Watching YouTube, it’s easy to get into an endless rabbit hole of vloggers traveling the world, living in different countries every week.
Compared to them, their lifestyle seems so simple; they have fun until dawn in almost every video, see amazing sights and, apparently, receive unfathomable amounts of money for constantly relaxing and posting their travels on the Internet.
This theory may be true for some creators, but this does not apply to the YouTube group known as “Sickos” — although, looking at their channel, at first glance one might think that these YouTube users benefit from the same golden goose that made friends with the rest of their peers.
Who are the Shiko?
Sickos is a group of childhood friends who managed to stick together in adulthood, collectively deciding to abandon ordinary life in favor of traveling around the globe to perform life—threatening tricks a la Evil Kenivel from time to time.
Originally from Hood River, Oregon, each of the guys at Sickos is an athlete at heart, having grown up among a variety of geographical attractions suitable for hobbies such as kiteboarding, surfing, skiing, hiking and more.
Watching their videos is like watching a hardcore edition of the Travel Channel. In each video, they are somewhere in a new place (now they are in the Swiss Alps), performing an incredible feat – think about creating a giant rope swing on a natural stone arch in the middle of the ocean with a jet. ski. Each video is an adrenaline—inducing exciting ride with close friends who collectively call themselves “professional merry men, full-time psychology masters and absolute cranks.”
Almost two years after launching his channel in February 2021, Sickos managed to gain more than 99,000 subscribers, as well as chat with some famous names, such as rapper Yung Gravy, who managed to save his skin after a fight in a Barcelona nightclub. sour. Some of their biggest downloads have gained half a million views, and it became clear that this band has the potential for greatness, and they are already on the right path… but the path is not always full of sun and roses.
Traveling the world is not as easy as it seems
With such a busy schedule, it goes without saying that most casual viewers will think that Sickos are funded by wealthy parents, or at least receive solid money for their unique content from various brands or sponsors… but this is simply not the case. These are Hood River natives.
Although some Sickos have part-time jobs (some of them own their own brands of goods and surfboards), only one of them has a full-time job that allows him to work remotely. The rest of the group are saving up to save up for the next trip, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, not everyone knows about this, and Shiko has experienced their share of criticism from unwitting viewers lashing out at their supposedly wasteful lifestyle.
“It’s really hard,” Charlie (the self—proclaimed “weirdo” in the band) said of the criticism. “I don’t want to say that it upsets us, but we get a lot of comments like “It’s Dad’s money” or “These kids earn only because their parents are rich.” it definitely hurts the soul a little bit when you’re trying to figure out how to earn $3,000 so we can make the next part of the video series. But, fortunately, we are now approaching the part of our channel where enough money is starting to come in, and we don’t have to worry about it so much.”
“It was really cruel at the beginning,” Kaden (the band’s “dad friend”) added. “We were extremely broke. Everyone was just siphoning off money. We ate rice and salad, no matter what we did. It was cruel.”
Fortunately, Sickos are acting with a positive attitude, and as a result they have managed to create an extremely enthusiastic and enthusiastic community of fans. Looking through the comments, most viewers are delighted with their upcoming endeavors and praise the YouTubers very much — something, they say, has changed compared to their humble beginnings, when hardcore members of the surfing community disagreed with their videos and tricks.
“For every minor criticism or negative comment, there are a thousand real homies commenting on positive things,” they said. “These are our people. For every negative comment, there are a thousand positive ones. This is the free space we live in.”
…but this did not prevent their parents from trying to protect themselves from the negativity in the first days.
“Earlier, in our first videos, when we received angry comments, our parents shot back,” Kaden admitted.
“My mom sacrificed many hours of online fighting with haters,” Jackson added.
Fly high while flying high
Sickos bread and butter are their tricks – think bungee jumping off a 190-meter bridge in the Swiss Alps or creating a 50-foot slide that gets serious air. This is what makes up the fabric of Sickos’s collective identity as content creators, and it is also an integral part of their lives.
At the same time, there is always a certain risk associated with these tricks, which Sickos is well aware of. According to a group of best friends, they always take risks into account, referring to Will (a prankster friend and a constant “bookworm”) as their unofficial stunt coordinator.
