Appetite For Self Destruction

A Photo Essay by David Broach

Bleeding passion

Ragdoll

What kind of nutjob attempts to caveman bluntslide Staples in his bare feet? The same guy who started the trend of leaping tall buildings in nothing but a pair of skimpy canvas slip-ons-Ragdoll, that’s who. Hanging on for dear life while leaving a trail of calloused heel skin in his wake, Rags may not have come out alive on this one, but you just stay tuned.

Braydon Szafranski

What do you get when you grow up skating with guys like Ragdoll, Sammy Baca, Erik Hamamoto, Matt Ball and… Kenny Anderson? You get a hard-partying, harder-charging, no-questions-asked ripper-with the skate-mentoring instilled by Kenny along with his Baker Boss, Andrew Reynolds. No amount of broken knees and the time off board that can come with ’em have hindered Braydon in his quest for a semi-controlled skate recklessness, as evidenced here with this massive kickflip over the wall and into an abandoned parking lot.

Richie Belton

By no means does Richie Belton have to have it this way, but that’s one of those things that skateboarding will do to you. To most, it’s far from logical, and if the common man had a glimpse into the anything-goes, this-is-how-we-do Hellrose way of life, he’d surely be left with a churning stomach. But no matter what the price to pay, for Richie this is pure love. Frontside nosepick.

Thomas Bonilla

Thomas’ 360 flip over this rail was done in a pair of Vans Sk8-His, shoes that pre-dated the ollie by a decade or two, so they aren’t exactly the shoes to be jumping down s-t in. But Thomas doesn’t care, as long as he’s got a pair of shoes he’s good-and so good that he put this tre bomb down in the cusp of the tranny, ’cause going back home to Hellrose with this one under his belt will at least temporarily subside the comments about his King Cobra tattoo looking like a penguin.

Slash

There isn’t a gap to front board that could leave Slash shaking in his boots, nor a pair of soiled clothes that he’d turn a blind eye to-he’ll wear ’em ’til the disintigrate with no qualms about it. After all, less time thinking about what you’re going to wear while scraping your decrepid body off the couch in the morning equals more time to go all out-whether that be on the board or off. And this Vista-to-Hollywood Hellrose transplant will always have your back, just as long as you don’t leave a Black Widow under his pillow.

Sierra Fellers

“The Best Mountain Town In America” is the award often given to Kalispell, Montana, the homeplace of Sierra Fellers, and if you’re going to make a name for yourself in skateboarding, you sure as hell can’t do it in Flathead Valley or Glacier Park. With that said, Sierra has skated his way out, logging lots of hours in Southern California-hours where reckless abandon for one’s body combined with the sheer repetitiveness of any given trick have left him with quite the hefty technical assault manual. Here he guns it through an atmosphere much seedier than the one he’d grown up accustomed to-switch kickflip.

Gareth Stehr

With fellow Kiwi Lee Ralph being the only other pro from New Zealand to make a serious name for himself in the international skateboarding spotlight, and even then, that was over fifteen years ago, one could say the chips were fully stacked against Gareth Stehr coming to America to get a piece of the dream. And once he got here, he did make a name for himself skating the largest rails, drops, gaps-and with that gained the notoriety that comes with someone who’s taken some of the gnarliest falls video has ever captured. Try to lay him up in a hospital bed for weeks, and even tie him down with thousands of dollars in medical bills, but Gareth can’t be bothered from his mission at hand-pure skateboarding.

Ragdoll

So yeah, Rags had to lace his bloodied feet in cowhide to run away with the caveman bluntslide.

Chad Muska

Out of the scene for the last few years and with a hefty Hollyod party regimen, The Muska could have easily been cast off into the pro skateboarding gutter, but the most charismatic man to ever grace griptape just ain’t havin’ that. Back on the scene, a bit slimmed down, and very crispy and clean, The Muska takes it up instead of down with a frontside tailslide 270 out.

Appetite For Self-Destruction

An inside view on why people hurt themselves for a living:

Sometimes I sit at the bottom of a set of stairs, or in front of a gap and get nervous. My hands start to shake, my legs feel heavy, and I want to vomit. It’s a feeling that takes me all the way back to the first time I had to put the “moves” on a girl when I was a youngster. Don’t get me wrong, I was stoked about the whole thing, but so scared I couldn’t see straight. So I’ve started to do some research on the self-destructive behaviors that usually take control of my friends, and what drive them to hurt themselves for a living. My research has come from about two hours of Google-ing medical Web sites and no doctors were ever involved in any of my findings. This is all from the twisted mind of Dr. Broach, and that guy is more into boob jobs and flat screens then any thing a therapist has to say.

I’ve been learning things about my friends (and myself) that I didn’t really want to know-they’re basically all messed up in the head. The first part of this kind of reads like a bad junior college psychology book, but it is stuff you should know about so you can figure out what friends not to hang out with any more. Take it from me, they will drag you right down and into the gutter with them. Misery really does enjoy company, or at least it enjoys a twelve-pack and some pills. You could end up an out of work photographer scum-bagging around, stealing film and food from your roommate and living off your friends’ careers. Wait, was that out loud, I digress. If you’re not scared of this then you should read on to figure out why you’re just as messed up in the head as they are.

