Brazil native Bob Burnquist has been a skateboarding game changer since he first arrived in the United States. His early years skating San Francisco (Skating everything - street included) were amazing. He was 1997 Thrasher Magazine's Skater of the Year! (Click here for video!) Riding for Anti-Hero then moving to the Firm Skateboards with Bones Brigade legend Lance Mountain. His part in the King of Skate contest Pay Per View event was unforgettable. Bob not only did a loop switch (Backwards), but he then took the top out of the loop and did the gap. Truly mind blowing. From there he did a grind on a rail poised over and the Grand Canyon. After he completed the grind he free fell for a minute and then released a parachute, base jump style. Currently Bob rides for Flip Skateboards and bounces back and forth between Brazil and the States. He also rides for Toyota. During this years 2014 Dew Tour stop in Ocean City, Maryland he hobbled down (he was injured) to the board walk and we had a conversation about Toyota, the Dew Tour and his recent choice to layer his existing ramp complex in concrete rather then a fresh layer of Skate Lite.
J -You ride for Toyota? You use the Prius?
Bob - Oh yeah I drive it here (United States) and I even have one in Brazil and drive it in Brazil as well. I actually just made use of my new Prius V. It's the new family size model, better then a van. So I just packed my girls up and I wasn't sure everything would fit. But it did!
J - So you use the Toyota Prius for the eco benefits? That's a big deal in Brazil in particular?
Bob - It's a big deal every where really. In Brazil there is a lot of flex fuel like bio diesel, ethanol, alcohol and sugar cane that they (vehicles) can all run on. So it's a different kind of push. I think that's why in the U.S. it's so important, so relevant because it's mostly gas here. I definitely use a lot less of it. I tend to forget to fill up actually because I go and go and then I remember Oh I actually need to fill it up. I do a lot of driving down to San Diego and then all the way back up to Temecula and yeah it's fun!
J – Are you stoked to be back in Ocean City, Maryland for the Dew Tour?
Bob – Competition in general Im not to hyped on. But its like the 9 to 5 of what I do. It's part of my job so I am gonna go handle it. I try and have a good time. My favorite part of the contests are the practice sessions. I get to skate with everyone. Everyone is skating really good and the first few days are really fun because everyone is just trying to figure things out (referring to the contest set up). At home when I skate its by myself or with my Brazilian crew or maybe I'll go out to Tony's (Hawk) and see the crew, but out here everyone is skating. It tends to make you skate better and competition makes you do things you normally wouldn't. So it's kind of a plus.
J – How's the Dew Tour ramp this year and the new bowl?
Bob- The ramp feels good. I just rolled my ankle on the bowl so right now I don't like it at all.Which sucks because it actually looks good (The Bowl). It seems a little bigger, a little more complicated then last year which is nice. It's a great addition to add the bowl over the years of just having vert. It's a good idea for Dew Tour to add the bowl. It brings different people, obviously you have different generations that ride it. Its a different style of skateboarding. Obviously it being shown live on TV like that, I like that people will be shown skateboarding in a lot of different ways. They tend to just see vert and thats mostly what they see but now even with the street stuff they get to see all aspects of skateboarding on TV. So yeah the bowl thing is good.
J- Hows the new concrete at your house?
Bob- My house is good, it's fun. I have been skating it a lot lately. Filming on it. just trying to get tricks on it. At my house I kind of just tend not to session where I am just doing trick to trick to trick. Lately I just go and try to film something. I look at my ramp as a set and Ill take a prop out with me and Ill film and thats done and Ill try to film two or three things. If I am feeling mega Ill go do that. And If I wanna just cruise around the top deck especially now with that all being concreted I get to skate ya know a little more relaxed. I set up a street board because I get to skate the deck. I mean I dont need to go all the way and pad up, but Im skating every day and its kind of fun actually like that.
J- Nice. Did they concrete the loop too?
Bob- No. I might do it as a monument really.
J – Yeah that things awesome.
Bob- I had them price it out. But it was a lot of crete just the bowl and the amount of coping blocks put in was crazy. It was a really big ramp. I mean it was one of those decisions cause I was actually gonna just redo it out of wood and dig and build a concrete bowl but to do that with permits I looked into it and it just wasnt going to happen. So I figured the transitions on my vert ramp were a little smaller then standard so I was talking to Jeff King and he was just Man I think you can probably just concrete over that. So we got the Grindline guys to come out and it was maybe 10% over what it would cost doing it with wood. And I would probably have to redo in 5 years again out of wood so I decided to go the concrete route. I am glad I did. Its a trip. Whole different route. Its great to have some coping block and some crete to go cruise around on and grind up.