Bob Burnquist: a giant flying skater | Photo: X Games

Bob Burnquist is one of the most charismatic riders in skateboarding history and a record-breaking athlete. Here's everything you need to know about the Brazilian-American skater.

Robert Dean Silva Burnquist was born on October 10, 1976, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He is one of the three children of coffee exporter Dean Burnquist and Dora Silva. Bob has two sisters - Rebecca and Milena Burnquist.

He started skateboarding at 11 in São Paulo, where he grew up.

As a child, he turned down a medal when the soccer team he was a reserve goalkeeper for won a championship because he had not contributed to the victory.

In an interview with Trip magazine, he said:

"Nothing against team sports, but I saw I needed one sport that depended on me. If I lost, it was my fault; if I won, the merit was mine alone."

Young Bob debuted in competitions at the age of 13. One year later, he was already a professional rider.

He revolutionized skateboarding early on by riding switch-stance and developing and building the base for several vert tricks, including the one-foot smith grind, fakie 900, and his signature move, the wee willy grind.

One of Burnquist's first public appearances was in 1994 at the American science education television program "Bill Nye the Science Guy."

The young skater talked about a topic that is part of any skater's life.

"Gravity is the one thing that will always be the same no matter where you go or how you do it," a long-haired Bob stated.

Bob won the first vert contest as a professional skater in the 1995 Slam City Jam in Vancouver, Canada.

Bob Burnquist: the Brazilian-American started skating at 11 | Photo: Burnquist Archive

An X Games Legend

Competitively, Bob Burnquist is a product of the X Games.

He is also the most decorated skater of the legendary action sports series, with 14 gold, eight silver, and eight bronze medals.

But his winning streak only starts at 23 at the 2000 X Games in San Francisco, California.

In the decisive run, Burnquist lands a historical fakie 5-0 kickflip off the ground bar to claim the vert best trick of the contest.

One year later, the Brazilian-American beat Bucky Lasek in the final run of the event with a series of never-before-seen tricks and maneuvers.

The nearly flawless performance earned him a score of 98 out of 100, the second-highest in the history of the X Games.

Bob Burnquist: riding his Dreamland's corkscrew | Photo: Burnquist Archive

The Grand Canyon BASE Jump

For many, it still is the greatest vert run of all time.

In 2017, the all-around regular footer announced his retirement from the X Games after 22 consecutive years of competition (1995-2017).

In 2006, already in love with larger-than-life skate ramps, Burnquist literally threw himself into the abyss.

Discovery Channel's "Stunt Junkies" team built a wooden ramp so that the daredevil could do a 50-50 at the tip of the structure before performing a BASE jump into the Grand Canyon.

On the first attempt, Bob missed the grind, lost control, and struggled to deploy the parachute safely.

On the second try, the skater executed every task flawlessly before landing safely on the Colorado River bank.

Dreamland's Mega Ramp

In 1999, Bob Burnquist bought a house and land in Vista, California.

Six years later, inspired by Danny Way's mega ramp, the Brazilian-American bought six additional acres and started building his Dreamland.

The property features Guinness World Records' largest permanent skateboard ramp.

It is 360 feet (11 meters) long and 75 feet (23 meters) high.

The giant ramp comprises a 180-foot (55 meters) long launch section, a 70-foot (21 meters) gap, a 27-foot (8.5 meters) slope, and a 30-foot (9 meters) quarter-pipe.

The structure allows skaters to reach speeds of 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour) and get 20 feet high above the quarter-pipe.

Later, the switch stance king added a 90-degree angle hip ramp to his mega ramp's quarter-pipe.

The $280,000 project was officially designated as an agricultural building to bypass local planning laws.

Dreamland is also home to a concrete vert bowl, a full pipe, and a "corkscrew."

The facility is not open to the public - only select skaters can get access to this skateboarding theme park.

Burnquist Gold: the token that represents all Bob's NFT drops

Always Active

"Big Air Bob" won the Laureus World Sports Award for Action Sportsperson of the Year in 2002 and was also a nominee in 2014 and 2016.

The vert specialist practices jiu-jitsu to improve his mental and physical condition.

Burnquist is a familiar character in the "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" video game series and was also a featured skater in the "ESPN X Games Skateboarding" Playstation 2 game.

In 2014, he rode a 7,300-pound floating skate ramp on Lake Tahoe near D. L. Bliss State Park, California.

Two years later, the Brazilian-born debuted Rio de Janeiro's first half-pipe in Madureira Park.

Burnquist likes to fly planes and helicopters, enjoys graffiti and NFT art (pictured above), and is into skydiving.

Bob opposes the inclusion of skateboarding in World Skate, the International Olympic Committee-recognized governing body for roller sports.

He co-founded the Action Sports Environmental Coalition, Instituto Skate Cuida (former Instituto Bob Burnquist), Burnkit, and the traditional medicine company FarmaLeaf.

He has been vegan since 2020 and calls himself a "spiritist Christian."

Bob has two daughters - Lotus O'Brien and Jasmyn from his relationship with pro skater Jen O'Brien and former model Verônica Nachard.

Burnquist married Vivi Zanini in 2013.

He was featured in several skateboard movies and videos, including:

  • "Balance In The World of Chaos" (1996)
  • "Antihero - Fucktards" (1997)
  • "Transworld: Interface" (1997)
  • "Antihero - Cow" (1998)
  • "Quick" (1998)
  • "Thrasher - Vidiot" (1998)
  • "Life Long Addiction" (1999)
  • "éS: Menikmati" (2000)
  • "Hurley: Hallowed Ground" (2001)
  • "OP King of Skate" (2002)
  • "The Firm - Can't Stop" (2003)
  • "Tony Hawk's Secret Skatepark Tour" (2004)
  • "The Reality of Bob Burnquist" (2005)
  • "Oakley - Our Life" (2006)
  • "Flip - Feast Tours" (2006)
  • "Flip - Extremely Sorry" (2009)
  • "Vida Sobre Rodas" (2010)
  • "Oakley - Bob Burnquist's Dreamland: A Backyard Progression" (2013)

Bob Burnquist is on Facebook (@bobburnquist), Twitter (@bobburnquist), Instagram (@bobburnquist), and TikTok (@bobburnquist).

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