The cream of the action sports crop on fame, fear, and glory as they take on 2013, with a little help from top Fashion photographer Terry Richardson.
We could talk about the stunts: jumping up the Arc de Triomphe in Las Vegas on a bike – and then back down again; hurling himself over the harbour in San Diego on New Year’s Eve; flipping through the air with the greatest of ease at the X Games. Or we could talk about the injuries: several concussions; a busted hand; countless cracked ribs. Both are a fair measure for the unequalled daredevil, and as if all that wasn’t enough, he also did the motorcycle stunts in the recent James Bond movie Skyfall.
FAME “To be recognised and respected; with this comes a unique opportunity, because through influencing and leading others you can make changes for the better.”
FEAR “It’s in us all, but it’s something that can be worked on and overcome.”
GLORY “It’s recognition and celebration of a great achievement.”
2013 “I want to bring a new vision and format to freestyle motocross. I also want to further develop an invention I have been working on and continue to change the game in the motorcycle world.”
Few people, let alone women, do what the 25-year-old Brazilian does with regularity in the ocean. The five-time winner of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Award has been chasing and riding giants since she was an 18-year-old waitress newly arrived in Hawaii. Along the way, she’s encountered a few nasty spills and comments from the boys that rule big-wave surfing.
FAME “Only positive if one can do good with it. In sports, I guess it can be recognition, which is good, but never focus on fame. It should only be a consequence of your work, if you do work under the spotlight.”
FEAR “I like to feel it. It’s challenging to control, but I believe it can empower people. Fear is part of life and it’s what we do with it that is the most important.”
GLORY “To me, glory can be the moment after riding a big and memorable wave. When I get safely to the channel and all emotions and adrenalin are running fresh that is a moment of glory. It’s a pure and strong moment that can only be achieved through my own work and commitment.”
2013 “Looking forward to riding some bigger waves. Still dreaming about paddling Jaws [the legendary big-wave reef break in Hawaii] on the right day and in the right conditions.”
Terry Richardson’s ease both behind the camera and connecting with the A-listers and freaks he’s photographed is a given. His flash-lit style on a simple background demands his subjects come out of their shell while in front of his lens. He coaxes, he cajoles and he flirts until he gets the shot. The photos in his books Kibosh and Terryworld feature full-frontal nudity and simulated sex acts. Though polarising – to put it mildly – his gritty and intimate style has become de rigeur in the magazine and advertising world in the last decade, with many imitators riding his coattails. Eager to shoot the world of action sports, he paired up with Red Bull athletes to give us this portfolio of the unsung heroes of the extreme world. They were happy to oblige.
Read the full story in December's issue of The Red Bulletin.