2020 might be coming to close with the final quarter afoot, but buzzer beater, Brazil’s Gui Khury did not fail to serve an unexpected stamp in history while on lockdown. Two months since schools shut down, the 11-year old prodigy has become the first person in history to land a 1080 degree spin.
Gui Khury became the first skater in history to ever land a 1080 on a vert ramp.
Because of the time opportunity the lockdown has provided, Gui has been very focused on his skateboarding and that was how the 1080 spin came into fruition.
According to Gui’s father, Ricardo Khury, they have really tried to make the best out of the current global circumstances and Gui took advantage of it all by training at least three hours per day..
“I train 3 hours a day and when I go to practice the 1080, I warm up doing three 720 spins, which are 3 spins in the air,” Gui says.
Ricardo shares that they built a vertical ramp, bowl and street course in Gui’s grandmother’s house. This was where the historical feat was completed and where Gui has been spending most of his days to train during isolation.
“The isolation for the coronavirus helped because he had a life that was about school. He didn’t have a lot of time to train, when he got home from school [because] he was tired,” Ricardo told Reuters. “So now he is at home more, he eats better and he has more time to train and can focus more on the training so that has helped. He has an opportunity to train here, if he didn’t have [the skate facilities] … he would be stuck at home like everyone else and unable to practice the sport. So the isolation helped him focus.“
Ricardo caught and recorded the first time Gui landed the 1080 on his camera phone. They then proceeded to post it on Instagram where they quickly caught people’s attention.
“I sent it to all my favourite skaters, like Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist and Neal Mims,” Gui says. “Some posted it on their stories and some actually posted it on their Instagram. I was like that’s so crazy, because it’s like a once in a lifetime experience. It’s so amazing. It’s the best feeling ever.”
Gui’s never been done before feat of spinning thrice mid air on a vert ramp trumps the long named ‘holy grails of skateboarding’ that man, the myth, the legend, Tony Hawk, himself landed for the first time nearly two decades before: the 900 degree vert spin.
“I thought I could land it,” Gui told the New York Times in an interview, still amazed at his own achievement. “I just kept trying.”
Prior to landing his new record, Gui was already the youngest skateboarder to complete the 720 and 900 degree turn at age 8. At 10 years old, he also became the youngest Guinness World Records title holder for the youngest X-Games athlete when he was invited to the 2019 X-Games in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Needless to say, setting historical milestones is nothing new for the skate prodigy.
Gui Khury at age 10 is the youngest skateboarder to participate in the X-Games.
“I was like, oh my God, what did I just do? I was just like OK, I landed it. Now I am going to celebrate,” Gui says. He shares that they had a nice mac and cheese at home with the family afterwards.
Born to Skate
Gui’s skate journey started a generation even before he was born. Thanks to his father, Ricardo, there was always a skateboard waiting.
“I saw this mini skateboard made for kids and I went crazy so that was his first toy,” Ricardo said in an interview with CNN Sport. “He used to push (himself) from the table to the couch; since he was two years old, he could push himself.”
At age 4, Gui was already cruising in Encinitas, California and learning the basics through skate lessons at the YMCA. A year later, the boy proved to be a natural and was dropping in on half pipes and flying above vert lips commanding airs even better than his more mature contemporaries.
“He was just a small kid, but he was so brave,” Ricardo said in an Interview with the Telegraph. “That’s how everything started — he was the little one that drops in on the big ramps.”
Gui Khury is the first person to land a 1080 on a half pipe. He is only 11-years old.
Years down the line, the family moved to Curitiba in Southern Brazil where parks and ramps were less accessible. That is why Ricardo took it upon himself to build a ramp in a warehouse so he can still practice.
“After I built the ramp here, he landed his first McTwist,” Ricardo said, describing a 540-degree backside spin. “He was just 7 years old. That’s really, really difficult for a skateboarder. Three months after that, he had landed his first 720 and became the youngest in the world to land it.”
Because of these achievements, Gui was poised and determined to keep on shattering records. According to him, it took roughly ten tries that day before he finally landed the 1080.
“I felt like I was going to make it because the last two that I failed I got very close,” Gui says. “And then when I dropped in, I just felt something in my head like, ‘Oh my God this is it.’ And I just landed it.”
When it happened, he threw his helmet in the air, and laid in the center of the ramp. It was done and suddenly all of their hard work was worth it.
At the time, the ever-supportive Ricardo was at the side filming with the shared growing sense of anticipation with each of Gui’s runs.
“He got really, really close, we were just waiting for when it was going to happen,” he remembers fondly. “I was so proud of him because I know he’s been in this battle to land this trick and he has a lot of determination. He was dreaming about it and now he did it, it was amazing.”
Gui surpasses Tony’s 900 by another 180 degrees while mid air on a vertical ramp.
“I love flying high and doing maneuvers while I’m in the air,” he says. He added that since seeing Tony Hawk’s 900, he has always wanted to land a 1080.
Tony set the record for most spins mid air on a vert ramp at 900 degrees in 1999. This was nine years before Gui was even born and with Tony already at age 31 at the time. Only a handful of other skaters have also completed the trick since.
Tony has often named landing the 900 one of the biggest moments of his competitive career. Despite this, he has only good things to say about the fact that he’s been surpassed.
He mentions that because he’s way older he could pass as a washed up skater. Instead, he only feels massive gratitude for the retained relevancy.
“I feel very lucky to bear witness to this new generation and participate at the same time,” he said.
In response, Gui gushes at getting a nod from his heroes which he happily calls a ‘dream.’
“One of the best things about skateboarding is hearing your heroes say: ‘Hey, what a nice trick. Congratulations,’ ” he says.
The elusive 1080 is widely accepted as one of the hardest tricks to pull in skateboarding. It has never been done on a vert and has only ever been completed on a mega ramp by then 12-year-old, Tom Schaar.
As for what comes next for the young prodigy, he answers back with one upping himself with a 1260, skating back in California with his heroes, Tony hawk and fellow Brazilian-skater Bob Burnquist, and possibly entering the Olympics.
“One person has done it (the 1260) only but it was on a mega ramp so it will be way (more) difficult for me,” Gui said. Having already smashed all existing records, Gui is positive he can outdo himself again. “It could be [possible]. You never know,” he says.
In his statement, Gui refers to Mitchie Brusco as the first person to land a 1260-degree spin on a megaramp during the 2019 X Games, where Gui also participated for the first time.
With skateboarding supposedly making its Olympic debut in July 2021 for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Gui looks forward to hopefully being able to qualify someday.
“That would be so cool,” he says. “It’s always been my dream for skateboarding to be at the Olympics and now it’s finally here. I can’t wait till next year.”