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Skateboarder Danny Way Jumped the Great Wall of China

Updated on August 27, 2020
Kenna McHugh profile image

I wrote and contributed to books on film and worked in the modeling and film industries. I like to share insights into both businesses.

The Great Wall of China is wide enough for two cars to drive on it—25 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide.

Location of the Great Wall of China

The red outlines the Great Wall of China.
The red outlines the Great Wall of China. | Source

“To a certain extent, I'm not trying to evolve out of this world of physical pain into a world of mental stress and anguish. But I do have a bit of the business bug. I'm aware I have to try to mediate it to a certain point so I don't become soaked down to the point where it's hard to escape.”

— Danny Way

Great Wall of China


Great Wall of China

Most visitors seldom skateboard the ancient tourist attraction, let alone jump across it with a skateboard.

Let’s take a look at the Great Wall of China. It is unique as a structure and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. For 4,500 miles, the ancient Wall meanders through the mountain ranges of China with more miles than the distance from New York to California. It is wide enough for two cars to drive on it – 25 feet tall and 25 – 30 feet wide.

The Ming Dynasty rebuilt the Wall from its many small walls constructed by multiple Chinese emperors. The dynasty developed elaborate battlements and cannons with watchtowers for additional protection of the people.

They used limestone, bricks, and titles, and reportedly, ancient records indicate over 300,000 soldiers and 500,000 commoners worked on the Wall. They never saw the future or imagined a young, talented skateboarder would be gliding and careering down the center of the Great Wall of China.

Danny Way in front of the Great Wall of China

Skater of the Year Twice

Daniel Way is from Portland, Oregon, and was born in 1974. He won the Thrasher magazine's "Skater of the Year" award twice.

He thinks outside the box when it comes to skateboarding stunts. Watch him skateboard is priceless. He is a talent worth watching to understand the sport of skateboarding.

"Obviously, it's not in my nature to walk away from something, but there's got to be a fine line of what is possible and what's so . . . dangerous that you gotta go, 'OK, that's all that's possible, here."

— Danny Way


Being a skateboarder takes a strong soul to conquer the board from the beginning of frequenting the local skateboard parks to winning regional competitions. Eventually, taking on the national and international competitions that include product endorsements and wild video shots. Being on a skateboard means performing trips like flip, daydream flip, plasma spin, sex change, gingersnap, and at least another 100 other tricks.

Skateboarding Tricks and Stunts

I wrote a piece on top skateboard movies and was intrigued by the grit and audacity these brave souls play as they ride their boards. Some people are bold and defy gravity like the rock climber, Alex Honnold, masters El Capitan at Yosemite without a rope, which became an Oscar-winning documentary. Or, the inspirational story of the parachuter who broke the record in free falling.

Now, Waiting for Lightning follows skateboarder Danny Way, who has performed over the top feats similarly with a parachute. Most skateboarders call him a visionary for his extraordinary achievements and performances throughout his career. Samuel Goldwyn Films released the film, and it is available as a Blu-ray, DVD, or streaming online.

Danny Way Skateboards Jumps Wall of China

Interviews with Top Skateboarders

The documentary explores the amount of abuse the body can sustain. It touches on how passionate one needs to be to accept the challenges that defy survival. Danny Way not only proved himself to be an incredibly talented skateboarder, but he is the sport's top innovator.

The documentary has some incredible skateboarding tricks and stunts, but it also features interviews with the best of the best in skateboarding. We hear from big players like Travis Pastrana, Laird Hamilton, Rodney Mullen, Mat Hoffman, Ken Block, and Tony Hawk, to name a few.

The story begins as an inspirational story of visionary skateboarder Danny Way. We see the journey of a young boy from a broken home in southern California. He has a deep passion for skateboarding, and it brings him fame and a lifetime of accomplishments.

"That was the scariest ... thing I've ever done in my life. I'm lucky I'm alive."

— Danny May

China's Great Wall

Way's drive is an inspiration. He has no limits to what he can do. The documentary exemplifies his creations captured on screen. With the purpose to jump China's Great Wall on a skateboard, we see the ramp of Herculean and dangerous proportions.

All in all, I recommend this documentary. You want to get a glimpse of the type of person who would do such feats.

Danny May is Skateboarder #5 with his Great Wall Jump

© 2012 Kenna McHugh


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    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      4 years ago from Northern California

      Hello Linda, thank you for the comment. Yes. Skateboarders are amazing. I have never visited the Wall but hope to some day without my skateboard.

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 

      4 years ago from Cicero, New York

      Hello Kenna this is such a fascinating fun hub. It was so enjoyable to read and learn more about the skateboarding The Great Wall Of China, I would never have even imagined that and the talent that it takes for those people to accomplish it successfully. Amazing writing.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      Yes. It was.

    • skatingtravis profile image


      6 years ago from London

      Big moment!


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