Brain Probe: Bob Gnar

As far as I’m concerned, Bob Burnquist is a living legend. Period. You want to debate that in the comments, fine, but you’ll be wasting your time. A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to interview Bob. Once I stopped fanning out, I was able to string together a coherent line of questions for the real Switch God (sorry, Keelan) to answer. Check out what Bob Gnar had to say.

 burnquist dew tour Ryan Fudger 300x225 Brain Probe: Bob Gnar

Photo: Ryan Fudger

You just got done with the Ocean City stop of the Dew Tour. How was that?

It was great, had my Girls with me and we were raging the citywalk. As far as skating goes it was awesome til I rolled my ankle at the bowl and the painful experience continued throughout the weekend. Felt good skating Vert with the homies and still compete at their level. Then my low back just went to shit from skating and protecting my left ankle. It was actually one of the most painful experiences I’ve had competing. And I’ve felt plenty of pain before. Still paying for that day.

 

Looking forward to the rest of the tour this summer?

No more skateboarding for me so not much to look forward too other than hangin with the fans at the autograph sessions and getting to check out the street homies do their thing.

 

You are on Team Toyota and they are a big sponsor for the Dew Tour, how is that relationship working out?

It’s been great over the years, I get to drive a car that I would buy if I didn’t get for free. I save so much gas I forget that I have to fuel up sometimes. They hooked me up with a Prius in the US and in Brazil. Cruisin’

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That’s sick, man. Do they ever hook up a Lexus hybrid for you to ride around in at the tour stops or let you test drive one of the new Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV)? Those look pretty sweet.

No.

 

Omar is your teammate on Toyota and Independent. Think you’ll ever get him on the Mega?

Not really trying to, cause If I get him on mega, I’m gonna have to do some of the crazy shit he does on the streets. No thanks. Hahahaha

I hate to bring it up, but I just watched the Brazil v. Germany game… my condolences. You have been repping hard for the Seleção, any thoughts on the game or the World Cup in general?

We couldn’t have asked for a better team to inflict that humbling experience on Brazilian Soccer. Respectful winners, humble and just incredible soccer players. I started laughing by the 4th goal. It’s just a game but I’ll tell you something amazing about the Brazilian psyche. We were beat by Germany with 7×1 score and Argentina is a South American team. Logic would have us all going for Argentina in the finals. Not so. EVERYBODY in Brasil was cheering for Germany to win the World cup. We can take a 7×1, but we CANNOT take Argentina winning the World Cup in our own backyard. Hahahahahaha. And they almost did! The dude that scored for Germany is a German and a Brazilian hero. Go figure. Gotta watch out for Zee Germans! You blink, they score.

Speaking of soccer, I’m pretty sure everything in Dreamball was an NBD. You’ve got some skills with the bola.

That was a fun experience. I love projects like that. There were a few other tricks left out and there are so many ideas to keep rolling on so maybe I’ll start thinkin 2018 now so the next DreamBall is even more tech. 

Any of those tricks go down first try?

Ha… first tries are hard to come by these days. Nothing first try there, but it took a lot less tries than I thought would take for the hole in one kick at the bowl. Took about 7 kicks on that one.

What about Dreamland, get anything on the first attempt?

The switch heel front lip on the rail.

(Authors Note: That is likely the gnarliest thing anyone will ever say to me.)

 Brain Probe: Bob Gnar

 Photo: Brian Fick

10. That part was like an 8 minute collection of hammers and you have done an insane amount of ridiculously gnarly stuff in your career. What’s the most scared you’ve ever been before trying something? It could even be something that you tried as a kid.

Thank you. I tend to get scared a lot… got scared recently while filming the sky part of dreamball. Had my first Parachute malfunction and had to cut the main chute away and use my reserve. Heart beat rate went pretty high, went through the whole process and before I knew it I was on the ground safe and alive. Turned out to be pretty fun, but I was scared. Riding the Megaramp at full blast is usually pretty scary too. Hate it and love it at the same time. Fucking hell. I guess we all get pretty scared with different shit. I’ve had scary situations under parachute, on my skateboard, piloting a plane, a helicopter, driving a car. Shit, life is scary and then you die, but it’s also a whole lot of fun too! Just got to pay attention, stay calm in the storm and live another day a more evolved and experienced human. Got lots of scary stories, but let’s keep it light for the sensitive readers.

Along those lines, are there any tricks that you just can’t wrap your head around or that you struggle with? You know, kinda like Koston and hardflips?

I had a thing with heel flips, or at least I thought I did. Never felt like I was much of a spinning type either , then I learned 7s fakie to forward, forward to fakie and then finally a fakie to fakie 9. So I guess I’m a spinning dude. Don’t know about 10’s so I’m back to not feeling much like a spinning type. Also never ever felt like a good competition skateboarder, but I’ve won a lot, got medals and all these things that say otherwise, but I still don’t feel like much of a competition skateboarder. To be honest, I feel like my whole life has been like, well… that worked out, thank you Lord, I am blessed!  What’s next?

What’s one thing you’ve done in your career, and I’m not necessarily referring to tricks, that you would tell anyone trying to make it in this industry they should try to do, and one thing you did that you would never do again?

As far as an industry tip. I guess my advice is to just do whatever your heart tells you. Fuck points and money. Yeah, I know, paying the bills is important and sometimes I do what I want and sometimes I do what I have to. But mostly I do what I want. Anything you put your mind to, go for it 110%. There is no room for maybes and I guess I’ll try that. GO! Don’t look back and don’t step on people. Respect, be humble and do your thing. Put your heart out there… that’s where the value of life lives.

Most of the tricks I filmed for my video parts I will never do again. What for? There is so much else to learn…  I don’t like re-shooting or having to do something I got away with again. It’s bound for disaster. But let’s say you won’t see myself doing an open loop switch in this lifetime again.

Awesome, OK before we finish up I want to ask a couple of random fire questions. First, who is your favorite, current Brazilian Skater, and why?

I can’t understand Luan, he’s an alien. So I’ll say Pedro Barros which is pretty incomprehensible himself. 

Top 5 all time favorite skaters?

1.Danny Way

2.Danny Way

3.Bucky Lasek

4.Tony Hawk

5.John Cardiel

Better mini ramp: Lake Tahoe or the cement-looking one with the bowled corner on your instagram?

The secret concrete island bowled corner on my instagram. 

My brother recently started skydiving. Any advice?

Don’t fuck it up.

 What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Live, love, laugh and learn some more tricks.

Awesome. I think that wraps it up. Thank you for taking the time out to do this. It’s definitely an honor to get to pick your brain a bit.

Glad to be of service.

Be sure and check out the the second stop of the 2014 Dew Tour, the Toyota City Championships, August 16 and 17 at nbcsports.com

image002 Brain Probe: Bob Gnar

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