Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Yes, that's a helicopter and he's wearing a parachute.
August 1, 2013 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Bob Burnquist does amazing things on a backyard megaramp. Starts slow, ends, um, big. Via.
posted by unSane (66 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
The man's a loony. Also, either he lies to his mother about what he does, or she has an industrial grade pacemaker.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:27 AM on August 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


The human brain is smart enough to figure out all the angles and slopes and stuff for the ramps and rails, and dumb enough to be convinced that riding a small wheeled board on all those ramps and rails is a good idea. A land of contrasts!
posted by rtha at 6:28 AM on August 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Some call this physics. Those people are wrong. This is magic.

I love this. I wish I could get enough people to buy into my lunacy so that I could build a monument to my mental illness as well. I admire people like this. Same planet, different worlds. I only wish I was as obsessive about anything.

Also, I liked the part where he fell down and got back up.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:29 AM on August 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


  1. Chekov's helicopter. You get a glimpse of it right at the start of the video.

  2. The helicopter pilot is the real star of this video. That's some crazy difficult flying that he's doing.

  3. Oh god, that rail. How has nobody been impaled on that?

  4. Speaking of safety stuff, I noticed safety nets in a lot of places, but none on that weird "hip" thing (the two ramps at a 90º angle), where there must be a good ~60ft drop onto the ground, and very little room for error.

  5. Can we thank Danny MacAskill for the current trend of halfway-decent music in "extreme sports" videos? I didn't mute this, and was surprised by that...

  6. Why is there a seemingly bottomless supply of sponsorship money in these sports?

posted by schmod at 6:33 AM on August 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Why is there a seemingly bottomless supply of sponsorship money in these sports?"

Did you feel nothing?
posted by iamkimiam at 6:36 AM on August 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


Hot damn, but agility is neat.
posted by feistycakes at 6:38 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I get pretty down reading stories about the NSA, politics, war,... Stuff like this, crazy as it is, makes the sky a little less grey and a little more blue for me.
posted by dukes909 at 6:39 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Better Chekov's helicopter than Bay's helicopter.
posted by carmicha at 6:40 AM on August 1, 2013


I just set a personal record for saying "holy shit" the most times in 8.5 minutes.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:44 AM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Chekov's helicopter.

They're different helicopters, though. The one in the background is a yellow Robinson R22 (N722HA) and the one he jumps from is, I think, a Hughes 500 (they blacked out the tail number on that helicopter).
posted by backseatpilot at 6:45 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and there's a THIRD helicopter - the one doing the aerobatics is a black R22.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:46 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chekhov's anemometer more like.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:53 AM on August 1, 2013


I think the moral is that it's helpful to be friends with helicopter owners.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:56 AM on August 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow. Burnquist is amazing.

I felt a minor sensation of relief when I saw the nets, but then I thought, at the speeds he goes, he's more likely to slam into the supports on the other side of the gap. The jump from one ramp to the other at a ninety degree angle boggles. Obviously, he's fallen a lot (I liked seeing the white outfit that showed how much he'd fallen), but he just gets back up. For my part, I was always terrified of falling, which might have something to do with why I sucked at skating so much.

And that trip back to the top of the ramp each time, that must take forever. All those stairs.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:58 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hard not to watch that and wonder how many bones I never knew I had that I could learn about as the doctor told me I broke 'em.
posted by ardgedee at 6:59 AM on August 1, 2013


So, this guy just has a pile of ramps and helicopters in his back yard?
posted by schmod at 7:00 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dropping off the helicopter, okay, but jumping up to it? A little more speed than you planned for plus a little dip by the pilot and you're joining Vic Morrow for Mai Tais.
posted by brokkr at 7:00 AM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I thought it was going to be a longer drop from the helicopter with skateboard to the ramp. Until the last stunt (when he grabbed the helicopter, went up, dropped, and presumably opened a parachute), the helicopter-related stunts didn't look harder than the stuff he was doing without the helicopter.
posted by pracowity at 7:09 AM on August 1, 2013


Holy crow, that's some amazing stuff, especially since I just look at a skateboard and my knees wind up scraped.
posted by nevercalm at 7:12 AM on August 1, 2013


