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?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Catch 22

I've been sat on my bed reading for an hour, Kiwa curled up on my legs with late afternoon light glowing through the window, trying to fill my head with words that I can dump effectively onto a new page of my book, which is coming along by the way. I met Barbara the other day for lunch. She's my commissioning editor. She walked into Starbucks beside Holland Park tube and greeted me with the words, 'Hello Author. Because that's what you are now.' I was quite chuffed at that, and then proceeded to ask her lots of questions about how the book was to be distributed in Australia and when my advance was going to arrive. You know, the serious stuff. I've learned to be honest in the past two years, not that I wasn't before please realise, but honest in the form of actually going ahead and asking or saying things that sometimes you wouldn't, because it's embarassing or something similar. What I'm getting at, is the following. I told Barbara, to some degree, that I was finding it a little hard to believe that I am capable of retracing the footsteps of my last two years. Going through the whole journey again and then writing it down isn't an easy process. To think about, let alone actually do. In all honesty, I'm fucking terrified that now I have this chance to be an author I'm going to write down such a bunch of drivel that no one will want to read it. It's all I ever wanted, you see, and I can't afford to write a pile of tat that will have my writing career hanging in a WaterStones exit this time next year. Who would have thought that skateboarding across Australia would be one of the easiest things I had to do this decade? (PS. Barbara, try not to worry. I'll learn to harness the fear and turn it into something good. Honest.)


  • At 1:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a fellow boarder and a fan of what you acomplished in australia i find it a shame that 1) you seem to be slipping away from your skateboarding routes and 2) you never reached your £50,000 target, yet it seems you have almost given up on the three charities you were orginially fund raising for. It seems odd that your next project is some weird waterbased novelty act and yet you've dropped your waterbased charity? Its a clever move using comic relief as it will gaurentee you more publicity if thats what your after?

    I also find it bizzare that you set yourself up as a fundraiser for children and their charities yet you refer to a child as 'it' in your blog and dont seem too preturbed that children are possily stabbing each other outside your window?

    Will you be doing any more serious skate journies in the future or are you foccusing more on the novely of breaking world records? If its the latter im afraid I wont be updating much on your progress.

    Steve Walters

  • At 1:44 pm, Blogger boardfreedave said…

    Dear Steve, thanks for your comment. Firstly, I've edited the paragraph about the kids and the knives, it didn't come across quite as I meant it and apologise for that confusion.

    I can assure you I'm not slipping away from my skateboarding roots. I'm in the process of setting up a skate school with an aim to continue BoardFree's aim of getting as many people, young and old alike, onto boards. This will be fully active in the UK by the end of the spring, in Australia by November.

    I also have other skate journeys in the pipeline. The first will be at least one 24-hour marathon, a non-stop skate to continue the fundraising for BoardFree's three initial charities. I may be doing several of these, one on each continent, with locals invited to join in and support the endeavour. You're right, the £50,000 has not yet been raised, but the money doesn't come through with a click of the fingers. Proceeds from the DVD will also contribute to the coffers, it's not an overnight process and with the time we have we’re working towards it.

    Saying that, we have to be realistic. A huge effort went into fundraising in Boardfree Australia and we still didn't reach our target. I believe there were a few reasons for this. One of them, sad as it may seem, was that I chose to support three charities, rather than just one. The 'charity' message was somewhat dissolved by this, especially through media coverage which is always limited to a few lines or seconds. This was my first big fundraising effort and the experience taught my team and I a lot of lessons. We’re not giving up just because the intensity of the project has gone.

    The BounceFree project is, I suppose, a bit of a novelty. But let me explain. I've been going non-stop for two years with Boardfree, had two long, hard journeys. And I'm tired, really tired. I also need to make ends meet financially, having pumped thousands into BoardFree, and as such I'm resting up, writing and making a living for the time being. Taking up the AquaSkipping gives me a chance to rebuild my fitness and focus on a side of life which is more 'fun' than the breadmaking. At the same time, I still believe that anything is possible and I'm not going to apologise for wanting to push myself to the limits of another sport. When I get my energy back I’ll continue to pursue these aims. The publicity that comes with this, I assure you, is encouraged not for some convoluted personal gain, but because the more people who hear about it will donate. It's that simple. I'm not sure that the project would get any more publicity than usual by supporting Comic Relief, I decided to support this particular charity because I believe in its work, having spent a lot of time in East Africa contributing to similar aims.

    I appreciate your balanced views, and also that you sent them to me in the first place. I’m working on logistics for the 24-hour skate and will publish them as soon as is fit. In the meantime three other groups of UK skaters, maybe more, will be setting out on their own skate journeys for BoardFree this summer. One of these, Sam Benson from BeatsWalkin, will be supporting Link, Lowe and Sailability. The other two will be skating for their own charities, which they’re equally as passionate about. And that’s good enough for me.

    Please continue logging in, I completely understand if BounceFree isn’t your thing and promise there will be more skating in the future.
    All the best,


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