town in the middle of nowhere and it would be more fun than any big town out there. I’m bummed I never got a chance to go overseas, but it’s still on my bucket list.

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 11.56.45 AM
Photo – Jansen van Staden

What was the last clip you filmed? And was there anything you tried that didn’t work out that you’d love to go back for sometime? Like what about that crazy tail drop, where is that spot and what happened there?

So filming for this part was fun, I got to go to some amazing places with amazing people and I got the chance to skate interesting spots. This was definitely the last thing I filmed in a long time and I’m glad everyone gets to view it in these tough times. I usually try to skate those spots that normally scare people, but it also doesn’t always work out for me. Like the tail drop on that steep green bank. Andre Visser showed me the spot years back and I didn’t even think it was possible, so when I finally manned up to hit it I failed at rolling away, but I’m still pretty sure it’s possible. The old lady whose house it is was not amped, trying to beat me with a broom and her neighbour on the other hand was cheering me on. I think I should go back there with Andre, seeing that he was the one who introduced me to it.

You got the last print mag cover (Session 80) with that big lipslide on the rail in Ballito, tell us about that session and how long it took to land that?

The last cover of Session Mag is probably one of my biggest achievements in skateboarding. That rail is massive and when you roll up to it the landing is not visible, so you start doubting yourself. I think the only reason why I managed to roll away was the thought in my mind that everyone else was too scared to attempt it and, “I’m going to conquer it!” Apparently there was an international pro there once and he didn’t even attempt it. Braxton gave it a go once I think. That day is a bit of a blur for me, I think I was way too focused on rolling away. I think it took me like 7 or 8 tries, I just remembered that I fucked up both my ankles and I couldn’t skate for the rest of the trip. That ankle injury also took me like a year to properly heal up from. I remember skating afterwards for like an hour or so and then struggling to walk for an entire day. That is definitely something I wouldn’t want to relive. I have healed up since and I’m normally full of energy when I do skate. Taking slams is fun when there is a purpose behind it. Nowadays I can’t really afford to injure myself, seeing that I’m the breadwinner in the house.

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 11.41.22 AM
Photo – Jansen van Staden

The clips in this part go back years, were you starting to maybe think it was never coming out, how often do you speak to Joubert (Session filmer) about the part?

I’m really glad this video part was in good hands, Joubert puts a lot of pride in his work and I’m always hyped to see the outcome. I normally don’t interrupt the editing work, I feel like my part is done once that clip is filmed. Whether the people enjoy it or not, I got to spread my message.

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 2.43.29 PM
Photo – Joubert van Staden

Do you think you have another part in you in the future, or do you just skate for fun when you have time now?

I would love to film another part and even shoot for another interview, but for now I want to focus on the things that truly make me happy. I hope that these words and my video reach out to anyone interested in my life and that it has an impact on their life. Joubert when you are releasing that bail part or do you still need more clips?

Thanks for your time, any final words to end this thing off?

Remember not to take family, friends and time for granted. This Coronavirus just showcased how quickly everything you know can be turned upside down. Stay safe and hopefully we get to roll soon once this has passed.

Screen shot 2020-04-06 at 11.40.05 AM
Photo – Sam Clark