There's no denying the sickness.
posted by ph00dz at 7:21 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's Line Rider, but for real, with helicopters.
posted by euphorb at 7:28 AM on August 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


In a similar vein, here's Danny Way playing around on the MegaRamp, before breaking the world record for both distance jump and height above the coping (both records he'd go on to shatter later separately later.)
Note the lack of safety net(!)
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:35 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Even with the post title, I still freaked out a little at the end of the video trying to figure out how he wasn't going to DIE.
posted by GrumpyDan at 7:36 AM on August 1, 2013


That shit was pretty gnarly, but I would have gone for a smith grind on that rotor.
posted by orme at 7:53 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why is there a seemingly bottomless supply of sponsorship money in these sports?
Because it costs about an hour's profit and you noticed

Also, HOLKY FYCKING SHIT etc
posted by fullerine at 8:02 AM on August 1, 2013


fullerine: "Because it costs about an hour's profit and you noticed"

I've watched a lot of these videos, and have never once been inspired to buy Oakley products or drink Red Bull.
posted by schmod at 8:03 AM on August 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Though, to be fair, last night Mr. Mooseli and I attended a free Melvins concert in a Vans skate park/music venue and Mr. Mooseli has, in fact, been buying, wearing out and re-buying the same model of Vans for the past ten years (question of causality, though, I suppose).
posted by Mooseli at 8:07 AM on August 1, 2013


schmod: "So, this guy just has a pile of ramps and helicopters in his back yard?"

NY Times on the backyard ramp. Imagine the look the local zoning officials had when he applied for a building permit (which was surely required, right?). I wonder how his neighbors like it.
posted by exogenous at 8:08 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why is there a seemingly bottomless supply of sponsorship money in these sports?

Well, I buy three or four energy drinks a week. Multiply that by a hundred million a day.

And of course gear companies will sponsor stuff, they need their product out there.
posted by thylacine at 8:09 AM on August 1, 2013


I was all ready to post a snarky comment saying, "anyone can jump off a helicopter. I want to see him jump back onto the helicopter." But then, well, you know....
posted by alms at 8:16 AM on August 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


A buddy and I were discussing late 70s early 80s skateboarding the other day and how much things have changed since then. There's a moment in the Bones Brigade documentary where they talk about Alan Gelfand's invention of the Ollie and how that changed everything. I think that really explains the last 30+ years of extreme sports.

People can pull off crazy things like 900s, backflips onto other boards, megaramps, helicopters, and all that these days simply because someone else did it first and survived, and now in order to push the limit you've got to 1080.

In other words today's crazy skateboarding is possible because kids today know that crazy shit is possible, and therefore find themselves doing even crazier shit (and yes, I know Bob is no kid, he's just fucking nuts...).

You have to love them for it.
posted by togdon at 8:32 AM on August 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


It is wondrous what humans get up to for fun. What our bodies are capable of doing is amazing. (Not me, but some of us anyway.)

And damn, you have to be fit to do this all day.
posted by Gwynarra at 8:35 AM on August 1, 2013


I bet those guys can play the hell out of Line Rider.
posted by davelog at 8:46 AM on August 1, 2013


There was a point where I could once name most of those manoeuvres, but the ramp to ramp transfers seem to employ a whole new set of physics. Also, single rails suspended next to a vert ramp? rails over gaps?? If you slam into that at speed, you're going to know about it.

And that's all before we start introducing helicopters to the game...
posted by panboi at 8:58 AM on August 1, 2013


Hard not to watch that and wonder how many bones I never knew I had that I could learn about as the doctor told me I broke 'em.

There was a moment where he smiled, and it was a very nice smile, but part of me wondered if they were all his original teeth....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:01 AM on August 1, 2013


I guess he just had to prove to Michael Cera that he really could do a thingy off that rail?

Well, good for him.
posted by The River Ivel at 9:01 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love that real skaters seem to have taken the absurd landscapes and stunts of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games as a challenge.
posted by Copronymus at 9:05 AM on August 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'd be curious to know how they spec up those megaramps. They have to know something about the speeds and angles involved so that you're not continually overshooting the transition.

