Owens Photo: Braydon Szafranski 2001

I first met Braydon in 2001. He was friends with the Vegas boys Ragdoll, Matt Ball and Vinny Vegas that I had already met and been skating with around that time. Braydon didn’t have a place to live and wanted to stay in LA so I let him crash at my place in Century City whenever he wanted. Sometimes he’d stay and other times he would just go sleep in his car in Venice or whatever. He was always just floating around. But there was one day I’ll will never forget that he stayed with me. It was the morning of Sept 11, 2001. I got woken up by a phone call from my mom saying, “They’re attacking us. The terrorist are attacking us!” So, I naturally freaked out and ran to the T.V. while Braydon slept on the couch next to me. I was scared shitless and glued to the screen just freaking out. Then, finally Braydon popped his head up and looked at the T.V. and said, “What’s going on?” I turned to him and said, “Terrorist blew up the fucking World’s Trade Center!” He then made a groggy, smirk on his face and just said, “That’s messed up,” and turned back around and went back to sleep. Amazing. I love Braydon.—Jaime Owens

Braydon was getting flowed Shorty’s decks and Circa shoes from Muska during this time. We lived really close to the Beverly Hill High rails so Braydon was eager to get a photo on the big boys that didn’t get touched as much as the more famous smaller ones. So eager in fact, he went and did this backside Smith with out me a few days earlier just to do it. So, I had to drag him back to shot a photo. It ended up being his Who’s Hot in Skateboarder and one of my first photos in the magazine. This is still such a legit back Smith. So sick, Braydon.

Just a baby-faced Braydon pre-bat-tat

This was a bit later when Braydon was on Baker and filming for the Emerica video This Is Skateboarding. I always wanted to shoot a photo of someone on this red rail because it was so photogenic but Braydon wearing all black at night didn’t help my cause. Either way, it still ran in our Emerica Mansion article that year, so I was stoked.

Check out Braydon’s part in This Is Skateboarding below and see footage of the backside Smith grind: