Tobi Deckert is a poly-extreme sports athlete, entrepreneur, engineer, and DJ. An all-around incredible human that just can't seem to sit still, he's consistently pushing the boundaries both as a professional and an athlete. Thanks to his love of nature and well-rounded skillset — he is trying to forge new ways to reduce his own footprint by applying his business and engineering skills into larger solutions.
Where were your born and raised? How did that influence the man you are today and all the interests you have?
I was born in southern Germany in Munich close to the alps. So I got my ambition to the mountains and all those different sports there from my father.
You are quite the world traveler. Can you give us a bit of a list of the top places you have been to? When you travel, what do you typically do?
Indeed I have been quite lucky travelling many countries so far. The purpose is quite different, sometimes it is work related, sometimes it’s rather leisure connected with sports. During the last couple of years I was visiting the US, Australia, China, New Zealand, Brazil, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and many places all over Europe. In most of the cases some commercial and promotional shootings and products tests took place there.
You are a super eclectic individual. You have interests in everything from engineering to kiteboarding to extreme backcountry skiing to DJing. Tell us a bit about your passions and why you participate in such an array of extreme sports?
Yeah, you listed already all my passions (so far). I just love doing and learning new things. Getting bored of an ordinary life, I was always looking for synergies among my interests. That’s why I probably worked as a product developer at Skywalk, a company that produces kites and paragliders. As soon as I had access to all this different gear, there were no borders anymore. I started mixing those sports throughout the seasons like I would mix my music on a party. Soon I began to earn some money with those side jobs as companies needed versatile content for their social media channels. This even got me some more possibilities to move on with my doings and learn other skills like movie editing or stunts for movies in the theatre.
With so much risk, what is the ultimate reward for you? Is there a particular mantra that you live by the fuels your urge to live an extreme lifestyle?
I cannot deny that I love taking risks, no matter if in a sporty way or business related. Breaking out of your comfort zone is one of the most important things to get progress. The ultimate reward is good vibes together with friends and that can be caused by a nice session of kitesurfing, flying or skiing for example. So sport is definitely my fuel to overcome challenging hurdles at my business and djing and movie editing unleashes my creativity which is quite as important to face daily tasks.
Throughout your youth, how did you originally discover all of these activities, find time to practice them and become world class? Did you have a particular mentor or support system that kept you focused?
Well I’m not performing at a world class level but gaining skills at some sports in particular is all about the people you are around with. That means my support system has always been my network of really good friends. This is one of the highest influences of pushing yourself to next levels. I have never performed very well in only one sport, as I loved to mix them but exactly this was the reason for cross progress to other disciplines. As one day lasts 24 h, I needed 8h for working, 8h for sleeping, which means there are 8h left over to do some crazy stuff. The only thing is to remain motivated to do some after work “productivities” — and I’m not talking about sitting in front of the TV.
With so much exposure to land, sea, mountains and air, you must be unfortunately intimate with the poor condition of our environment? What are some of the issues you recognize in the remote places you visit?
Indeed, when I’m in the mountains in the winter I can evidently see melting of the glaciers, when I’m at the beach, there is almost no spot anymore without garbage. Of course I recognize the issue: it’s us. Everywhere where there are human beings, the world does not look like it should look. The more people the worse.
How do you express the environmentalist within you while you are simply living day to day? What are some simple things that you are mindful of which keep your own footprint on this earth small?
This is a really trapping question as all (my) travelling is leaving a footprint. It’s always easy to blame politicians or big business managers but start thinking about yourself also, for example your buying behaviour (no matter if food or hardware). As environment and it’s healthcare is related to money in most of the cases, look at what you buy for which price. From my point of view as an engineer I can tell that the cheapest things can’t be the most environmentally friendly ones.
To get a better conscience regarding all my traveling burning a lot of fuel, I try to use my engineering and business skills to keep my footprint small. One way is to produce and use upcycled products which I do together with “rubbish upcycling” (https://rubbish-design.com/pages/tobi-deckert-kitesurf-snowkite-freerider) Another example is one of my inventions “SHRED RACK” to allow carrying a lot of gear on the roof of a small car. With these inflatable car roof racks people can use only one car and fit in there all together with all their gear.
Where can people find you or get in touch?