Also, looking at the Danny Way video, what does he do when he lands those massive airs? There's no opposite vert side for him to ride out.
posted by panboi at 9:08 AM on August 1, 2013


It's Line Rider, but for real, with helicopters.

That's exactly what it is, and why the 90 degree jump and that rail aren't quite as death defying as they look. He did the jump a bunch of times and put them where he was going to be anyway. Not saying its not hard to be that consistent, but not suicidal.
posted by empath at 9:14 AM on August 1, 2013


Why is there a seemingly bottomless supply of sponsorship money in these sports?

Because the parents of their target demographic haven't maxed out their credit yet.
posted by The World Famous at 9:15 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


So Ben Harper is singing Randy Newman songs now? Huh!
posted by humboldt32 at 9:22 AM on August 1, 2013


I've watched a lot of these videos, and have never once been inspired to buy Oakley products or drink Red Bull.

Brand Awareness. For every y people that watch it, y-x people are gonna buy something. As long as (y-x)profits=riches, people get to jump out of helicopters. If you watch, you're part of the equation.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:25 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


God damn, that was some nutty outsized skateboarding madness.
posted by cortex at 9:31 AM on August 1, 2013


Sick.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:45 AM on August 1, 2013


The whole video is crazy but the ollie fakie at 1:24 made my stomach drop. He's 10 ft out, no hands with the board starting to drift away from his feet and then goes in backwards. I've seen friends lock up on ollie fakes 4 feet out and nearly have to be driven to the emergency room. To do it 10 ft out takes big balls.
posted by photoslob at 9:46 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


> If you watch, you're part of the equation.

Yep. And when I had to drive back from S. California to N. after dropping my kid off at extreme! sports! camp! what did I buy at the gas station on the I-5 to keep me from getting drowsy? Yep, Red Bull. Though the Mr. Penumbra audiobook was more effective.

Red Bull's branding has prettier colors than Monster. Also, Monster stickers feature on more lifted, loud pickups.

---

Burnquist claims the megaramp is safer than regular (big) half pipes and I kind of believe him for the landing side, but the vert opposite that is really high & how Jake Brown ruptured his spleen. If they did only "horizontal" tricks while flying over the gap and used the vert just to slow down, that would be one thing, but the tricks way above the coping on the vert seem way riskier.

He encourages building these, but won't be the guinea pig on ramps outside Brazil.
posted by morganw at 9:55 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having "I will not be broken" as your theme song seems like just outright screaming "come at me, brah!" in Fate's face.
posted by yoink at 10:13 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having "I will not be broken" as your theme song seems like just outright screaming "come at me, brah!" in Fate's face.

So does jumping from a skate ramp to a helicopter and hoping you don't end up headless. I'd say the song choice is probably the least dangerous decision he made in connection with that video.
posted by The World Famous at 10:31 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got all my highest scores on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater on the old Dreamcast with Bob. Back then, much of what we could do on the game was unreal. Glad to know that he still pushes the envelope...
posted by Chuffy at 10:38 AM on August 1, 2013


Oh, and that helicopter flying inside the ramps was insane.
posted by Chuffy at 10:43 AM on August 1, 2013


I liked this little factoid from exogenous' NYT link:
He can wear through a pair of sneakers and gloves each session from sliding on the ramp’s surface during wipeouts.
Also, the $280,000 construction cost.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:56 AM on August 1, 2013


So, do pro skaters have gear maintenance and acquisition people, sort of like a band has roadies? I assume they do, just like big-time guitar players have roadies and techs and whatnot to do all the string changing and intonation setting and amp setting up and maintenance and whatnot.

I'm not sure why I've never thought of this before, but reading that bit about wearing through sneakers and gloves makes me think about how much time has to be spent replacing wheels, bearings, trucks, building new skateboards, and all that stuff, and it occurs to me that Burnquist is probably not doing all that himself, is he? I mean, as a guitarist, I quite frankly think it's a bit lame that so many pro guitar players have some other person do all that stuff on their gear, mostly because I think it sucks that there are so many people who could make great music or whatever who instead have to spend their time fixing up the gear of some other person.

