We here at Skatefurther are stoked when people want to get involved in what we do. Here is the first post of many from Jack Courtenay our new Skatefurther representative in Japan – 10 tips for skating further.
Hi, my name is Jack Courtenay, 23 from New Zealand. In 2013 I longboarded over 1500km’s in Japan in 33 days. This list I wrote is designed to give you tips to make the most out of your long distance skating trip while on the road.
So you have your gear, your at your destination and your ready to start pumping. GOOD! Lets begin!
10. Put ice in your camelpak.
Darrian Balongie another long distance skateboarder taught me this trick (May he R.I.P) This will provide you with cold water for about 3 – 5 hours depends of your location. This is because as you will be skating for majority of the day your back with get sweaty pretty fast and therefore the heat with move into your pack where your water bladder/camelpak is. Doing this cools you down and keeps your water cold obviously.
9. Carry a lot of extra food and water.
Because you never know when or where you will next find somewhere with food and water, sometimes you can spend days in remote reigons and skating all day everyday burns a lot of calories and you will be eating upwards of 5 times a day (with desert for every meal). Stay away from sugar and eat high calorie foods.
8. Warm up and stretch for 10 minutes.
Star jumps, jogging on the spot and various leg stretches to avoid cramps in your legs in the morning and night after lengthy days of skateboarding.
7. Don’t be afraid to pace yourself.
Find a pace you are comfortable with and stick to it. Regardless how fast it is. Uphill, downhill or flat don’t push yourself too hard. You are here to enjoy yourself not race anybody.
6. Give yourself time to find a camping spot.
Depending on where you are in the world always give yourself an hour to find a suitable spot to pitch your tent. Because trying to find a spot in pitch black and set up your tent isn’t exactly fun. Try to set it up about 10 minutes before sunset so nobody see’s you set it up and try to leave soon after sunrise. Also remember to keep your wits about yourself as there are living things out there.
5. Don’t be afraid to talk to people.
The majority of the people will be curious as to why someone is riding a skateboard with a pack full of gear in the middle of nowhere and would love to talk to you but are too afraid to make the first move. So if you are in need of directions to somewhere, places to camp, eat or sleep, ask someone. Because its human nature to help each other so never be afraid to ask because most people will be willing to help you out.
4. Don’t be afraid to have to have no plans and venture into the unknown.
If you see somewhere you want to go, go there. If you want to stay a bit longer in a town and explore more, stay there. You are undertaking a life-changing adventure, to leave it all behind and experience life outside of your own. Why would you plan for it to end as quickly and predictably as possible? You don’t need to plan out the whole thing with destinations and plans that aren’t necessary and you realise you didn’t really need to do that or go there. So be curious and do what you want.
3. Sometimes things won’t go your way, don’t panic!
Every time you try to imagine how something will be in the future it will also turn out different that you will imagine. At the start of my trip I lost my sunglasses and phrase book in the first few days, fell of my skateboard, skated into dead ends (F$#K!). But that being said I still finished my trip. You might find yourself sleeping in cardboard boxes with homeless people and searching for food in trash cans and cooking over a beer stove. But don’t panic, when push-comes-to-shove your basic instincts will come into play and you will make it happen. You are on a journey which is all powered by self-belief because at the end of the day if you want something bad enough, impossible is nothing.
2. Always try to connect in social media from the people you meet.
The people you meet on your adventure will be the ones who change you. It could be a 5 minute chat or the whole package of gifts and a place to stay for a week each and everyone of them will be important to you and one day you will want to return the favour or even revisit them.
Once I met a cute cyclist girl in country side Japan who happened to speak very good english. I fell in love with her instantly, something about her just captured my heart and soul, the way she looked, talked, acted and her posture everything she did just had me some sort of spell. I had never experienced such a feeling. We were both having a rest stop and we talked about each others backgrounds and what we were currently doing. Then we parted ways and I was so stunned about the whole situation I forgot to ask for her contact details! I regret that moment each and everyday. She was the white buffalo (the one that got away). So always try and get contact details from each and every person you meet!
1. You are on an adventure, enjoy yourself!
Remember you are the one who summoned up the courage to undertake this challenge/adventure and see the world in a different light so you will most likely be giving it everything you got. But long distance skating isn’t for everybody. If you feel you can’t skate anymore, then don’t. Catch some trains/busses and take it easy. You can’t cut out camping every night? Then don’t, get a hostel/hotel for the night. This trip is all about you, nobody else. At the end of the day you are out to have fun and experience more. So don’t feel the need to force yourself into this lifestyle and do things you don’t want to do. Take it easy if you really need to, just make sure you enjoy yourself and make sure when you look back you are happy about everything you did.
It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.
Thank you all for reading. If you want to find out more about me and my trip or you have any questions, you can find me here;
Thanks Jack, and welcome to team Skatefurther!