Over Board: Sink or Skate on This Amazing Floating Ramp

Floating Skate Ramp 1

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.

Floating Skateboard Ramp 4

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.

Floating Skate Ramp 2

Floating Skate Ramp 4

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.

Floating Skate Ramp 3

FLoating Skateboard Ramp 5

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.