But it's got to be the reality of top-level skateboarding, just like it is for rock bands, right? Part of me really hopes that's not the case and that Burnquist and others build their own decks and do all the bearings and trucks and whatnot on their own, just because it's pretty easy to do and it would be a bit depressing to me to think of legions of people who follow skate tours around just fixing the gear the whole time.
posted by The World Famous at 11:37 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure pro's put together their own board/trucks/wheels/bearings ("setup"). It's pretty personal, you know.
posted by lawrencium at 11:48 AM on August 1, 2013


I wonder how his neighbors like it.

It looks pretty isolated, there's only farms on one side. Google Maps. He has a skate pool in the front-yard too.
posted by smackfu at 11:53 AM on August 1, 2013


I'm pretty sure pro's put together their own board/trucks/wheels/bearings ("setup"). It's pretty personal, you know.

Yeah, I would think that, too. But considering the number of decks, trucks, whatnot someone like Burnquist breaks in the course of a session, plus his schedule of travel, promotional appearances, and all that stuff, it seems to me he and other skaters become something more akin to a traveling musician who simply doesn't have the time to do all that stuff. I mean, yeah, it's very personal. But still. I wonder.
posted by The World Famous at 12:07 PM on August 1, 2013


Wow, that was impressive, but the helicopter flying really took me by surprise. That's some crazy flying.
posted by lucidium at 1:00 PM on August 1, 2013


yeah, i did not know you could do that with a helicopter. can someone make (That Pilot's Name) Pro Helicopter Acrobatics please, i would play that
posted by a birds at 1:43 PM on August 1, 2013


There's a helicopter act that is fairly well know for doing aerobatics, sponsored by (surprise) Red Bull.
posted by exogenous at 2:00 PM on August 1, 2013


Omigod this was great.

Why is there a seemingly bottomless supply of sponsorship money in these sports?

I kinda have always thought it's because the dudes in charge of these companies just think this kind of stuff is really, really cool.

Aside from that, the question about roadies for skatedecks? Well, the dudes at Nitro Circus have a guy who was basically their handyman for equipment, Hubert Rowland: http://www.huberttrax.com/story/index.php He also builds tracks and courses. In episodes of Nitro Circus, you'll see Hubert wrenching on suped-up Big Wheels so that they can blast them down mega ramps (this is one of Bob's!) all over again. I bet there are mechanics for pro skateboarders too.
posted by purple_bird at 2:09 PM on August 1, 2013


MuffinMan's remark about Burnquist's mom led me to this: An annotated list of all his injuries and this article. His mom in the article: "I think it's crazy," she says. "I don't watch. But I hear, because people call me."
posted by purple_bird at 2:38 PM on August 1, 2013


Oh god, that rail. How has nobody been impaled on that?


That was my first cringe moment as well, but upon further examination, it looks as though the front end of the rail is curved downward to such a degree that "if you're going fast enough to hit it, you're necessarily going to be high enough to pass over it. If you slowed down enough to "impale" yourself on it, you'll be going so slow as to make the impact negligible.

(still, little foam rubber would sure make me feel better about it)
posted by ShutterBun at 3:42 PM on August 1, 2013


Is Evel Knievel still in the record book for the most broken bones?
posted by bukvich at 5:23 PM on August 1, 2013


Your link says Knievel's record is 35 bones broken. Travis Pastrana had nearly doubled that by 2008.
posted by The World Famous at 5:39 PM on August 1, 2013


Togdon, you reminded me of Bones Brigade 3: The Search for Animal Chin. (Could've sworn that it was #4) I remember my friends and I huddled around a tv watching the copy of a copy we'd gotten. Good Times.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:54 PM on August 1, 2013


I'm shocked this hasn't been linked yet.
posted by cthuljew at 9:17 PM on August 1, 2013


That was actually rad.
posted by ZipRibbons at 1:17 AM on August 2, 2013


« Older Ever Upward isn't just a blog about space but a lo...  |  George Saunders’s Advice to Gr... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments