In the words of another distance skateboarder, Adam Colton, traveling by skateboard “is a pretty stupid idea.” It really is. It is less efficient than cycling, you are at the mercy of the road surface and traffic is infinitely less forgiving towards you than other forms of human powered transport. And yet there is an inexplicable allure to it. The following is a snapshot of that allure, from the China leg of Rob Thomson’s 12,159km skate across Europe, the US, and China; China being the highlight for many different reasons.
Life is really simple
Joy that transcends borders
Breaks the ice – leads to real encounters
Freedom from timetables – the road is yours
Strong legs, super-human lungs, glorious appetite
And static solitude
Rob currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest journey by skateboard (12,159km, certified in 2009). His website about the adventure is at www.14degrees.org/en. He actually cycled 12,000km across the Eurasian continent before spending 1.5 years skating across Europe, the US, and China, crossing the Atlantic on a yacht in the process. He now lives in Hokkaido, Japan, and is doing post-graduate studies in media and communication at Hokkaido University. He still loves simple, back-to-basics adventure by human power. Check him out on Facebook and Twitter.