“It’s a pretty hot topic,” Charlie said about it. “It can be quite dangerous, but we’ve been doing everything for so long, and we’re pretty calculating people. I sincerely feel that we have never put ourselves or anyone at serious risk. We know what we’re risking.”
“Will is a bit of a bookworm, and he always immerses himself in the idea of security, develops our ideas and ensures our security,” Kaden assured.
At the same time, the group claims that they have not had serious encounters with danger, despite their long summary of wild physical exploits. However, they called their most dangerous stunt a jet ski swing, noting how Max almost landed headfirst on the edge of the jet ski, which was idling too close to the landing site in the water when he fell from the air.
“It was sketchy because it was a miscalculation,” they said. “There’s usually nothing to hit, but we were shooting from the back of the ski, and it was close, and it could be pretty bad. We’ve had a lot of accidents with jet skis. This is usually associated with a jet ski.”
Started from below
Although the Sickos may not have always scored sick barrels around the world, they were interested in cinema from a very young age — which, they say, served as a source of inspiration for their current pursuits.
“Ever since we were little kids, we’ve been running around with cameras and filming each other doing something long before YouTube, long before posting it anywhere,” Jackson explained. “And then we always talked about making a movie, and it developed through work, and then YouTube itself.”
“Everyone was delighted with the filming, which is why our initial idea to make a film came up,” Kaden added. “We always wanted to do something like a movie, almost like a movie, and then Jackson got a job on YouTube with Jamie, and then Jackson got on YouTube, and so everyone was like, ‘Oh, maybe episodes on YouTube are the best option.’ than to make a movie.” It kind of evolved.”
Now Sickos are living life to the fullest while trying to build a YouTube empire. Given the huge number of people involved in their channel, besides being best friends, it may be reflexive to think that this relationship might suffer because of their business agreement, but for this group of guys they claim that it’s actually pretty easy.
“I think we took a very sensible approach from the very beginning,” Charlie said. “I think I speak for everyone when I say that we have noticed that in most cases business relationships with friendship fall apart when people are not on the same wavelength from the very beginning. We just made sure that everyone had a clear idea and understanding of how everything would work, and everyone was on the same wavelength from the very beginning. We all quarrel with each other, but now it’s like brotherly love.”
Celebrities, Yung Gravy and Netflix Shows
While traveling with Sickos, they encountered American rapper Jung Gravey during their stay in Barcelona, who helped them recover the camera’s SD card, which they lost during a fight with security at a nightclub. (It’s not like the Sickos are getting into trouble—although they consider the NELK Boys and Jackass to be a source of inspiration for their content.) According to Forest, the band got to know Gravey through their connections with other influencers, in addition to being closer to home: their own friend and another Sickos member, Cale.
“Our friend, Cale, a TikTok dancer, got a job at Yung Gravy and came with us to Barcelona,” Forest said of the meeting. “And we hung out with Cale and thought: “What if Jung Gravey starred in our video?” So, Cale turned to Jung Gravey and asked him to help with the video, and that’s about how it ended. up.”
Although Sickos doesn’t have any other celebrity connections that they could tell us about, we touched on the topic of their viewers asking them to get a Netflix show—something they’re open to if the opportunity arises, although it’s not necessarily their cup of tea compared to what they can do on YouTube.
“We never want to give up any opportunities right away, we just need to know all the specifics,” Charlie said of the idea. “I think there’s something wonderful about creating your own content and the limitless reach of YouTube. I think it’s really fun for us to release a video and see how many people we can watch it, and you don’t have the satisfaction that I imagine on Netflix or HBO.”
Sickos’ content is particularly unique in that it looks a bit like a sitcom mixed with their real-life adventures, which, according to YouTubers, is the centerpiece of their personality.
“We look at it as if it could be an episode from a TV show. The YouTube channel is just a video blog, but we look at it as if it could be an episode from a TV show like Friends, and it kind of connects him to this — from the desire to make a movie to the present moment. we do shows on YouTube, but they’re still very closely intertwined.”
Sickos are still just getting started, but it’s clear that they have the drive, knowledge and community to make their dreams come true and one day become those YouTubers who don’t have to worry about getting enough money for their next big trip. Until then, they go forward and upward — and it is unknown where their travels will lead them further.