Brazilian skateboard pioneer Bob Burnquist has got things pretty well figured out for himself. A huge house on a beautiful sprawling hillside, complete with a organic food farm and custom built mega ramp. Not bad.
And when it starts to rain? Bob even has a backup plan for that. Mega ramp surfing. No word from Billabong on whether this will be an accepted entry into their XXL Big Wave Awards. They never said anything about the wave moving, did they?
Bob Burnquist surfing Megaramp from Finnished Skateboarding on Vimeo.
And when it wasn't raining....
The spotlight was on 14-year-old Mitchie Brusco during Friday night's X Games Skateboarding Big-Air competition, but it was Bob Burnquist who stole the show and reclaimed a title held for the past two years by perennial rival Jake Brown.
Burnquist, 34, who hobbled into the Los Angeles event with an array of injuries, took the lead on his second of five runs by performing a switch 180 over the 70-foot gap of the MegaRamp, then sticking a double-grab 540 he performed 20 feet above the quarterpipe wall. That earned a score of 92.66, placing him ahead of Adam Taylor.
Burnquist, who won the competition in 2007-08, matched his winning score on his fourth run with a switch 540/double-grab 540 combo (see video).
Brown, 36, who had been Burnquist's nemesis for the past two years, nailing the winning run at the end of both competitions, was unable to complete a routine on either of his five runs. He fell while attempting a back-flip over the gap on his final run.
Taylor ended up in second with a score of 89.66, reaching the podium for the first time in the event. Brazil's Edgard Pereria was third (87.00).
Afterward, Burnquist said that he was just happy to have completed a scoring run on an apparatus as difficult as the MegaRamp.
It was a difficult night indeed, as only six full routines were completed -- two by Burnquist -- out of 40 attempts by the eight finalists.
As for Brusco, the youngest competitor at the X Games and only the second person ever to have landed a 900 on a MegaRamp (during practice for an event in Brazil; Burnquist was the first), he turned in an admirable fifth-place performance on the merit of a backside 360/540 combo.
Brusco, who stands only 5 feet 1 and weighs just 95 pounds, was not disappointed with his performance against the daredevil sport's luminaries. He told sideline reporter Jenn Brown: "I'm feeling good. I didn't expect to do anything; I'm just happy to be here."
Fans can expect a lot more from Brusco, nicknamed "Little Tricky," in the years to come.
-- Bob Burnquist image is courtesy of GettyImages/Harry How.
Wow. There is just TOO much going on in this. These Nitro Circus shows are indescribable. And I think Pastrana is literally marrying Lyn-Z. That's funny how it's thrown into a montage of world's firsts on motorcycles, bikes, and skateboards. Even WHEELZ did a wheelchair frontflip. Kid is amazing.
Action sports athletes and fans might still be wondering if what happened Saturday night in Las Vegas really happened, were it not for video evidence released Monday, showing innovative stunts that included the first-ever synchronized double back-flip by freestyle motocross stars Travis Pastrana and Cam Sinclair (photo).
Some might argue, convincingly, that the Nitro Circus Live event at the MGM Grand was the craziest single-day exhibition in action sports history, in terms of difficult and sometimes zany performances.
Pastrana fans, of course, remember vividly the night he brought an X Games crowd to a fearful hush in 2006, when he pioneered the double back-flip. It remains one of the heaviest tricks in action sports, in terms of consequences, and nearly claimed Sinclair's life after he endured a wicked crash in 2009. "I have always dreamed of doing this trick side-by-side with Travis and tonight that dream came true," Sinclair said from Las Vegas.
Another marquee performance belonged to skateboarder Bob Burnquist, a big-air specialist who nailed the first-ever "Christ Air" back flip after launching from the "Giganta ramp." For a visual description of the seemingly impossible maneuver, watch the video.
Also noteworthy was the effort of BMX star Andy Buckworth, who stuck what's called a Superman double front flip; and that of local wheelchair athlete Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, who stuck a wheelchair front flip before his hometown fans.
Then there were the many athletes who fell just short while trying to progress their sports. Perhaps most notable in this group was BMX star James Foster, who spun a nearly perfect triple back flip, but fell upon landing.
The most touching moment, of course, involved Pastrana, who kicked off the night by falling to one knee and proposing to pro skateboarder Lyn-z Adams Hawkins in front of an electrified audience.
"I wasn't supposed to do this until the end of the show, but I was so nervous I couldn't wait," Pastrana said. "This is a night of world-first stunts, and this stunt involves the rest of my life."
Pastrana, of course, stars in MTV's Nitro Circus television series. The Nitro Circus Live event marked the North American debut of a new tour that also features stops in Europe. Footage from tour events will be used to produce a 3D movie.