Wondering how the undisputed king of the MegaRamp follows up on five consecutive X Games Skateboard Big Air wins? "Dreamland" is Bob Burnquist's first full video part since the 2009 Flip Skateboards team video "Extremely Sorry," and it's a game-changer.
"Competition is my 9-to-5 job, where I skate a bunch, get some tricks wired, and try to strategize to put my best possible run together when it matters," Burnquist says after his first couple days of practice at X Games Los Angeles. "But my backyard is freedom. That's where I think and build and get creative, and that's always been the magic of skateboarding to me: to be able to have new ideas and see them through."
Oakley released the new video today, in time to serve notice before X Games this week that Burnquist, 36, is just getting started on his quest to rattle all concepts of what ought to be possible on a skateboard. Kickflip to crooked grind on a monstrous rainbow rail over the MegaRamp gap? Check. Frontside 360 ollie – no grab – over the 70-foot gap? Check. Fakie-to-fakie 900 on the massive quarterpipe? Yep, that's in there too. And just when you begin to sense a limit of possibility on the MegaRamp's straight-line setup, Burnquist builds himself an enormous launch ramp and sets it at a 90-degree angle next to his backyard behemoth to create the giant step-up gap-to-hip transfer that becomes a canvas for him to paint his visions for the future of skateboarding.
Burnquist says he's as impressed as anybody by how far and how quickly progression in big air has come, at X Games and otherwise, citing Jake Brown's 720 ollie over the gap at X Games Foz and Mitchie Brusco's 1080 on the quarterpipe at X Games Barcelona as recent examples. But he says video parts, not contests, have always been the best way to show what's next in skateboarding, and for this one he decided the MegaRamp needed its boundaries redrawn.
"For me it's never enough to build something and say 'this is it,'" he says. "There's always a new approach, and each new approach opens up all kinds of avenues for new tricks and new ways of skating. Launching into a 25-foot quarterpipe from the hip had me feeling like a kid again, giddy at all the possibilities."
"Dreamland" offers plenty of awe-inducing thrills and cringe-worthy spills as Burnquist explores his ever-changing playground, as well as some must-see helicopter antics, but the gnarliest trick in the video just might be the simplest.
"I've always wanted to go and do the biggest ollie ever, just go straight-up ollie-to-fakie and float there for a bit before coming back down to earth," he says. "That's a classic skate trick, but to do it on the MegaRamp at full speed is something special. An ollie-to-fakie with that much air is definitely a highlight trick."
More than anything, Burnquist says, he hopes his new video part -- the first in a six-part series -- will inspire more skaters to go big.
"Just as I was inspired by seeing Danny Way's first MegaRamp videos, I hope seeing some of what I've been up to and the new tricks I've been collecting will get some people excited," he says. "The MegaRamp is big and scary and dangerous, so to get people stoked on riding it you've got to really inspire them. We're at that time and it's happening. There's a lot of skaters into it and it's progressing, with some of the older skaters still leading the charge and some younger skaters coming up so there will be longevity and it will keep growing. That's the most exciting thing for me."