Robert Neal wears many hats — among them are renowned skater, Louis Vuitton model, animal lover and paintball aficionado — but at his core, he's an athlete. For the latest installment of HYPEBEAST Diaries, we followed the multi-hyphenate through a day in his life to uncover exactly what that looks like.
“I’m still athlete-skateboarder Robert Neal, but everything else comes secondary,” he confirms in the video. ”It was hurting to get here, bro. If I keep going, it’s still going to hurt, but hey, it’s going to be a better day.”
Neal, who has been skateboarding for 13 years, starts his day like the average Joe — vacuuming around his house and playing with his pet tarantula, which he says he has owned since he was in the third grade. Afterward, he sifts through his vast collection of boards, recalling his first-ever sponsorship from Primitive, which turned out to be the catalyst for his long-running success as a skater.
"I ended up meeting Paul [Rodriguez, founder of Primitive]," Neal explained. "Paul gave me my first board sponsor, which was Primitive. Paul already knew my situation. I had no one to film me or put content out for me, so I skated in front of him. Thank god he saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself."
Later, Neal reflects on his work with Louis Vuitton for the label's Fall/Winter 2021 sunglasses campaign, recalling the impact that Virgil Abloh's recognition had on his career.
“Bro, skateboarding is part of the culture. It’s part of the fashion culture as it is. I’ll say I found out Virgil was following me and posting me for a minute, and I was like oh what the f***. I didn’t know he knew who I was or that I even existed. When he hit me for [Louis Vuitton], he was like, 'What's your email? What's your address?' And literally a week later, I'm shooting. It was f****** crazy."
Neal then engages in an adrenaline-filled paintball game with friends before hitting "the spot" for a routine skating session, during which he shows off his natural affinity for the sport. After reflecting on his wide-spanning career milestones, he reminds us that his passion will always be skateboarding: “I still have other interests like acting, or modeling, but I’m still an athlete before anything."
Watch the latest installment of HYPEBEAST Diaries above.
Elsewhere, revisit skater Lil Dre's HYPEBEAST Diaries.