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The real reason you don't hear from Rob Dyrdek anymore

Rob Dyrdek never wanted to follow the straight and narrow, and the past few decades of his career as a pro skater turned reality TV sensation turned creative entrepreneur have reflected that at every turn. After Dyrdek turned 16, he dropped out of high school and moved to Southern California to pursue his dream of becoming a pro skateboarder. He started experimenting with some business pursuits on the side, and years later, he took his life in a new direction when he made his reality TV debut alongside his best friend and bodyguard Christopher "Big Black" Boykin with the MTV series Rob & Big.

It's always seemed like Dyrdek was living the dream — who wouldn't want to make millions while competing in the sport they love and goofing off with their friends on camera? But in recent years, Dyrdek has taken a step back from the spotlight. Here's what he's been up to since scaling back on skateboarding, and why you won't catch him on reality TV anymore.

He married Bryiana Flores in 2015

In September 2015, Dyrdek married his longtime girlfriend Bryiana Noelle Flores. The two got engaged at Disneyland Resort in April 2015 — while they were watching the Aladdin Show, Dyrdek told Flores a little white lie and said he had to step out to use the bathroom. He secretly snuck around backstage and carried out a wild public proposal that could have totally been a stunt on his former reality show, Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory. He came out on stage riding an elephant and asked Flores to be his wife! How could she say no to that?

After enjoying a romantic and extravagant "babymoon" in Bora Bora, the couple welcomed their first child on September 9, 2016: a son named Kodah Dash Dyrdek. Dyrdek was ecstatic about becoming a father for the first time. "As much as I love this woman with all of my being, I could never express how proud I am of how strong she is," he wrote on Instagram. "I have been in awe of how well she has handled the difficult task of growing a child and preparing to become a mother."

He's a father of two

Dyrdek and Flores seem to be quite happy with parenthood, and in December 2017, the couple announced the arrival of their second child, a baby girl named Nala Ryan Dyrdek, and expressed their joy at giving Kodah a sibling and growing their family. Now 44, Dyrdek waited until later in life to start his family — for decades, his career was always at the forefront. But it seems like he was ready for a change, and he wanted to settle down and make the most of his time with his family. Celebs, they're just like us — even they feel their priorities changing as they get older and wiser.

Although Dyrdek's life is very different now, so far he seems to be nothing but thrilled about his new role as a father. When announcing the birth of his daughter, he shared on Instagram, "She is an angel from heaven. She is absolute perfection. She is our princess."

He wants to keep his private life off camera

Dyrdek has admitted that he prefers to maintain a stronger boundary between his business and personal life now than he did in the past — and this change has been a long time coming. While Dyrdek was working on Rob & Big, he didn't like the lack of privacy that appearing on MTV afforded him. After the final season aired in 2008, MTV originally approached Dyrdek with the prospect of shooting an additional season, but Dyrdek knew it was time for something different.

"My businesses were being affected, my skateboarding was being affected, and I hated that it was being filmed at my house," Dyrdek told ThoughtCo. "So, once we had a little break, it evolved. I thought, what if I added a skatepark to my business?" Thus, Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory was born, and Dyrdek could finally keep his home life and his reality TV shenanigans separate. The show was a hit, airing from 2009 to 2015.

He ended his partnership with DC Shoes

Dyrdek partnered with DC Shoes at the start of his pro skateboarding career in 1995 — the brand was actually called Droors Clothing back then. He was sponsored by DC until 2016, meaning that they heavily promoted Dyrdek and his career for two decades. Dyrdek was one of the first skateboarders that the brand actually sponsored, and they were one of his longest-running partnerships. For those who have been following Dyrdek's career since he was a teenager, it's hard to imagine him in the skateboarding world without being associated with DC.

While partnering with DC, Dyrdek began learning about shoe design and marketing, and he also got his first real taste of entrepreneurship. He helped the team at DC come up with ideas for their skate videos, which eventually helped him connect with the higher-ups at MTV. That led to meeting the cast and crew of Jackass, and eventually getting into talks about having his own reality show. Although Dyrdek and DC had a mutually beneficial partnership for over 20 years, things changed when their parent company, Quiksilver, filed for bankruptcy in September 2015. The following year, Quiksilver rejected Dyrdek's contract and prioritized forming partnerships with a different team of pro skateboarders instead.

Entrepreneurship is his true passion

Even though Dyrdek was always passionate about skateboarding, over time, he started to feel like entrepreneurship was his true calling. He started his first company when he was only 18, selling skateboard parts under the brand name Orion Trucks. He thought of the idea, connected with the manufacturer, and began the exciting and challenging process of building his very first business.

Dyrdek has said he didn't make much money with Orion Trucks, and the company was a short-lived endeavor. However, he fell in love with the experience of building a business from the ground up, and he knew it wouldn't be his last attempt. It's no surprise that in recent years, he's returned to his entrepreneurial roots and now devotes most of his time and energy to helping others scale up their businesses. "There's never one time that it ever gets old to me," Dyrdek told Foundr. "The moment there's a single transaction, when someone buys another thing that you've built for the first time, it's the most incredible feeling, each and every time."

He's running the Dyrdek Machine

So if Dyrdek isn't holding down his own reality TV series, and he isn't spending his days skateboarding, then what exactly is he working on right now? Currently, he spends most of his working hours immersed in his venture studio, the Dyrdek Machine. It serves as a legal holding company for all of Dyrdek's different ventures, and he describes it as part branding agency, part venture capital firm.

