Back to News & Features


A day in Tasmania with a bloke from Ballina...

    Written by
  • Wade McLaughlin
    Photography by
  • Wade McLaughlin

Jakob ‘Kob’ Robinson, the kid from Ballina, NSW. He’s gone from doing one foot 50-50 stalls in competitions as a grommet, to a hesh-lord transition killer.

Height, radius, lumpyness, whatever the fuck, it doesn’t matter, he’ll rip it. A few months ago, we were down in Hobart, and we decided to see what we could shoot in a day on the streets. The following interview is a chat we had a couple months later.

 Hey Kob, what have you been doing in isolation?

I’ve actually just been skating heaps. It’s been good. My flat ground game is pretty shocking, so I’ve been working on that. The local netball courts have become the new spot, it’s actually where I first started skating so there’s plenty of good memories here.

So, you’re born and bred Ballina? Tell us a little bit about life in Balifornia.

Yeah BALNA born and bred, life’s pretty good here. It’s a small town so there’s not a whole heap to do but I love it. I feel like I need to move but at the same time, I don’t really want to [Laughs] Your ideal day in Bal would be to wake up, go to Martins Pies, hit the park, jump off Missingham bridge then finish the day off with a beer at the Shawsy  [Shaws Bay Hotel]

And you’ve got a rad permission pool now!

Yes! Grimaces’ pool is crazy, it’s definitely one of a kind. One of my good mates Tony Chavez knew a guy with an empty pool on his property but it was trash, there’s no way you could skate it. Tony and another mate Shem Bragg ripped the guts out of it and laid some nice transitions. It’s super tight and gnarly but it’s so much fun to skate. Big ups to the boys for putting in the work and also to Grimace for allowing us to come skate.

Ken-oath. I was there when they poured it, they did it all in one go, was a skitz pour. Then you rock up when all the work’s done and skate the fuck out of it, ya dog.

Yeah I’ve got no excuse I should have been there.

But we’ll excuse that because you’ve been on a tear lately. Especially in Tasmania when we shot this, tell us a bit about that trip..

Tassie was such a rad little trip. We went over for a comp and then got to spend a few days skating around and hanging with the local crew. There are so many good spots there, that fountain was definitely the highlight for me. We only just got that photo! Security gave us the boot earlier in the day, then we just managed to sneak it in that afternoon. I was leaving the next morning too, so I would have been so bummed if I didn’t get it.

Yeah that was a funny barge. We wanted to shoot this in a day so you were hungry. So you won the comp in Hobart, shot this interview in a day then went straight to NZ and won Mangawhai bowl comp there. Do you feel like you fluked that one or did you know you had it?

Ah, I definitely didn’t know I had it. I hate it, but I still get really nervous before comps. I don’t really care about them, but if I travel a long way I want to try and do well. So, I did put in the work. But I think if anyone put it down on the day they could have won, so I don’t think I fluked it either, I just made sure I stayed on my board.

Good attitude! I like that comps aren’t your main jam but you treat it as a means to travel. You spent a month in NZ after winning that comp right?

Yeah, so I flew to NZ, went and skated that comp and then went on a huge road trip around the north island with two of my good mates Bowman Hanson & Dylan Monk. We didn’t have any plans, we just got a car and started heading north. Driving around NZ is such a pleasure, that’s always a highlight for me. The skating and sightseeing was amazing but the best part of NZ for me is always the people. One night we were nearly out of fuel and the rain was coming over, we didn’t know what to do. So, we pulled up at this pub hoping to get directions and ended up with a place to sleep for the night. This kind lady and her friend took us back to their house, gave us beer and let us play pool all night. That’s definitely my favourite memory of NZ.

“Since lockdown I’ve really gotten my shit together, I’m feeling stronger physically and mentally. I’m not sure what’s next, but whatever it is I’m excited for it.”

You spent some time with Lee Ralph too right?

Yeah that was so rad, Lee is a legend. We went and visited him and Tarns in their hometown, then spent a couple of nights with them and some of the Aussie crew that are over there at the moment. Lee and I got along really well, it was cool to sit down with him and talk about skateboarding. Everyone ended up coming down to Wellington for Bowlzilla, it was so sick having Lee at the comp, he brought so much energy.

Lee is the coolest, he has the best philosophy, he’s like a skate elder. Oh, shit I forgot about Bowzilla! How did you do in that? I didn’t stay posted.

Bowlzilla was fun, I managed to take first. It was a good way to end the trip


That’s like 3 wins in 3 weeks. Good innings Kob. Are you working at the moment? Or coasting off comp winnings?

Nah, I did have a job washing dishes at the local RSL , but since all this bullshit I’ve been out of work. I’ve been living off comp winnings for a while, and some money I had saved for a trip. As much as I didn’t want to, I started doing a few skate lessons. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

I back it, those kids wouldn’t get that experience any other way, so it’s a legit service you should be paid for. Any plans after all this virus lockdown blows over?

Once this is over, all I want to do is skate, this time has been good for me though. Since lockdown I’ve really gotten my shit together, I’m feeling stronger physically and mentally. I’m not sure what’s next, but whatever it is I’m excited for it.

Oh and of course… Any thanks?

Big Thankyou to all my mates and family, my sponsors, Vans Australia, Japan National, Truck Stop skate, Project Distribution, Ace Trucks.. Tony Chavez and Marty Baptist for all your help, and my Mum and Dad for always supporting me, I love you all.