In a classic psychoanalytic theory, there are two principles that determine the course of all human lives. They’re called the Eros and the Thanatos, known as the life instincts and the death instinct. There is more than one life instinct; some examples are eating, drinking, and sex. Basic un-controlled human instincts that make sure we can stay alive and reproduce our crap of a species. There is only one death instinct. The energy of the life instincts are called libido and energy of the death instinct is called destrudo. According to Freud, when a person is relatively normal and well adjusted, these two energies are in a healthy balance, a yin and yang, if you will.

I don’t know how much faith to put into that guy considering he wanted to continue his life instinct with his mommy, but If what Freud said is true, all of the people in this article don’t have any balance of the two, and are far from “well adjusted.” From my experiences with these guys, I would say that they’re only influenced by their destrudo.

If a person is heavily influenced by their “death instinct” in my very non-professional and irrational opinion, this would lead to a series of self-destructive behaviors such as jumping down a 20-stair hubba barefoot, or something as seemingly normal as drinking booze and smoking every day. Both are examples of a term that I stumbled upon called “chronic suicide”. It means that a person is in denial of a their death wish, on the surface the individual seeks pleasure with immediate gratification, a sense of control or some other psychological payoff. Death or disability is recognized, but only as unfortunate consequences of one’s actions, but that’s as much as their brain will explain to them as to why they are doing things to them selves that are obviously harmful.

Now as far as I can tell it sounds like living life to me. We are all born and will eventually die of something sooner or later. So as far as Dr. Broach is concerned he has diagnosed us all with “chronic suicide”. I guess they are talking about not doing things to speed the process up. Injuring yourself in skateboarding has always been looked upon as a side effect to your body that is just a part of the cause. So if you know what you’re getting into, and we all know that skating hurt’s most of the time. Wouldn’t this be considered a form of self-injury? (That leads us into a whole other realm of weirdo’s and geeks) Not to sound like a fucking high school counselor, because that is the most bullshit job ever invented by our crappie public school systems; but I will. Self-injurious behaviors : are behaviors that people intentionally engage in that cause physical and bodily harm to them selves. Based on research, (not mine) people who engage in this claim to experience little to no pain while they are hurting themselves. Rationales for self-injury included feeling anger toward themselves, other people, or relieving pain, anger and tension. Some people who do this have a history of physical, and emotional abuse. Most people haven’t developed healthier way’s to cope with negative feelings. Self-Injurious behaviors don’t always go hand in hand with suicidal thoughts, but are strongly linked.

Side note: If you still want to hurt yourself, I found ton’s of web sites that show you what to do if you get the urge to injure yourself just google self-injury, (you kook and hide all the knives). Make sure not to type in self- mutilation that will lead you on an adventure that explains to you why masturbation will land you in hell. You might even find religion and then you will be worse off then when you were just cutting yourself. For fuck sake like I don’t have enough to worry about all ready. Now I’m going to hell because I just found out jerking off is a sin yesterday. You know all the years I’ve gone not knowing this.

According to my research for the last few hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that like most other things in life, skateboarding is just another form of a slow and painful death. (And masturbation leads you straight to hell) If it is just a form of suicide you’re already fucked because, if you’re reading this you’re probably already involved. It’s more powerful then most drugs, if your not hooked get out and find a drug that doesn’t hurt as much. If it’s too late then enjoy it while you can, because you’re going to die. You could just consider yourself lucky that at least you found something to be passionate about. Most of the people in this world don’t even have that. Just look at your high school counselor to confirm that last part about non-relevance in life. Your already better off then they are.

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rned he has diagnosed us all with “chronic suicide”. I guess they are talking about not doing things to speed the process up. Injuring yourself in skateboarding has always been looked upon as a side effect to your body that is just a part of the cause. So if you know what you’re getting into, and we all know that skating hurt’s most of the time. Wouldn’t this be considered a form of self-injury? (That leads us into a whole other realm of weirdo’s and geeks) Not to sound like a fucking high school counselor, because that is the most bullshit job ever invented by our crappie public school systems; but I will. Self-injurious behaviors : are behaviors that people intentionally engage in that cause physical and bodily harm to them selves. Based on research, (not mine) people who engage in this claim to experience little to no pain while they are hurting themselves. Rationales for self-injury included feeling anger toward themselves, other people, or relieving pain, anger and tension. Some people who do this have a history of physical, and emotional abuse. Most people haven’t developed healthier way’s to cope with negative feelings. Self-Injurious behaviors don’t always go hand in hand with suicidal thoughts, but are strongly linked.

Side note: If you still want to hurt yourself, I found ton’s of web sites that show you what to do if you get the urge to injure yourself just google self-injury, (you kook and hide all the knives). Make sure not to type in self- mutilation that will lead you on an adventure that explains to you why masturbation will land you in hell. You might even find religion and then you will be worse off then when you were just cutting yourself. For fuck sake like I don’t have enough to worry about all ready. Now I’m going to hell because I just found out jerking off is a sin yesterday. You know all the years I’ve gone not knowing this.

According to my research for the last few hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that like most other things in life, skateboarding is just another form of a slow and painful death. (And masturbation leads you straight to hell) If it is just a form of suicide you’re already fucked because, if you’re reading this you’re probably already involved. It’s more powerful then most drugs, if your not hooked get out and find a drug that doesn’t hurt as much. If it’s too late then enjoy it while you can, because you’re going to die. You could just consider yourself lucky that at least you found something to be passionate about. Most of the people in this world don’t even have that. Just look at your high school counselor to confirm that last part about non-relevance in life. Your already better off then they are.

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