A Pro And Their Cover: Bob Burnquist

Bob Burnquist has been cover gold ever since he stepped on the scene in the mid 90s. Case in point, dude has had four TWS covers. Each one more amazing than the next. What’s gnarlier than trying to loop Mt. Baldy? How about grinding a mega-rail into the Grand Canyon. Read on.

How did you feel when you got your first TransWorld cover?
It felt really good. How could it not? It wasn’t my first cover, but any first cover with a different publication feels good. Obviously with the amount of TransWorld readers around the globe, getting a TWS cover was real nice. I travel a lot, and I’m just coming back from Australia where I signed quite a few of the TWS Grand Canyon grind cover I recently got. It feels good when people save the mags and then take the time to find you when you roll into their town so you can sign it.

Do you remember how you found out you had the covers of TransWorld?
I remember getting it in my mailbox from my subscription. It was awesome. I didn’t expect it and it was rad to see it. My first TWS cover was shot by Dave Swift. It was a backside nosegrind over the hip at the old YMCA Encinitas ramp. The other ones were surprises: the Grand Canyon was a “maybe that worked out.

How did they impact your career?
All covers impact your career. I mean, a lot of people get to see your shot for a month at the newsstands, and if they collect the magazines, they’ll save it in their collection and you’re a part of skateboarding history. It really makes a difference if the shot is unique, too. And they usually are if they’re on the cover. What you’re doing on your skateboard has an impact. I’ve seen several skateboarding photos that have impressed me over the years that weren’t covers. So sometimes it doesn’t matter if it’s cover or not—if it’s good skateboarding, people will remember and you will make an impact.

Were the cover tricks filmed?
I think one of them wasn’t filmed, but all the other ones were. And in one case, it was filmed but I didn’t make it. The Baldy cover was an attempt, but it still made the cover for a special reason—it was the very first attempt to loop a natural fullpipe, and Baldy is no joke. Later I was able to loop a fullpipe, just not Baldy. Yet. I just would have to feel that crazy the next time.

Where were the spots?
The first cover was at the YMCA in Encinitas, California. The next one was at the Pink Motel in the San Fernando Valley, California. The other one was at Mt. Baldy, California, and then the latest one was at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Were you consciously going for a cover each time?
No. I was out shooting photos while I was skateboarding. Most of the time, you don’t really know where and what it’s going for. We might be going for some photos and they come out really good and they end up on the cover. It’s really hard to think cover when you’re shooting the photos. I like to think we make something good and unique to stand out. If it’s on the cover, we did really good.

What’s your favorite TWS cover of all time?
I remember when I saw Tony’s kickflip 540 cover and I was stoked. I think it said “What? on it, and that’s what I was thinking. D-Way’s helicopter bomb drop was insane, too. There are so many epic TWS covers. It’s hard to pick a favorite. I think Eric Koston’s Hubba backside nose-bluntslide was pretty crazy, too.

If you planned on getting another TWS cover, what would be the trick and where would it be?
I guess it would have to be something really different than what I’ve gotten in the past. It could be anything. Maybe it would be something special on Mega. Or it could be something unique somewhere else. I’ll keep my mind open for whatever.

BOB’S OTHER TWS COVERS:
TransWorld SKATEboarding
November 1996
Cover: Bob Burnquist, YMCA , Encinitas

TransWorld SKATEboarding
June 2000
Cover: Bob Burnquist, Pink Motel, Los Angeles

TransWorld SKATEboarding
April 2003
Cover: Bob Burnquist, Baldy

See this interview and a whole lot more pros on their covers in our 25th Anniversary Issue on sale now!