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.
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.
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 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.
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