The Why Not? Blog

At the tender age of 25 Dave started skateboarding. 14 months later he became the first person to skate the length of Britain. Another 8 months on he had crossed Australia on his board, breaking a world record & raising over £20,000 for three charities. Now, at 27, he's writing his first book, is a motivational speaker and a businessman, and he's only just gotten started on a lifetime of challenges which from the outside look just darn crazy. So, why? You know the answer, don't you. Why not?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I’d never owned a vehicle, until today…

Alarm at quarter to seven. Tomorrow I skate, there is no time for rest. With the clock ticking and a large pile of dissatisfaction lying in a bin somewhere in the form of discarded campervan adverts, our options are exhausted. Except for one. Everyone bar Kate, who has slept just as little as I have in the past two days, shoves in a brekky and then walks to the train station. On the way I pick up a copy of the West Australian, WA’s major newspaper. There I am, cheesy and grinning on page 42, lovely! Aiming for the front page by the end of all this! A problem though, apparently I set off yesterday.

We’re going to jump on a half hour train to Fremantle. Becs and Si discovered a 2nd hand Saturday morning car sale a couple of days earlier, it feels like our last option, a last chance for the vehicle world to redeem itself and help us out!!

Off the train, we wander down the road towards the market, past a closed café called Captain Munchies into sight of a car park which is populated by a handful of cars and one dodgy-looking campervan. So you can imagine the scene. It’s raining heavily, seven weary soles trudge towards a market in the last throw of the dice in their hunt for a camper, and there is one camper, which turns out to be the office for the people running the market. Simon, the discoverer of said market, receives much disrespect for dragging us half an hour south of Perth to look at some non-existent campers.

But we persevere, us BoardFree lot. A small Toyota van was tucked away in the metal rubble but it was so small we couldn’t even see it past a normal car. No chance. Then some fortune – it had to come eventually – when I asked if any more vehicles would be turning up. The lady, from Birmingham funnily enough, said there was one van, a poptop Toyota Hi-ace, and that she’d call the owner and get him to bring it down. 10 minutes later the van appeared. It seemed clean, in good condition. It had comfortable cushions, a well laid out interior, wardrobes, storage space, a sink. And a canvas annexe attached to the upper outside of the van which creates a good spaced awning for shade or sleeping purposes. My mind was working, is this van big enough to be our second vehicle? Is this our last chance to get a half decent vehicle? And then, a white Land Rover-type thing drove by and parked a few spaces up and our luck changed. I told Tim, the van’s owner, that I’d call him by two with a yes or a no or an offer. And then we walked over to the Jackaroo jeep that had driven in a few minutes earlier and I did a quick circumnavigation. The price read $3500, the owner walked over and said that the price was actually $2570. That’s not much over a thousand English pounds. It ran on gas, a much cheaper and more economical option than diesel or fuel, and it suddenly dawned on me that this Jackaroo would be perfect to drive along behind me on the road. Keeping myself to myself, I told the owner that I’d get back to him by 1pm, walked with the team to shelter from the pouring rain and revealed a cunning plan. Why don’t we buy three support vehicles, the Jackaroo, the other camper we saw this morning and the Toyota George brought round to the hostel last night? It all seemed to make sense. Two smallish campervans just weren’t big enough for 8 people AND their belongings, plus all of the skating kit. Plus the uneconomical fuel usage of a campervan cranking along at 15kmph didn’t make much sense now that we’d seen an alternative option. So, with time knocking on the BoardFree door and not much time at that, we put the wheels in motion, did some research, and acted.

I write this at half nine at night. Tomorrow morning BoardFree Australia begins in earnest from the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and what else has happened? Ummm, what else has happened? Oh yeah! I bought my first ever vehicle, the Jackaroo! George returned last night’s call and said he’d be able to fit out the van from yesterday in time for Monday night, but also said that he’d found an almost identical van that was just a bit longer, was in good condition and he would give it to us for the same price. So I said I’d have that one off him instead. And to seal the deal and kick the backside of yesterday’s frustrations fully out of everyone’s mind, I made an offer to Tim in Fremantle and bought his van for $3800.

So, for a non driver and a virgin vehicle owner when I woke up this morning, I’m now the proud owner of not one vehicle, but three! How mad is that! Please bear in mind though that money has only exchanged hands for one of them, and although Tim and I made a verbal contract and I would trust George enough to let him take Kate out for dinner, I’m not counting my chickens until I’ve handed over the cash in return or the keys.

So, it all starts tomorrow. We’ve had unbelievable media coverage thanks to Kate’s hard work, Romania, Germany’s major national papers, Turkey, South Africa, you name it apparently they’ve covered it! And something that really made me happy earlier, Transworld Sport want o cover BoardFree! I grew up with that program always wishing that I could be on the other side of the screen, and very soon I will be, incredible feeling. The team are on the ball, ready for tomorrow’s launch at Sailability and working hard. I’m about to sticker up Elsa, Eddie (the spare board) and my helmets with Dan, do one more interview with Radio 5 Live at 11pm and then get some kip.


  • At 6:44 am, Blogger wafflesole said…

    You've only gone and bloody started! Good luck to you mate, good luck to all the team. Take care and I'll see you on the other side!


  • At 7:07 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    go dave, go dave go, go dave, go dave go go go!

  • At 7:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    go dave go dave go go go

  • At 11:03 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are lucky that you could get a van in good condition at such a good price. I can understand how you are excited!


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