8Booth: The Story Behind California’s Adrenalin Junkie

A viral sensation who traded waiting on tables for jumping off 120ft buildings. An adrenalin seeker who unintentionally became a local celebrity in California for his death-defying stunts.

Welcome to the world of 8Booth.

Finding inspiration

Before he became an online thrillseeking phenomenon ‘8Booth’, Anthony Armer was working at a high-end restaurant in Laguna Beach, California. Anthony had worked there for a while before being demoted by his boss to a ‘busser’ – a kitchen worker who cleans dirty dishes – after receiving a bad review for a cheesecake.

Frustrated in his new role, Anthony was skateboarding into work one day – as most commuters do – only for him to crash on-route and break his hand.

He made it to the restaurant, but was in a lot of pain, and was struggling to focus. While on the bar, he knocked over a glass of Coke with his “f—ed up hand”, which was badly swollen, right into the ice-bin.

“And right there, I don’t know what happened… I just said, ‘I’m done with this, I’m devoting my life to filming, 100%'”.

Trading tables for cliffs

Armed with a GoPro, a dogged determination, and an abnormally high pain threshold, 8Booth became obsessed with jumping off extremely high places into water.

He became particularly infatuated with one jump, however, a roof over Table Rock Beach. He spent two years contemplating it, spending hours watching people make the leap from the rock below the roof.

“I said to my buddy one day, ‘let’s just scope the jump…’ We walked up to the top, found a route, went up on the roof, I was crazy in the head and just jumped it; [it was the] biggest chip off my shoulder”.

“Right then, my ego got a hold of me, I thought I was a professional. That’s when the bandana came on and I just started hitting s–t”.

Step aside Anthony Armer, enter, ‘8Booth’.

 

Taking jumps further

8Booth began taking further risks, trawling the landscape for possible jumps, and making each one more dangerous than the last.

“There was a lot of scouting involved, planning the whole run the night before. You just keep looking at it [the jump], looking at it, and looking at it, and then it gets stuck in your head”.

The obstacles most people associate with working life are comparatively mundane in the context of 8Booth’s. No monthly work appraisals or nasty restaurant bosses for him, but he does have to jump off a 120ft jagged cliff-face into the rough, untamed seas below.

“The whole process takes two minutes, you’re in and out, most of the time, people don’t even know what happened. It’s great, it’s the best s–t”.

With 8Booth’s videos increasing in views and engagement, his profile continued to blossom. Bigger and more stomach-turning stunts seemed inevitable.

Becoming viral

Location: Newport Harbor, California
Building height: 129ft, 39metres

8Booth’s biggest jump came at the Newport Beach in the marina. To put the height of the jump into perspective, it would be the equivalent of jumping from the top of the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil.

The video received huge publicity, reaching millions of views on YouTube. Such was the exposure, members of the public were quick to criticise him as an attention seeker and someone just looking to gain views on social media channels. 8Booth looked at it at a different way.

“I hate it when people think I’m doing it for the views. When I’m about to hit something that’s savage as f—, that you could die from or shatter your feet, I’m not thinking about views, I’m thinking about making it to the water.”

A downward spiral

8Booth’s profile caught the attention of the public and law enforcement. Such was the danger and potential criminality of his jumps, authorities were reluctant to accept it as a form of ‘extreme sport’.

8Booth was arrested on two violations of ‘unauthorised access’ and ‘trespassing’ but was released from Laguna Prison after reaching bail.

What hurt 8Booth the most about the arrest was the exposing of his true identity; a mug shot and his name was released to the public, and the man behind the balaclava was shown to be former dish washer, Anthony Booth Armer.

“I hated them knowing my name, I loved it low key.”

The crash

“Nothing will stop me from doing what I love, not even death itself.”

Despite the arrest, 8Booth was adamant to continue, only this time, he was jumping semi-intoxicated and into a six-foot deep pool. He is 6’4.

He missed the jump and broke the ankles and heels of both feet. He was faced with a $274,000 medical bill and all his content was taken off air.

8Booth is adamant of a return, and although he has made no stunts since this injury, he wants Golden Gate Bridge to be his next.

Around 1,700 people have jumped from this bridge, with a reported two-dozen surviving. 8Booth’s risk-taking hasn’t reached its peak just yet.

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