It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic place to practice skate tricks than a sculptural wooden ramp floating on the crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe. In some of the photos, it almost doesn’t look real, the skaters captured in mid-air seeming jarringly out of place agains the surface of the water.
Skateboarding pro Bob Burnquist got the opportunity to build the ramp in 2013 when Visit California asked him to think big, coming up with an idea that might seem a little nuts at first but was actually achievable. Working with Miami art director Jerry Blohm, Burnquist created a wooden structure on a floating base, featuring a half pipe, a quarter pipe and a 45-degree ramp.
The fact that it sits entirely upon the surface of the water is part of what makes it seem so unreal. It’s built on a steel frame with weighted riggers that keep it from moving around too much in the water. It took 300 man hours and 1,250 screws to finish the 7,300-pound structure.
You might be thinking, “Isn’t there a danger of skating right off the edge?” Yes, there definitely is, even for professionals – and that’s why Bob had a wet-suited snorkeler waiting to retrieve his skateboard anytime it went into the water during this shoot.