The skateboarder, competing in the “big air” competition of the Xtreme sports gathering, raced down a mountainous ramp and completed a trick that had never been done before in competition. With the crowd roaring approval, his momentum then carried him up another giant quarterpipe and again he took to the air.
After rising about 40 feet into the stratosphere, he became separated from his skateboard. With arms and legs flailing, Brown began to plummet toward earth. Falling like an anvil headed toward Wiley Coyote, his feet made contact first. The collision with the bottom of the ramp blew his shoes off his feet. They looked liked they’d been launched out of a cannon, blasting away from his body, which landed with a thud. The skateboarder then lay motionless as emergency workers rushed to his aid.
After he regained consciousness, Brown rose to his feet and wobbled off the ramp.
No broken bones, but he is hospitalized with a bruised lung and a bruised liver.
After watching hundreds of bodies fly through the air in action flicks thanks to CGI, it was hard to fathom that this was a real person plummeting four stories with no harness and safety rigging nor bungee cord waiting to snatch him back up into the air before he collided with the planet.
It’s one of those weird moments that when you watch it the first time, you flinch and avert your gaze so you don’t have to see the carnage. Even the second time, once you know he survives and he’s safe, it is still hard to keep your eyes locked on the footage.