50-year-old Rob Roskopp is co-founder and owner of Santa Cruz Bicycles. When the brand launched in the early 1990s, it did so not with a hardtail - the norm at the time - but with an early full-suspension bike called the Tazmon. Since then, Rob has built an innovative brand with one of the strongest identities and most loyal fanbases around, helped by the star names recruited to its Syndicate team, including Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Greg Minnaar and Cedric Gracia. Before launching Santa Cruz Bicycles, Rob had spent spent six years as one of the world's top skateboarders, just as the sport was really taking off. In 1987, he featured in Scott Ditrich’s legendary “Wheels of Fire” film together with Natas Kaupas, Steve Alba and Christian Hosoi. After growing up in Ohio, Rob travelled to California with just $800 in his pocket in 1982 at the age of 19, with the intention of going to university. Instead, within a year, he was being sponsored by Independent Trucks as a pro skater, and it wasn’t until 1990 that he quit skating in order to study business. Three years later, while working part-time at Santa Cruz Skateboards, Santa Cruz Bicycles was born. He says that he rarely skates now, only visiting the local skate park when his son wants to practice his skills. However, he regularly rides cross country with short steep climbs and some flowy single track. “I ride it because it’s the closest type of riding to my house,” he says, “and it keeps me pretty fit.”
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