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Private Mega Ramp - Bob Burnquist's $280k backyard ramp

Bob Burnquist atop his private Mega Ramp

I like reading the newspaper. I don't have the luxury of much spare time for this indulgence, but I enjoy it when I can. World news, politics and technology are the usual areas I peruse. The sports section is quickly discarded as team sports like baseball, football, basketball and hockey do nothing for me. I've heard of several pro skaters who enjoy golf, but I've found that sport a little too frustrating. I enjoy the occasional tennis article, although they only show up during major tournaments.

Imagine my surprise when I found a huge story on skateboarding - Bob Burnquist, no less. Just as I was tossing aside the New York Times sports section I swore I saw the word "skateboarding". To my amazement and delight there was a story on Bob. I'll be damned. And you'll never guess what he's building... in his backyard.

When I hear mention of the Mega Ramp, the name Danny Way comes to mind since he's the first person to make the jump. Others have tried - some successfully, some not. If you want to get good at something, you have to practice. Bob Burnquist knows a lot about this concept.

You or I might get very excited about building a half pipe in the backyard. You could build a killer ramp for $1,500 or scale back to a mini for around $800. Apparently, if you have a tad under $300,000 you can build your own Mega Ramp. Lets look at the specs for such a thing. A large halfpipe might have 9-foot transitions with 4-foot rollouts and 16-foot flat bottom.

Bob's Mega Ramp is 75 feet tall (equivalent to an 8 story building) and spans 360 feet in length (roughly the length of a football field). Many of us would be happy to have a yard that size. The roll-in is 180 feet - and you were scared of the first steep pool you dropped into. Keep in mind this is in his "backyard". I'll bet your town doesn't have zoning ordinances for any private structure that big.

Leaping his private Mega Ramp

Bob's a clever guy and an organic farmer. He was able to build the structure under the guise of it being an agricultural building... he happens to use the roof as a skate ramp. Um... OK. Ingenuity is the mother of invention and that's a very inventive idea. I'm sure a building inspector would easily dismantle his clever ruse upon on-site inspection.

The moral of this story is never give up - there's always a way!

Read the NYT article below for the full deal and check out their rendition of the massive jump.

Article from:
The New York Times | November 1, 2006

Huge Skateboarding Ramp Beckons Daredevils - By Matt Higgins

VISTA, Calif. - The largest skateboard ramp in the world can be found on a 12-acre farm north of San Diego among the green foothills of the San Marcos Mountains.

Bob Burnquist working on one of his skateboards. "I'm not afraid of falling. I'm afraid I might jump," he said about his Mega Ramp.

Pilots routinely adjust their flight paths for a closer look, which is as good a way as any to sum up the scale of the Mega Ramp. The wooden structure is longer than a football field, as tall as an eight-story building, with a creek bed running through a 70-foot breach.

On a recent sunny afternoon, the ramp's owner, Bob Burnquist, a renowned 30-year-old professional skateboarder from Brazil, peered over the side to treetops below and said: "I'm not afraid of falling. I'm afraid I might jump."

That mind-set helps on the Mega Ramp, where skaters reach speeds of up to 55 miles an hour and soar like stuntmen.

Approximately 360 feet long, the ramp is 75 feet high at its apex. That is where riders begin their run, speeding down a 180-foot-long roll-in to a ramp that launches them across a 70-foot gap with trapeze netting below. Landing on a 27-foot sloped section, they then boost up to 50 feet above the ground from a 30-foot quarterpipe. A shorter route begins with a 55-foot-tall platform leading to a 50-foot gap, and the 30-foot quarterpipe.

For Burnquist, who stands out in a crowd of iconoclasts, the ramp has become the latest step in a journey to create what he called an exponential progression in an otherwise street-bound, terrestrial sport.

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