Start to finish, a reasonable skateboard maneuver rarely requires more than one second of air time. From flat ground, to smaller gaps, to mini ramp/bowl hucking, to any stair set trick under el toro: you're never really up there for that long. That’s where the mega ramp comes in and seriously fucks up that whole statement.
Just today, I saw that Thrasher posted a video of Elliott Sloan* roasting a 720 across Bob's** very own backyard mega ramp. It was incredible. The video was actually filmed by Bob himself via GoPro, which means he had to air that shit with Elliott while making sure his head remained steady enough to capture it all.
Everything went off without a hitch. At the end however, I got a strange flashback to a moment in skateboarding history that I will never forget: Jake Brown's televised 45 foot fatty to flatty, which was famously preceded by an unheard of 720 across the gap. Much like Elliott, Jake killed phase 1 of his mission.
'720? Easy, no problem.'
Then however, it all fell apart. That 20-foot quarter pipe was waiting for him. It needed him. It needed the air, and so did Jake. Phase 2 had commenced, but halfway through it appeared that Jake needed to abort the mission altogether. Besides maybe Carroll's front tail hang up in Barge, this could be considered the gnarliest slam of all time. Dude was in the air for what seemed like 75 seconds. Then, boom...
Did a person just die on national television? Was that person Jake Brown? Am I going to throw up? I thought I was seeing things, but ok, yeah that's right, thanks for confirming, Sal:
"His shoes popped off"
Again, that's right, his shoes popped off. In a moment of complete shock, Sal Masekela spoke directly from the heart, and without hesitation. The people needed to know the truth, and he was there to shine the light. His shoes popped off.
Sal's quote was the main takeaway from this whole ordeal. Think about it: a slam so powerful that a man's presumably tied skateboard sneakers actually popped off of his feet upon impact. A true sight for the ages, I'm talking mythbusters worthy physics here.
But there was however another quote that slipped through the cracks amidst the booming sincerity of Sal's voice. Tony Hawk was on the announcers panel that day, too. He also witnessed the slam of all slams. The fattest to flattest. Most importantly, he too had a profound observation to voice during a moment of crisis the skateboard world had never quite experienced. In what may have been an attempt to break up the dead air that Sal had left us with, Tony takes to the microphone with a glimmer of optimism:
"I can't believe he made that 720"
I couldn't have said it better myself, Tony. These are the moments that turn legends into super legends. Flooded with passion and an undying love for skateboarding, Tony proved to us that no moment is ever too severe not to look on the bright side of things and nerd out over the success of a 720 across the mega ramp.
When the debris settled and the whole world found out that Jake Brown was not, in fact, dead, a collective sigh of relief was heard by all. Tony, however, was still caught in a daze, daydreaming about how sick that 720 looked.
Happy Hawk Week, folks.
**mega ramp skater