Limits

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Limits. Skateboarders push themselves and others around them. It is how we progress and evolve. I have watched the Mega Ramp skaters for years now. Back in 1996, Andy Macdonald and a few of us, built a roll-in ramp into a foam pit at Woodward in Pennsylvania. It has been going on for a long time. Natural progression. The things that Bob Burnquist, Danny Way and the others are doing is pretty mind-blowing. I am fifty years old. I still fantasize about doing the loop, jumping the gap of the Mega Ramp and other such things regularly. I know my limits and abilities probably can’t fulfill such daydreams. Looking at the Mega Ramp last weekend, I said to myself, “You can’t do this thing.” First, there is the gap to contend with. Second, even if I did make it over, I still had to face the daunting challenge of doing something on the thirty foot tall quarter pipe going about forty miles per hour. I’ve only ever gone about four or five feet high on any air I’ve ever done, so the chances of making the gap and pulling an eight foot air are outside of my limits. I was watching Bob, Italo and Trey Wood. I started thinking to myself. “If I can’t make the gap, what CAN I do?” I went and grabbed my pads, some gloves and borrowed a Mega board setup from Trey Wood. I started riding down the landing ramp. I would go a bit higher each time until I was rolling in from the top. The Mega Ramp is an entirely different animal. Vert skating and pool skating cannot really prepare you.

The warm up

The warm up

All week long, I thought of the Mega Ramp. In my mind, I wanted to attempt an invert or something. I talked with MRZ and Bruno Passos. We decided to give it a try today. After a few warm up runs down the roll-in ramp, Bruno had me drop in from the top of the thirty foot quarter pipe. I put my tail out and pulled it back. Massive. It is really huge. I put my tail back out and made the plunge. I think I was in complete free-fall for two or three feet before I caught the ramp. Once I climbed up to the top of the roll in again, I still wasn’t sure if I could get the speed to do anything on the quarter pipe.

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There is an arched raised box on top of the Mega landing ramp that one can push off of and ollie down onto the runway. It took me a few tries to feel comfortable with it. It is like pushing off of a freeway overpass, ollieing in and down a sharply angled off ramp. It is wide, steep and fast. All of the sudden, there is a massive wall of ramp in front of you that seemingly never ends. You are weightless and you want to bail. You do or you don’t. I tried riding my vert board with hard bushings in my trucks. I cranked them tight.

Bruno Passos giving me some pointers

Bruno Passos giving me some pointers

Bruno Passos

Bruno Passos

Bruno padded up, stretched, skated and he started helping me. He told me that my vert board wouldn’t work as I wasn’t getting out of the top enough. I desperately needed more speed. I tried his Mega setup. Wide trucks. Larger wheels. Longer wheelbase. First run, I reached coping much easier. I put down a few mute airs. My heart was pounding. Bruno told me to relax a bit. Take my time. I was pretty scared. It was spooky feeling actually. It is really hard to pump the ramp. It takes more speed than you may guess. I couldn’t gather the nerve together to try an invert, so I attempted a nose pick. I soon pulled one in and over rotated. When you are falling on the Mega Ramp, you have an awful amount of time to think about it. It takes awhile before you hit… I bailed the next two and over rotated one again. I was coming in at an angle and I couldn’t turn out of it. The trucks don’t turn.  At this point, I knew that I had to make it. I made the long walk up again. I was tired and getting sore. Brian Fick, Leo and Bruno told me to handle it. “You got it dude.” Next one up, it went down.

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Exhilaration.   Of course, I didn’t do the gap. I didn’t do a Mega Ramp sized trick. However, I did push my personal limits. I wouldn’t take council of my fear and doubts. I’m stoked. Progression. Thanks to Bob Burnquist, MRZ, Bruno Passos, Leo Ruiz and Brian Fick for the motivation and help. Skate- Ozzie

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21 thoughts on “Limits

  1. To be or not to be. What will I do if I ever have the chance to try the Mega Ramp. These are the questions. Incredible experience, man, congrats.
    48 here, cheers from Brazil.

  2. Hell yeah Ozzie> That’s freaking awesome, both in your candor and of course pulling off your picker. I’m 51, and felt like I would have done the same thing. Great job.

  3. I came back to this and reread it again. It is amazing. Just looking at those shots of the ramp’s runway is enough to get this ex-skater’s blood rushing. All we can ever do is push our own limits – it’s what keeps us going. Thanks for the inspiration Ozzie.

  4. You just proved to me that all those who won’t skate anymore (due to age) are missing out on the best runs of their lives. What a killer rush that thing must have been?!!! Wow! Got my heart going! No fear! No regrets! 50 is the best age ever!!! Doing physical feats of skill ( when most of us never even thought we would make it to 50) makes the experience and accomplishment so much sweeter!! Inspiration…..

  5. Wow, great read, i could really feel the emotions that were going through your head, a bit like how i feel trying to climb my mountains, although somewhat smaller than yours, keep it up Oz!

  6. I have the same issues, but with a 6ft bowl! That ramp you rode is the most intimidating thing i’ve ever seen. The fact you got on there, had a go, and believed is enough. Keep it up mate. It never ends…….

  7. Gap or not, nice accomplishment. That thing has to be massively intimidating.

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