Jake Rupp was a cornerstone of East Coast skateboarding through the late ‘90s and aughts. He’s primarily known for his Static part, and riding for major brands including IPath and Element. Jake’s vegetarian rasta vibes during his time in the spotlight masked a toxic relationship with alcohol that ultimately lead to the demise of his pro career. He discusses his demons in a new interview published by the Chrome Ball Incident.
So I know that you were on Creation for a split-second before stepping away from the industry… what all was going on with you at this time?
Yeah, because I had been so heavily involved with Sartori Wheels, basically riding for them from the jump, they gave me a chance to ride for their board brand, Creation Skateboards. But that was short-lived. I will always be thankful for their support but I was just too far gone by then.
I was just partying too much, man. I was drinking heavily, which led to depression. Boozing led to me isolating myself for a long time… for years. Because I was heading that way anyway, but after I was done with having sponsors and all that, I fell into a very dark period in my life. I still skated a little but I just wanted to be alone. No social media, years after everyone else was on it. And that was on purpose. I didn’t want to talk to anyone.
It all fed into itself, man. My partying led to isolation, which led to more drinking. It was terrible. I remember seeing those commercials about depression on tv at the time, but it’s never that black-and-white. Yes, it registers. I know I’m depressed. Sitting there watching “16 and Pregnant” on MTV, like, what the fuck am I doing with my life? But it’s not like you have this big dramatic moment all of a sudden, like in the movies. It’s a heavy weight that you experience on all of these different levels. It manifests itself in literally everything you do and in all the relationships you have. It’s rough.
But I’m proud to say that 10 years later, I am doing much better. I am far healthier now at age 40 than I ever was at 30. Yeah, it’s sad to look back on all that stuff now but I was able to make it through and that’s awesome.
For more on Rupp, head over to Chrome Ball to read the entire piece.