A few weeks before arriving in Shanghai, on the last 300km stretch of the skateboard leg of my journey, the mood on SkateFurther.com was buzzing. An online home for distance skateboarders in the UK and around the world, SkateFurther was alive with talk of the next 24 Hour Ultraskate.
An Ultraskate is where skateboarders skate as far as they can within a 24 hour period of time. It’s really quite simple in the concept. The concept was pioneered by US skater James Peters of PavedWave.org, and he blazed the way with a raft of 24 hour world records including a scorching 300km plus score in 2008. The current world record is now held by Barefoot Ted of the US, with a massive 390km skated.
Anyway, with the Ultraskate phenomenon going global (UK and US skaters would stage their 24 hour events almost simultaneously), I foolishly thought that getting some New Zealand skaters involved would be a good idea. I say foolishly, because at the time that I suggested the idea (http://www.neednotollie.com/node/242), I knew that I would only have been back in New Zealand three days before the event.
But, I was keen to give it a go, and the thought of skating simultaneously with other skaters on other sides of the globe really appealed. For once, I would not be skating alone.
So today, seven longboarders, gathered together through New Zealand’s most active online longboarding community, NeedNotOllie.com, took part in New Zealand’s first ever 24 hour distance skateboarding event; The CanTeen 24 Hour Ultraskate New Zealand. The YouTube version of the video below is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfD_zysfPjg
Despite my fatigue, I thoroughly enjoyed the Ultraskate. We skated a total of 15 hours back and forth along Tamaki Drive in Auckland, with the other 9 hours somehow being eaten up with breaks. I certainly felt like I needed them. We skated though the night without sleep.
Despite vowing later the next day that “I will never skate again,” I would love to be a part of the next Ultraskate. Three of us managed to skate 230km, with one other skating 215km, and others also pushing further than they ever have before. My previous best was 121km (http://www.14degrees.org/en/?p=699) on a downhill tailwind day towards Lanzhou in central China.
Thanks to PavedWave.org for such an awesome event!