Tao on Big Brother waterfall in White Salmon, Washington Ian Coble/Red Bull Photofiles

When it comes to kayaking, Tao Berman is a little nuts, going after some of the gnarliest first descents possible and charging at a phenomenal pace at races. But when things like The Economist and Warren Buffett top his list of favorites, it's obvious he's got his head on straight at all times. Whether he's bombing waterfalls or pushing boundaries in the many other sports he's into, Tao has a relentless drive that few can match. He fired off his favorites to us recently, so check 'em out to see what keeps him going...

Favorite movie:
Tombstone, because it has so many great lines. My favorite is “You’re so drunk you're probably seeing double." To which Doc Holliday replies: "I have two guns, one for each of you.”

Favorite book:
Lords of Finance. I find it interesting to read about financial history. Our central bankers and economists always think they know something about finance that their predecessors didn’t, and that they won’t make the same mistakes. The future always proves them wrong.

Knowing I have something to lose if I make a mistake makes the experience substantially more rewarding.

Favorite TV show:
I don’t watch TV.

Favorite magazine:
The Economist. It’s one of the few magazines that isn’t filled with a bunch of hyperbolic meaningless bullshit.

Favorite song or artist:
I’m rarely current on music. Last time I heard a song I really liked I found out it had been out for several years.

Favorite animal:
The gorilla is pretty cool. It can bench press one ton.

Favorite color:
Lace. 

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Favorite holiday:
I think holidays kind of suck. There are always too many expectations that go along with them. I prefer any time I’m just hanging out with family.

Favorite tech gadget:
For sure my iPhone. All the apps make me more efficient.

Favorite thing to eat:
Carbohydrates and protein. Sitting on the coast of Italy eating seafood pasta is pretty hard to beat.

Favorite thing to wear:
Flip flops, boardshorts, and a cut off t-shirt.

Favorite place to be:
Hood River, Oregon, during the summer. During my career I’ve traveled all over the world and I’ve never found a place that rivals Hood River. Within 20 minutes of my house I can do more than seven sports, and there is great night life in town. 

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Favorite way to indulge or treat/reward yourself:
I really like my BMW coupe and my BMW f650gs motocycle, but nothing tops having a three-sport day. Starting the day with fresh powder, then kayaking, and then dirt biking is awesome.

Favorite times to get up/go to bed:
I always find going to sleep boring, so I read until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. I get up between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m.

Favorite thing to spend money on:
That would for sure be investment properties. Every time I find a property with a cap rate of over 10, I can’t wait to spend my money. In my line of work I’m always one injury away from retirement, so I like to live for today but plan for tomorrow.

Favorite thing to do in your free time:
Golf, downhill mountain bike, rock climb, ski, dirt bike, road bike, surf, or windsurf.

Favorite Red Bull product (regular, sugarfree, energy shot, cola)
I’ll have to stick with the original regular, cooled to the point that it’s almost frozen.

Favorite time for a Red Bull:
Before a long drive, and 30 minutes before racing.

Favorite thing about your sport:
I like the danger. Knowing I have something to lose if I make a mistake makes the experience substantially more rewarding.

Favorite sport other than your own:
I’m learning how to downhill mountain bike and I’m really liking that right now because the learning curve is still very steep. In my sport I train so hard just to maintain or see tiny improvements, so it’s nice to see progression in other areas.

Favorite celebrity or sports star:
I’m a big Warren Buffett fan.

Favorite people to kayak with:
Every once in a while I get to paddle with friends that I started kayaking with when I was a teenager. It doesn’t get any better than that. 

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Favorite thing in your house or apartment:
The windows. I’m building a house right now that has a sick view. I figure if I can’t always be outside, at least I can see it.

Favorite thing about your life:
When I was finishing high school I knew I had to make money. I didn’t want to spend eight hours a day doing something I wasn’t passionate about, so I asked myself what I liked more than anything and the answer was kayaking. I get paid to do what I love, and that is what I like most about my life.

 

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