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?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Skating long distances, Beats Walkin'

Sam ‘Bam’ Benson just called. He heads out from Barnstable in the morning with more than 2500 miles of road ahead of him. Bearing in mind he has never left the UK and never seen a mountain, his journey from Devon to Spain is a true, plucky, pioneering endeavour. Skating via France, Switzerland and Italy, topping the Alps and coming down the other side, he will experience the burn that only endurance athletes are familiar with, but it will push him on and drive him south perhaps a little slower than before, but with the knowledge that he has conquered his first mountains. He’s been in contact with me for almost a year now and I’m proud to say that my own journeys have provided some inspiration for this one. In many ways Bam’s route will be far tougher than the one which took me across Australia. Put aside his personal learning curve, which will begin for real when he brandishes his passport in Calais and skates off into an unknown mainland, an education like no other when travelling under your own steam. Then tuck in, dealing with European drivers when you’re in a car is no fun, whether they have more respect for a skateboard we shall see – at least he won’t be able to understand the colourful support directed his way! My push over the Great Dividing Range in south-eastern Victoria seems like a walk up the stairs compared to Sam’s Alpine challenge, and then you have the language barrier, which will frustrate on occasion despite the linguistic talents of his team. And it’s his team which will keep him going, they have chosen to support Sam to the hilt, as mine did with me, and they will ensure that his efforts reward the charities he supports. The Lowe Syndrome Trust, Link Community Development and Sailability are about to benefit from another journey, one which many curious passers-by, listeners and viewers will still find odd, while many more will now accept that longboarding is a commonplace, viable form of transport. For every single person out there who says Sam’s venture is madcap and ridiculous, there will be one hundred who will quite rightly recognise his spirit, energy and determination. That is just what it will take, in addition to no little self-belief and a fair bit of pasta, for Sam to make it to Spain by September. Ride safe, man, and don’t forget to skate on the other side of the road.
- Visit Sam’s website at, and donate online at

A quick mention too to other BoardFree journeys which are currently underway. Having pedled a recumbent bicycle from Japan to Switzerland, Rob Thompson is continuing his journey by riding a rollsrolls longboard the length of the Rhine river. His journey can be viewed via Across the pond and beyond, Matt Ishler is also spending a lot of time on a rollsrolls, riding from BC to BC, British Columbia to Baja, California down the North American west coast.

In other news, facebook addicts now have the option of joining BoardFree: The Official Group, so they can be easily kept up-to-date with all BoardFree news. Also, I’m continuing to work on logistics for a sponsored 24 hour non-stop skate, which will incorporate individual and team relay competitions. We’re also looking for groups of people who have never skated before to step up and take on the challenge of attempting the 24 hour mission. We will teach you to skate, put you through your paces and make you believe that in just a matter of months you can achieve something just a little bit extraordinary. And, if current plans come through, it’ll all be filmed for a documentary too. All interested parties please register your interest (with no obligation to take part) by emailing

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