Flight of the Passion Fruit

And thus we complete the mainstream print media triumvariate

A meandering afternoon in which an errant copy of “Outside” magazine was flipped through, uncovering a pretty in-depth profile on hemp farmer and Mega Ramp LLC co-owner Bob Burnquist who is described at one point as “prone to stoner speechifying about ‘fluidic rhythms.'” (Aren’t we all.) It’s a pretty by-the-numbers rundown of the Bob’s life and times as an X-Games superhero, multiple family man and amateur pilot but at one point they’re cooling out at the rancho and things take a turn for the surreal* when a certain Utahn comes scritch-scritch-scratching at his rancho door:

While I’m at the rancho, Bob’s friend and fellow pro Pierre-Luc Gagnon, or PLG, pops by with some fresh meat: a street skater known as Lizard King (Mike Plumb to his relatives), who’s wiry and abundantly tattooed, with a rapsy smoker’s voice and the bug eyes of a man who gets amped for a living.

Bob greets them in the driveway and tells PLG to take Lizard out to the ramp “just to see what he’s getting into.”

Minutes later, Lizard King comes back looking as if he’s seen a ghost. He can’t stop pacing. “I’m not even over there looking at it and I’m having a heart attack,” he says.

Bob plays the confident older brother, goosing the Lizard up, onto and eventually down the mega-slope.

Lizard King snatches a bag of pads from PLG’s Mercedes and comes back. “I’ve never been more intimidated by anything in my entire life,” he says, then exhales deeply.

“I wanna get you psyched,” Bob says. “I’ll go out there with you.”

Bob shows Plumb how to bail the jump and then does it sans pads.

Lizard King practically collapses. Here he is, terrified, and Bob has casually dropped in as if this were a backyard pool, wearing nothing but jeans and a T-shirt.

“Fuck it, dude,” Lizard yells, rolling toward the edge. “Live life.”

His first attempt isn’t pretty, but he has gusto. There are many whoops and hollers and “Holy shits!” as he rockets down the roll-in, up the launch, and through the air, dropping his board and flying along like someone leaping off a bridge into a lake. He lands awkwardly but safely on his knee pads and slides to the base of the quarterpipe.

“I love you, Bob!” he howls as Bob and I walk back toward the house. “This is the funnest thing I’ve ever done in my life! Thank you for building this!”

About an hour later, Bob’s phone buzzes. It’s a text from PLG: Lizard nailed it. “He’s got the right mentality,” Bob says. “Or the wrong one, depending how you look at it.”

Elsewhere there’s something of an “Xtremely Sorry” preview, which Bob Burnquist is apparently obsessing over “because (video parts) maintain his credibility in the skate world, which might otherwise regard him as a stunt guy who cashes in at the X Games once a year and then retreats to his ranch to roll around in flaxseed.”

In one sequence, he launches across the 50-foot gap, lands on the manual pad, kickflips his board 180 degrees while going 50 miles per hour, then drops in toward the quarterpipe – all without breaking rhythm.

So, what… manual backside flip? Frontside flip? Or just a “180 flip” into the landing from the manual pad? Meanwhile Bob’s organic restaurant has closed its doors, FYI.

*At least, surreal for those of us for whom Lizard King and “Outside” magazine exist in separate, non-overlapping worlds

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8 Responses to “Flight of the Passion Fruit”

  1. Vitis Says:

    fuck it dude. live life.

  2. jonathan Says:

    Pretty sure it’s a manual shove-it. Sounds like it at least.

  3. Arto Reynolds Says:

    “Fuck it, dude,” Lizard yells, rolling toward the edge. “For Satan.”


  4. Adam Says:

    This is just another example of uncomfortable journalism related to skateboarding with hack writing (like the idiom ‘fresh meat’ – you really can’t get more extreme than that). And I know it sounds immature, but the Lizard King ‘bug eyes’ comment brought hardcore drug addicts who constantly commit crimes to my mind.
    But these are just my own opinions.

  5. VALIS Says:

    ‘multiple family man’ is that the new way of saying ‘left his old wife and kid for new ones?’ has anybody else noticed Tony Hawk is on wife #3? These ‘titans of the skate industry’ articles tend to gloss over these details….

  6. clew Says:

    The “Abercrombie-bro” author of this piece has no idea of how gnarly that fuckin’ ramp is. Lizard King is so legit to step up and try that shit (Sheckler too). I hope that fucking writer crashes his BMW that “Outside” magazine provides the lease payment for.

  7. carbonite Says:

    i looked for Outside at B&N but to no avail.
    They did, however, have about 53 different fantasy football guides.
    if anyone wants to do fantasy football this fall, HIT ME UP

  8. Watson Says:

    Dude, me and my friends had such a good poll system set up sort of like a fantasy draft for The Battle At The Berrics, but we slacked off and didn’t get it organized before shit started.

    The 300 pay off would have been sweet.

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