In Conversation with Skateboarder Braydon Szafranski

In Conversation with Skateboarder Braydon Szafranski
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Braydon Szafranski’s first skateboarding experience at age seven resulted in 30 head staples, a traumatized teenage babysitter, and a confiscated board by Mom. Where most would consider that the culmination of their skateboarding endeavors, it was simply the start for young Szafranski, unphased by the whole ordeal. Ten years later, he fled his hometown of Las Vegas to settle in the arguable industry mecca of skateboarding, Los Angeles. By a stroke of fate, he ran into Chad Muska, one of skateboarding’s biggest talents and personalities, in front of Brooklyn Projects skate shop on Melrose Avenue. Having mutual friends from Sin City, the pair struck up a conversation, which led to watching a footage tape that Szafranski had with him. Blown away after seeing the first trick, Muska sponsored him on the spot. From that point on, Szafranski’s career took off, eventually earning himself coveted spots on the Baker skateboards and Emerica footwear teams before turning professional in 2006. As much as skateboarding is integral to Szafranski’s existence, so is the same with marijuana. Since the early days of his career, he has been a steadfast proponent of the plant, as is most evident in the introduction of his Baker 3 video part. In our interview, we discuss how legalization has changed Nevada, the secret to achieving Zen-like clarity while trying a trick, and why the skateboarding culture has always been so closely associated with weed. Photo by Sam Muller Do you remember the first time you smoked weed? In school I remember that the D.A.R.E program affected people differently. There was a cop there explaining marijuana, that it’s the “gateway drug” that “changes you and makes your personality crazy.” I remember my neighbor—my best friend since age three—and I looked at each other and we were like, Oh my god,…

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