Wednesday, November 08, 2006

brazilians in the new york times - part 1

Forgive me for my sudden bout of nationalistic pride, but in the past seven days, two Brazilians made it to The New York Times' sports pages.
The first one was skateboarder Bob Burnquist, in a feature about the mega-ramp he built in his backyard.
Burnquist, along with Tony Hawk, is one of skateboarding's biggest icons. He has won the X-Games many times. He also has performed some crazy stunts, most famously the base-jump in the Grand Canyon (after skating over a hand rail, see video here). He lives in California now and for the last couple of years he's been building a "skateboarder's paradise", his own backyard skate park, which so far, included: "a 13-foot-tall ramp with a clamshell shape appended to one end; a loop-the-loop with a removable top; a 12-foot-diameter metal pipe; and a corkscrew design that requires an inverted leap from one section to the other" (he's the only one in the world who can do that, as far as I know. See this YouTube video, shot in his backyard).
I had seen some ramps, even half-pipes built in backyards before, but this new addition to Burnquist's is something else. The sheer size of it puts it in a class of its own. According to the NYT, "pilots routinely adjust their flight paths for a closer look, which is as good a way as any to sum up the scale of the Mega Ramp. The wooden structure is longer than a football field, as tall as an eight-story building, with a creek bed running through a 70-foot breach."
Take a look at the picture.
After finishing one jump in his new mega-ramp, all the typically reflexive, zen-like Burnquist had to say was "Uohoo, that was fun"!
All I can say is "Du-u-de, that's awesome"!


Higgins, Matt. 2006. A Skateboarding Ramp Reaches For The Sky. The New York Times. November 1, 2006. (here, there's a short video of Burnquist riding the mega-ramp, subscription required)
Seligman, Tod. 2006. LG Sports Action. Home Sweet Home With Bob Burnquist.

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