The Dyrdek Machine was officially launched in 2017, and it's basically a business incubator for new companies. He's typically involved with more than a dozen different companies to varying degrees, while working with others that are still in development. Although he's picky about the brands he takes on, he dabbles in a wide range of industries, and says he's particularly passionate about working with other entrepreneurs who get as excited about brand building.

He was over reality TV

Why did Dyrdek decide to step back from reality TV when it was those same TV shows that really propelled him to mainstream fame and success? He clearly isn't done with TV appearances — after all, he still has his show Ridiculousness, which he hosts with Sterling Brim and Chanel West Coast and which has been running since 2011.

But when it comes to his involvement with Ridiculousness, most of his responsibilities center around discovering and curating hilarious content for the show, which was inspired by the format of America's Funniest Home Videos. Overall, Dyrdek said that working in reality TV just took too much out of him. He wanted to put all that time toward his other professional interests; eventually, he realized he was simply spreading himself too thin, and he needed to narrow his focus a bit. He stated that reality TV didn't give him the same "return on energy" that building businesses brought him, so he decided to switch up his priorities.

He co-founded Black Feather Whiskey

When it comes to business, it seems like Dyrdek is willing to try anything once. However, he also has no shame about playing favorites, and there are certain brands that he's super enthusiastic about working with. For example, he's a co-founder of Black Feather Whiskey, a bourbon company based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Their whiskey is currently available in Utah, Texas, California, Colorado, and Florida, and they have plans to continue expanding their sales operations across the country with Dyrdek's assistance and guidance.

Dyrdek is particularly excited about working with this particular company, and he maintains an involved advisory role in the business. Not every company he partners with gets the same treatment. "I am incredibly selective about the companies I partner with," Dyrdek told The Spirits Business. "However, Black Feather immediately rose above, due to the innovative and passionate group of individuals driving the brand that embody this 'do-or-dier' spirit."

He's the owner of Ultracast

Dyrdek is involved with another innovative company that hasn't gotten a ton of press yet, but with the increasing popularity of virtual reality technology, they could have a bright future ahead. Dyrdek is now an owner of Ultracast, a virtual reality content platform that aims to deliver "immersive experiences." While the business is still growing, Dyrdek says he sees a lot of great opportunities ahead for Ultracast and similar platforms.

Fans of Fantasy Factory will probably remember that Dyrdek always wanted to stay on the cutting edge and be the first to dive right in and experiment with new technology — nothing was off his radar. A platform like Ultracast is right up his alley, and it's no surprise that Dyrdek would want to get in on the virtual reality game early, before the phenomenon really blows up. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is spotting trends before everyone else starts crowding the field. With Dyrdek at the helm, Ultracast is likely to be a successful endeavor.

He's getting in on the supplement game

You could say Rob Dyrdek definitely has his hands full these days — he's also getting into the supplement market and the growing plant-based snack niche. With so many people interested in "clean eating" and finding out exactly where their food comes from, it's only natural that an entrepreneur like Dyrdek would want to get in on this major trend. These markets are only expected to keep expanding, so his endeavors in this area definitely seem promising.

Dyrdek helped launch the supplement brand Momentous, which he's referred to as "the premium Ferrari of supplements." He's also working with Outstanding Foods, which is putting exclusively plant-based snacks on grocery store shelves. Their offerings include "pigless bacon chips." From whiskey to virtual reality to vitamins to snack food, Dyrdek is getting involved with all kinds of fascinating companies — the Dyrdek Machine just doesn't stop.

He mourned the loss of "Big Black"

Despite struggling to reconcile their differences (off camera) while filming the later seasons of Rob & Big, Dyrdek and his co-star Christopher "Big Black" Boykin always shared a strong bond and years of happy memories. In 2017, Big Black shockingly passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 45. Naturally, Dyrdek was devastated, and he needed time to grieve the loss. The two had been inseparable for years, and even after they decided that it was time to close the door on Rob & Big, Big Black still made appearances on Fantasy Factory and made the cast and crew laugh.

Dyrdek shared his thoughts on the loss of his friend on social media with their fans. Dyrdek's life would not have been the same with Big Black by his side. "We truly were brothers that lived an unexpected unforgettable adventure," Dyrdek wrote on Twitter. "I just can't fathom that it would end so suddenly. You will forever be in my heart."

He would rather work magic behind the scenes

Overall, it seems Rob Dyrdek has allowed himself to fade out of the spotlight by choice. He clearly prefers to work behind the scenes rather than competing in front of crowds or performing for the camera. Although he has fun on the set of Ridiculousness, he isn't looking to be the star of the show anymore —he'd rather be the guy pulling the levers behind the curtain to make it all happen. "Anytime an opportunity presents itself, really what I'm trying to do is put an infrastructure around me to creatively operate at a very high level and be able to have the people who can execute the idea," Dyrdek told Forbes. "I operate best on big vision and creative detail."

If you still want to see Dyrdek on your TV screen these days, you'll just have to catch him hosting Ridiculousness. But who knows? He could also be the genius behind some of your new favorite brands and products. Nowadays, he seems to be doing a little bit of everything — and he's loving it.

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