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Skateboarder Clears Great Wall of China
July 10, 2005 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Great Leap Forward With the Chinese minister of extreme sports in attendance, American skateboarder Danny Way cleared a 61-foot gap at nearly 50 mph, crossing the Great Wall of China. "I'm not a fan of heights," said Way, 31, who made five successive jumps. "The sooner I can get down from the top in one piece, the better." Daredevil sports have taken off in China, where Flying Over the Wall events began 10 years ago, but this was the first skateboarder to make an attempt. In 2002, a Chinese bicyclist died attempting to jump the wall when he landed outside the safety area.
posted by rcade (21 comments total)

 
Videos [Windows Media]: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:59 AM on July 10, 2005


That isn't a Giant Leap Forward, that is an Extreme Leap Forward.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:01 AM on July 10, 2005


I sort of have to wonder why Danny Way did this. I couldn't actually see any of the wall that he was jumping and he was really only jumping the width, not the height. The gap he jumped was pretty small (for Danny Way and maybe two other people that is). It sort of just seems like a silly Quicksilver/Chinese promotional stunt. I guess I'll have to pick up the next transworld skateborder magazine to see the if there are any good pictures.
posted by cyphill at 8:16 AM on July 10, 2005


Interesting discrepancies, Transworld says that the jump was supposed to break two records: fastest speed and highest air out of a ramp. Also apparently the gap was supposed to be 80 feet wide, which I'm pretty sure would make it three records, DC shoes agrees. Weird.
posted by cyphill at 8:29 AM on July 10, 2005


I don't know which is more suprising: Danny Way's jump, or that the PRC has a Minister of Extreme Sports.
posted by alumshubby at 8:37 AM on July 10, 2005


What an age we live in!
posted by Scoo at 8:45 AM on July 10, 2005



Interesting discrepancies, Transworld says that the jump was supposed to break two records: fastest speed and highest air out of a ramp.

Yeah, but he never landed any of his airs after the quarter pipe, hence no record. That's why you could hear everybody go "yaaaaaaah!!!!!! Awwwwwwwwww ;("
I don't think it counts if you land on your ass.
Jump five looked like it hurt.
posted by Edible Energy at 8:56 AM on July 10, 2005


alumshubby writes "I don't know which is more suprising: Danny Way's jump, or that the PRC has a Minister of Extreme Sports."

I guess that when you have 1.3+ billion people to pick from, you can have a minister for picking navel lint if you want.
posted by clevershark at 9:00 AM on July 10, 2005


I saw the film earlier on tv. Helluva ramp.
But since I saw your wording in the main link, I can't get Billy Bragg out of my head.
posted by peacay at 9:09 AM on July 10, 2005


It still amazes me that Danny Way can pull 360s at that speed and distance of jump. He has them totally wired.
posted by mathowie at 9:28 AM on July 10, 2005


Google finds no reference to a minister for extreme sports outside articles about this event. There is a Chinese Extreme Sports Association that has some kind of quasi-governmental status, I guess like the Chinese Football Association etc.
posted by gubo at 10:01 AM on July 10, 2005


Wow, with musical backing by Yin Ts'ang. In case anyone's wondering, the commentator is just saying "Good start!" "Look how high that is!" "Aww, the board fell out from under him again." and that kind of thing.
posted by bokane at 10:15 AM on July 10, 2005


Here's a commercial from DC Shoes, the company sponsoring Way's Great Wall jump, with a fake "Chinese minister of extreme sports."

I wonder if the Chinese government or media have seen it. It's pretty ballsy to make them look so foolish when they've given the OK to jump the landmark.
posted by rcade at 10:26 AM on July 10, 2005


Yeah, but he never landed any of his airs after the quarter pipe, hence no record. . . . I don't think it counts if you land on your ass.

I think the fall from the sky in the second video is the most spectacular. I like how he crashes back down to the ramp, then immediately jumps up and raises his arms in triumph. "I meant to do that," as Pee Wee Herman would say. (Thanks for the video links, kirkaracha.)
posted by LeLiLo at 10:33 AM on July 10, 2005


1 Giant Leap?
posted by basicchannel at 11:26 AM on July 10, 2005


correct on the pain in jump5. Also, 5 is the last one.
posted by wah at 1:03 PM on July 10, 2005


>> raises his arms in triumph

Well, he did jump the wall... but I took that as an immediate way of him saying "I'm okay--uninjured."
posted by dobbs at 1:10 PM on July 10, 2005


That ramp is freakin' ginormous. I can't even imagine dropping in on something like that. The Great Wall jump is just a cute accessory in the face of that monster roll-in and mega-sized quarterpipe transition in the landing area. Holy cow.

And what's he going to do if he actually lands that 20 feet of air out of the quarterpipe? Jump over the wall again? If landed it he'd have to bail out into a total pancake-plant to stop from rocketing back up the landing ramp and pulling a total Homer.


I sort of have to wonder why Danny Way did this. ... It sort of just seems like a silly Quicksilver/Chinese promotional stunt. ... I guess I'll have to pick up the next transworld skateborder magazine...


You just answered your own question. One answer is "Why the fuck not? Charge it!"

But the real answer: Money. Quicksilver sells "youth sport culture fashion" to China now. China = 1 billion-plus people, most of them young. They probably paid out a hefty chunk of money to Danny for his troubles.

And yeah, there'll be some extra skate mags sold this month, and even more advertising for DC shoes and Quiksilver.

My dad used to have a burgeoning little screenprint shop up the street from Quiksilver in Huntington Beach, when Quiksilver still did a lot of domestic production, especially their wetsuits. I doubt that Quiksilver does that much domestic production, now. Quiksilver has been around for decades, and they've always been savvy, quick to adapt, quick to change.

(Err, puns totally not intended. My brother and I use to go bug 'em all the time for freebies and neoprene scraps to make stuff with. The same industrial area also had GT bikes, a urethane skateboard wheel factory and a bunch of other related industries. Oddly enough, one of the warehouses that my Dad's screenprint shop moved to later when he got bigger is now the home of Madrid skateboards. I only discovered this after getting hired on sub-contract to a designer for a day job shooting pics of some of their boards - it was surreal walking around inside our old shop and seeing someone else's business there.)
posted by loquacious at 5:35 PM on July 10, 2005


*Hands out skateboards to the Mongel hordes*
posted by dial-tone at 7:14 PM on July 10, 2005


Why would he do it? Why the fuck wouldn't he do it? I imagine "I jumped the Great Wall of China on my skateboard" works great as a pick-up line.
posted by SweetJesus at 8:44 PM on July 10, 2005


yeah, I remember reading about the MegaRamp that this is based on, and how quite a few really accomplished skateboarders would get ready to drop in, look at the ramp, and quietly climb back down.
posted by craniac at 7:41 AM on July 11, 2005


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