If Frank Scura is convinced he can turn around a sector that is the very epitome of heedless consumption, it’s because he’s been there himself. “My whole life was based on sex and debauchery,” he says of his days on the nascent action-sports circuit in the 1980s. But one day, as he tells Gregory Dicum here, everything changed.
I had pretty much gorged myself on the fruits of Babylon and found myself empty. But when I went to Portland, I found sustenance. I found people who played music for music, who grew gardens, who were in touch with the Earth.
Then my grandmother died in eastern Oregon. None of us had ever even gone there, but I was going to go and be Grizzly Adams. I invited people to come start a commune with me, but nobody went. So I went anyway.I had rescued these wolves from an abusive environment in Portland and I ended up living in a trailer with the wolves, without running water or electricity. I grew a beard, to cover my face. I’d go through these processes of questioning, looking up at the stars — reflecting on what it’s all about.
Then one night, I had one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was by the fire and I had this dialogue going on: ‘Man existed before fire. You don’t need the fire.’ So I’m like, ‘OK,’ and I get away from the fire and then it’s: ‘Well, man existed before clothes. You don’t need your clothes.’ So I took off my clothes. It’s cold, and I’m tripping and I’m looking up at the full moon and all of a sudden these clouds came by and covered the moon.
It’s getting colder and colder, and I’m like, ‘I’m going to sit here until the moon comes back out.’ And I’m going to close my eyes until I know inside of my mind that the moon has come back out.
And so I go into this dialogue in my head and when I’m in my meditation, I become warm and I’m not freezing. Then it starts to rain. So I was like, ‘Oh, shit.’ Then it starts to hail. And I do this for eight hours. Finally, it’s lightening up a little bit and finally the voice comes on in my head and, ‘Waaahhh!’ And I look up and there’s ring burned through the sky — the moon had moon rings coming off it, a moon rainbow. It was amazing.
I was told I could get whatever wish I wanted. I didn’t wish anything for myself. The wolves had been alienating my other dog, Seven. The father wolf tried to kill him a couple times and there was a whole conflict there. So I asked for Seven to be accepted into the pack. Almost immediately, one of them came up and kissed him.
And that night, I guess because I didn’t ask for anything for myself, I had the gnarliest flying dream that I’ve ever had in my life. I could just dive at the ground and soar like Superman. It was phenomenal. It was so vivid, I thought I was going to wake up and be able to fly. I thought I’d tapped in.