Bob's Backyard

Bob Burnquist is a professional skateboarder - one of maybe 5 people who has truly mastered something known as the "mega-ramp." There are only three in the world, and one is in his Vista, CA backyard. It is longer than a football field, 75-feet high at its highest point and involves clearing either a 50 or 70-foot gap, depending where you launch. To give you some idea, here is just ONE HALF of it - the part leading up to the jump. For a sense of scale, see the people at top. The one on the right is Bob.

Bob thinks you hit about 50 miles-per-hour on the roll-in. The day I was there, a local street skater who calls himself the Lizard King called up. He wanted to come by and give this thing a shot. Not surprisingly, it scared the crap out of him. But Bob, wearing no pads, demonstrated how it wasn't really that bad. He wanted the Lizard King to see that even if he crashed it wasn't so bad. So rode in, bailed, and landed on his butt, sliding safely to a stop on the other side. After sweating and swearing and pacing and frantically smoking cigarettes, the Lizard King decided to give it a shot. Here's his first attempt. He landed safely on his knees, slid to a stop and proclaimed it "the greatest thing ever." Then he tried it again. 

We left before he landed successfully but their mutual friend Pierre called us later and handed Lizard the phone. He was still yelling. What did he say, I asked. "Mad passion, bro. Mad passion." Okay, then.

As if it wasn't already clear how absurdly big this skate ramp is, here is an aerial shot I took with my phone as Bob gave me a flyover in a Cessna. It's that thing that looks like a gigantic ramp on the left, next to the weird farm with all the silver domes. For scale, note that his not-exactly-small house is the yellow-ish thing with the pool. I wouldn't be surprised if you could see it from space.