Chasing A World Record, ‘One Push At A Time’

June 16, 2017 - skateboarding

Jake Freed hits a highway in May after spending his initial night of his tour camped out in Gold Canyon, Ariz. He has been building his continuation over a past decade with trips opposite Arizona and a West Coast. His final large tour was in 2013 when he rode from Mesa, Ariz., to Washington, D.C.

Courtney Rudloff/Courtesy of Jake Freed


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Courtney Rudloff/Courtesy of Jake Freed

Jake Freed hits a highway in May after spending his initial night of his tour camped out in Gold Canyon, Ariz. He has been building his continuation over a past decade with trips opposite Arizona and a West Coast. His final large tour was in 2013 when he rode from Mesa, Ariz., to Washington, D.C.

Courtney Rudloff/Courtesy of Jake Freed

The initial time Jake Freed rode a skateboard long-distance, it was since he ran out of gas.

He was stranded outward of Yuma, Ariz., in a center of summer. Without any other options, a troops maestro pulled out his skateboard and highway 11 miles into town.

“I was astounded how discerning we got there and how free it was,” a 34-year-old former aviation automechanic tells NPR. “I got a new light in me and started to consternation how distant we could unequivocally go.”

Ten years later, a Arizona local is behind on a highway — this time to set a Guinness World Record for a longest stretch trafficked by skateboard. Since withdrawal his home state 5 weeks ago, Freed has already lonesome 1,400 miles. But to flog a record, he still has some-more than 6,000 miles to go.

The stream record is hold by Robert Thompson, a New Zealander who racked adult 7,555 miles roving a skateboard from Switzerland to Shanghai in 2008. To best him, Freed has designed a loop from Arizona to Florida, adult to Ohio, and behind down to Arizona — a sum of some-more than 8,000 miles, that he hopes to finish in 5 months or less.

Guinness requires him to keep prudent records of his trip. He wears a satellite tracker on his helmet, carries dual logbooks (one for his miles and another for witnesses) and saves a profits from each squeeze finished along a way. Additionally, he contingency request each landmark he passes and take a two-minute video each hour.

He uploads a lot of that calm to Instagram.

On tip his recording-keeping, Freed averages roughly 50 miles per day on his house — a stretch he covers in between 12 and 14 hours.

Jake Freed’s campsite in Bennington, Okla. He sleeps in his tent many nights.

Courtesy of Jake Freed


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Jake Freed’s campsite in Bennington, Okla. He sleeps in his tent many nights.

Courtesy of Jake Freed

When asked what he does to pass a time, Freed says he focuses on a skating.

“A lot of times, we wish to start meditative about stuff, we wish to get in your head,” he says. “You unequivocally have to compensate to courtesy to what you’re doing, one pull during a time.

“The misfortune thing we can do is tumble off during a wrong place, wrong time. You don’t wish to risk your whole outing since you’re in a rush.”

Freed knows first-hand how dear descending can be. He crashed during about 45 miles per hour on a high class outward of Roswell, N.M., final month. Although he didn’t mangle any bones, he did bust his container and had to wait a week for a replacement.

Beyond crashing, a categorical risk is traffic.

To make himself as manifest as possible, Freed straps a neon-yellow reserve vest to a 40-pound hiking container he wears to lift his gear. Still, Freed says he never assumes that cars can see him and takes precautions to give vehicles a right of approach “100 percent of a time.”

But that can be severe on roads where a shoulders are slight to non-existent.

The Roosevelt Memorial Bridge. That’s how tighten a trucks are when they pass me. That guardrail was usually 6 inches above my knee. I’m protected on a other side. What an adrenaline rush! #skatesmartdontdie #placesinoklahoma #crossinglaketexoma #sketchybridge #followfreed #worldrecordride #longboardingacrossamerica #crosscountrylongboarding #guinnessworldrecords2017

A post common by Jake Freed (@followfreed) on May 30, 2017 during 1:33pm PDT

Weather poses another hazard.

Freed says he can movement by feverishness and light sleet and snooze in his tent during peaceful storms. But in a eventuality of some-more critical continue — like hailstorms or torrential downpours — he’s had to seat down in gas stations and motels.

In a many impassioned cases, Freed has even had to change his track to evasion tornadoes.

Yet, Freed says a many severe partial of a cross-country trek is not a large events though a daily grind. “The hardest days for me are when there’s no shoulder, it’s unequivocally hot, a wind’s floating in my face and we can’t get any skating done,” he says.

In those moments, he thinks of a people ancillary him and lets his unwillingness flog in.

“I always feel that there’s so most some-more to me than this,” he says. “Once we put my mind to something, we only keep going, keep going, puncture deep, keep going.”

David Fuchs is an novice with Morning Edition.

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