MEET THE NIERATKOS - TODD BRATRUD
My good friend, artist and long-time collaborator Todd Bratrud should be a household name to everyone by this point. I hope. He’s amassed such a volume of work it’s retarded. Foot fetish fanatics probably know his numerous Nike SB dunk colorways (most recently the 4/20 weed-inspired Dunk "Skunk High" and the most renowned "Send Help" Dunk). He’s also done a shit ton of skateboard graphics and album covers and just about anything else you can imagine. Now he’s starting his own skateboard company called HIGH FIVE.
His stuff is always light-hearted and humorous and so we get along really well. And he’s also pretty fucked, another reason we can relate to each other. I caught up with him yesterday for >ESPN and he told me all about HIGH FIVE.
But six or seven years ago he told me about this spree of accidents, which are pretty entertaining (if you derive pleasure from the misfortune of others, which I do.).
“I cut my finger off snowboarding. The edge of my snowboard caught my ring and just hacked right through it. The skin on the top of my finger was all that was holding it to my hand. I snowboarded for another 20 minutes then noticed my hand was all cold and wet, I took off my glove and my finger was just dangling. My ring was still on there and I immediately panicked and tried to pull it off, but it was ripping what little skin was holding my finger on. I finally, carefully got the ring off, then I had to drive a few hours to a hospital. For some reason I wasn’t really tripping. I just had the finger wrapped up in paper towels and it was fine. The doctors at the emergency room fixed it but they fixed it wrong, so now it doesn’t work at all. They forgot to attach half the ligaments. It doesn’t really straighten or do anything else. Then I got hit by a van--some drunk dude blew a stop sign and smashed me on my bike. Broke my femur and smashed just about everything else. That sucked. Then I got hit by a jet ski in the face. A bunch of people were out at my parents' lake cabin and a buddy of mine had a jet ski and some kid was driving it who didn’t know how. He claimed he was trying to spray us. I don’t even know how it happened. We had two docks and two boats, I was on the second dock pulling one of the boats out and he came flying up super fast, hit the first dock and it launched him over both docks and both boats. Everyone else somehow saw it happening and ducked but I apparently stood up right as it happened and the back end of the jet ski just clipped me in the face. The whole front of my head split open, broke my jaw, all my teeth are fake now. I had to have my jaw wired shut for a month and a half. Also I was dead for three minutes in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I also had a crochet hook stuck in my wrist once. Me and this dude were fucking around throwing pencils and he picked up a crochet hook, and I didn’t want him to throw it so I went to whack it out of his hand and it stuck directly into my wrist. I generally have about one brush with death a year pretty much at this point.”
Here’s a bunch of websites he has stuff at:
For more stupid go to Chrisnieratko.com or NJSkateshop.com