Incredible thoughts with Kurt: Scary movie psychology and history stoke


Kurt Zontek, Contributing Reporter

What up reading homies! For those of you reading the column for the first time, I’m Kurt Zontek. Welcome to Incredible Thoughts. This week, we’ll be covering two cornerstones of stoke: the concept of fear, and the stoke that history can provide. Just so you know, this week’s column might be too deep. If you’re afraid of going excessively deep, read it anyway. You might learn something.



Last weekend, I went to see The Nun. It was scary. So scary, in fact, that I slept with lights on for the following couple of nights. While unable to sleep, I contemplated why I watched a movie I knew ahead of time would potentially scare me sleepless. At this crossroads, I went deep into my thinking and came to a seemingly obvious conclusion that I want to share with my homies: while the emotion of fear is not typically thought of as positive, fear is necessary for stoke maintenance. Some of my best memories of both skiing and kayaking were made on days where I was absolutely gripped. Therefore, scary movies simulate the fear that can be found in other areas of life. Fear is an emotion that drives us to enjoy each moment as much as possible; it helps us to focus on fleeting details by forcing us to confront our own mortality.



A historical basis is imperative to maintaining connection with the world around us. I’ve found that many people aren’t stoked about history, seeing it a boring or tedious. But similar to fear, history is an important part of stoke maintenance. If you have a general knowledge of past events, it becomes much easier to rapidly understand things today because you having an idea of what may have caused them.  As a person who’s usually pretty poorly informed about current events unless they involve kayaking, I have found that a strong knowledge of historical information helps me make sense of information that I am suddenly presented with in everyday conversation, which somehow gives the impression that I am smart. Similar to fear, history is an important subject to use in stoke maintenance.


I’d like to thank Brandon Harle and Steve Roche for sharing their stoke for history and all of my bros I’ve shredded with for sharing general stoke, including fear. Next week we’ll be going deep into the Bobby Tarantino II intro. Until then, stay stoked and get sick!


– Kurt