It is one of the scariest sports moments I have ever seen. Brown makes his first jump, a 720. That's two complete revolutions, the first time it's ever been landed in competition. Then he goes for the vert ramp, and, well... as one of the commentators observes, "His board went squirrelly." Brown's board goes off to the side, and Brown keeps going straight up. And up. And then down. It's hard to judge the distances involved, especially in the overhead view, but it's well over forty feet, maybe as much as fifty (the New York Times split the difference, calling it "about 45" in an article criticizing the Mega-Ramp that Brown was skating on). Brown falls, and falls, and keeps falling, and then he hits the ramp with so much force that his shoes come flying off his feet, and he slides down to the bottom of the ramp. "Oh my God," says a shaken Tony Hawk, who's one of the commentators. "That's the heaviest slam I've ever seen." As one Fark commenter pointed out, when Tony Hawk says that, it means something. Then Hawk adds, "Man, I can't believe he just hit a 720."
The amazing part: Jake Brown not only survived, but *walked off.* Admittedly, he was leaning on people, but he was walking. Once they know he survives, the commentators feel comfortable replaying the video to determine what happened. In closer view, you can see the shoes fly right off Brown's feet. This leads one of the commentators to cry, "His SHOES popped off!" -- thus instantly dethroning Hawk's "Man, I can't believe he just hit 720" for the most-quotable bit of commentary from the incident.
The ensuing conversation hipped me to a pretty cool skateboarding video that I hadn't seen before: Bob Burnquist at the 2001 X-Games. He'd lagged a little bit in the vert ramp competition, and then decided to make his last run interesting by debuting several new tricks. The resulting run got him a score of 98 -- the highest ever awarded for a competition vert run. The video is great, but even if you don't like skateboarding, the sheer joy in the voices of the commentators (Hawk is among them, again, this time screaming with delight) will put a smile on your face. "Bob, what're you doing? What're you -- GAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! OH MY GOD!!! WHAT?? WHAT??!!!"