Evan Doherty, who turned 9 earlier this month, issued as bold statement to the skateboarding universe on Friday, when he became the youngest person to complete a run on the MegaRamp, a contraption so large and daunting that many veteran skaters have refused to give it a try because of injury concerns.
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Though Doherty made his run look easy (after several unsuccessful tries), consider that MegaRamp skateboarders must soar at least 70 feet across one gap and land on a downhill ramp leading to a nearly-sheer quarterpipe wall. They then soar high above the quarterpipe and must negotiate a successful landing with only hands and gravity to keep the board underfoot.
(To get an idea of how heavy the consequences may be for MegaRamp riders, see footage of Jake Brown’s world-famous slam during the 2007 X Games. Brown, somehow, made a full recovery.)
In recent years, a handful of younger skaters have boldly climbed to the top of the MegaRamp, zoomed downward and never looked back.
Most notable among this younger generation was Mitchie Brusco, who last year, at 14, became only the second person to perform a 900-degree rotation above the quarterpipe wall. MegaRamp pioneer Bob Burnquist was the first to land a 900, in 2010.
Now that Doherty has shown he can ride the MegaRamp, it’s probably only a matter of time before he’s performing the kind of tricks that win X Games medals.
Said Burnquist: “The interesting thing I’ve been seeing with these kids is that they are so light on their skateboard that they have a hard time getting speed over the gap, and don’t go as fast when they hit the quarterpipe. That’s a perfect progression for mega.
“As they grow older, they will go faster and higher, and watch what happens in the next 10 years with these kids. I mean, you can see it right now with Mitchie and he’s a veteran already.”
Doherty, who is from Greenwood, Mo., completed one MegaRamp run Friday and two others Sunday during his trip to Woodward West in California.
“It was a little bit scary getting such a high air but really, REALLY amazing to land,” he stated, via email.
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