Should There Be More Consistency In Extreme Sports?

Getting fired from your job can send you two ways: i) slumping into an inner shell that takes you months to leave, or ii) discovering that it was the best thing that ever happened to you as you go on to pursue what you love doing. However, extreme sport seeker, Anthony Armer – more commonly known as, 8Booth – decided to put two fingers up the usual reaction and instead, quite literally, chose to ‘send it’ after getting fired from his restaurant job.

For those living in a shell/those who don’t consume irrelevant content over social media every minute of every hour and are therefore unfamiliar with the phrase: ‘send it’ – let us clear this up for you; type the phrase into Google and you’re met with this definition: “To go nuts with regard to your own safety”.

Welcome to the world of, 8Booth.

Image Source: CLICKON – 8Booth pool jump – height 105ft.

A viral sensation who traded waiting on tables to jumping off buildings; an adrenalin seeker who, without wanting to, became a local celebrity in California after his videos gained 23million views on YouTube and 275,000 followers on Instagram.

8Booth discovered his love for filming after his friend took a GoPro to the beach; Armer became obsessed with different camera angles the footage could deliver, tirelessly working to perfect underwater diving shots and content he believed wasn’t being produced to purely increase someones social following:

“Once I saw how sick the footage was underwater, I just became obsessed with it. It was like, ‘f–k putting selfies on Instagram trying to get followers; this is so much sicker.”

— Anthony Booth Armer

After three years of staring at a rock at Table Rock Beach, Armer became obsessed with the idea of jumping off it and filming the footage on his GoPro – the next thing you know, 8Booth’s jumping from 120ft+ buildings landing inches away from parked yachts – let’s put that into perspective:

The popularity the videos were receiving saw 150,000 people subscribe to 8Booth’s YouTube channel, only for the 29-year-old’s most recent stunt to date go horribly wrong:

“I knew that I was f—ed, but I knew that I wasn’t, like, death f—ed.”

8Booth’s failed pool jump from Pacific Edge Hotel, Laguna Beach, saw Armer broke both his feet and heels; lucky enough to walk again, Armer was faced with a $274,000 medical bill. The stunt also saw social media authorities take his content off air and remove his Instagram followers.

Is Such Action On 8Booth Justified?

Armer, perceived as a criminal for trespassing on restricted areas to complete his stunts received heavy backlash in the media for his failed pool jump. After being arrested and taken to hospital at the same time, Corporal Cornelius Ashton – of Laguna Beach police – said 8Booth’s actions were damaging to potential teenage copycats:

“I’m all for inspiring kids, but when you’re inspiring them to do something unsafe that could have an impact on their life and their safety, I’m totally against it.”

— Corporal Cornelius Ashton

Armer’s initial attempts to raise $112,000 through his GoFundMe page, has seen the adrenaline junkie receive just $3,666 to date. 8Booth is now met with regular criticism on social channels and news articles for such high-risk and threatening stunts.

Image Source: CLICKON – We met 8Booth in a house in Orange County suburb, where he continues his recovery from the stunt.

Comparing 8Booth’s Backlash To Other Stunt Performers

Armer is not, and won’t be the last stunt act to take risks which can be fatal. Other extreme sport athletes are commended as insanely brave and rewarded with sponsorship deals for stepping into the ‘unknown’; take Dean Potter, regarded as a legend in the stunt world for his base jumping and wingsuit flying, and someone who created a legacy for taking risk to new levels.

Potter, however, sadly passed away with a friend in 2015 for attempting to jump off a 3,500-feet-height at Yosemite National Park – the pair’s parachute failed to deploy.

Base jumping itself sees sponsorship and viral sensations continue to attract and encourage those to push and take further risk; there have been 254 recorded deaths from base jumping between 1981-2015 making it the most extreme sport – such athletes are not met with the animosity 8Booth receives.

Mark Sutton, James Bond’s double who jumped out of a helicopter during the 2012 Olympic Ceremony sadly passed away in 2013 in a wingsuit flying competition; his passing was met with tribute and condolence from the likes of Danny Boyle and Seb Coe:

“Disciplined and brave in situations most of us would find terrifying, Mark was also a gentle and thoughtful man,’

‘The show was built from so many contributions from so many people, none finer and braver than Mark Sutton.”

— Danny Boyle, speaking to the Evening Standard on Sutton’s passing

Even sports such as helicopter skiing saw 45 deaths occur in 2004, and more than 250 brave athletes have taken on Everest, only to sadly not return home; their efforts are viewed as defiant and the height of bravery.

8Booth’s harsh media backlash and, quite frankly, embarrassing efforts to raise money for his recovery are a peculiar response from the public who applaud heroes who take similar risks.

It’s unlikely to phase Armer who is adamant of further stunts should he be able to perform them again; there needs to be more consistency in the extreme sports world, otherwise unregulated stunts will continue to happen and cause further damage on people who are doing it without the necessary protection. 



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