Steve Cave: Oh wow! I didnt know that.
Bob Burnquist: A lot of people dont. I grew up in Brazil like I said. I would go to the hospital almost every day with asthma attacks and it was gnarly. I remember skating a skateboarding contest and I had an asthma attack and I couldnt skate and I felt sooo bad, I couldnt skate and I couldnt breathe -- it was just horrible. Skateboarding kind of helped me get through that. Its like when you have asthma and you dont have any outlet you tend to not work out, so anything you do physically will trigger an asthma attack. Skateboarding was so fun that no matter if I had asthma or not, I was going to try and skate. I used the asthma pump or the inhaler, and I just had to deal with it as a kid. Over the years its gotten better but I still to this day I have a harder time. Before I used to not even be able to get to a run, you know to get through like 45 seconds, get to 30 seconds and Im like done.
And then I actually started looking at and getting inspired by other people, Danny Way being one. Because of all of his injuries hes actually broken his neck, and did a bunch of other stuff knee ligament surgery, and all that. And he bounced back. And he bounced back because he went heavily into rehab and just thought healing. Up to this point Ive probably broken like 24 or 25 bones. And the healing time is MAJOR rehab. And you gotta think healing and you gotta think healthy and you gotta move. You cant just stop and wait to heal you gotta keep moving. Im always active Im always moving. You know I got into sky diving recently too, and theres this wind tunnel situation and its really tiring. You get into the wind tunnel for you know a couple minuets and I usually do 15 to 30 minuets at a time and its just REALLY tiring. I have this little Indo board thing, and I do that, and I do weights with that, and I do the medicine ball, its usually a lot of balancing. And a lot of stretching, Ive always done stretching, all my life Ive stretched. I gotta work out because if not Im going to skateboard and Im gonna fall and Im going to get hurt and Im not going to skateboard. I mean it all revolves around skateboarding. Everything Im doing is to be a better skateboarder and obvisouly my asthma has gotten a lot better, I mean Ive evolved so much in that, and its really good. I try to tell kids. I was at a skate camp one time and I said I had asthma and like some of the kids were like, dude, I didnt know that and then a couple of kids after I talked they came over and were like, Man I have asthma too and I have a really hard time with it. Im like, Its part of it, but you gotta keep going.
Steve Cave: Tell me about the King of Skate competition, and your topless loop.
Bob Burnquist: It was a competition where they picked six of us and gave us each the freedom to build anything that we wanted to build. So we did it, and I built a loop. The ultimate goal really was to saw the top and kind of open-hatch it and try and air it upside down. Loops can be spun either to the right or to the left, and that makes you go frontside or backside. So what happened with the open hatched loop is that it was set up to the right, which was regular backside for me, but for me to air it backside would be almost impossible, it would be really hard. So I had to do it switch. I had to turn it around and do it backwards, because that is just the way it was spun and the way it had to be done.
Steve Cave: How many tries did it take?
Bob Burnquist: I tried it like for 2 hours straight I tried it, and it was really the toughest day to keep on going. The slams that I took, I ended up falling, and when I finally got a hold of what I had to do I ended up falling in the same way over and over and over. I put my foot down and then I spin my body. I put my foot down and I spin my body. And then that, the first two times were fine, I would go and try again. But then it started taking a stress on that same hit over and over and my ankle really started to hurt, and my back. Everything was getting out of place because you were just slaming it over and over in the same way. I almost gave up. I came really close to one and I was like, Im not stopping now. And then I kept going, and I think it took me about 40 or 50 tries or something. Thats a lot tries, man. It was something. I mean it wasnt even really about being fit at that point! Im going out on vapor fumes (smile in voice), like I had no energy, it was just straight mental, I want it, I dont care what my bodys telling me right now. I could have a broken foot and keep going, you know?
Steve Cave: Once you get to that point, what keeps you going?
Interview concludes on page 3...