In the realm of skating, which admittedly is already stocked full of weirdos, Mark does something especially weird, albeit really cool, with his skateboard: he skates across countries. Now bear in mind this is a normal, run-of-the-mill shortboard, not a longboard specifically made for long distances.
Making friends wherever he goes, he relies on the donations and goodwill of others in order to survive. He has so much trust in the world, in fact, that he exists with nothing more than his board, his will, and a backpack. To be fair, everything in that backpack is priceless.
I’ve known Mark quite a while, starting with a less-than-ideal teen life. I hadn’t seen him for quite some time, so imagine my surprise when I found him in Bali. He was far more put together than the average traveler in a new country with no money; just smiling and happy to be there. Mark immediately found the skate park and made friends that felt truly honored to meet him.
Mark attests that his trips are hard work, and I based on my first-hand knowledge of how hard seemingly outrageous goals can be to realize, I believe him. The price paid is so much more than just physical. This kind of travel can weigh on you mentally as well.
Despite that cost, I think the lesson we can all learn from Mark is this: if you want something, just fucking go for it. Trust me, you’ll regret it more if you don’t.
Here is Mark’s trip according to his go fund me page:
Street set-up shortboard hard wheels professional long-distance skateboarder.
I started going on skate distance trips on 3/27/2014. I have skated every state USA ended in Alaska August of 2016 at that time 12,500 miles of skateboarding. 2017 I started taking this worldwide, now I have skated the distance in 4 continents & 10 countries.
Skate The World Part 1
I started w/ Australia: Brisbane, QL to Melbourne, VIC Skated 1,005 miles on that trip. Then Ni NZ: Auckland to Wellington, 3 weeks break from distance in Bali, Indo, More distance Japan: Osaka to Tokyo, then Europe: Dublin to Paris through Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Belguim, France. Between distance in Ni NZ, Japan, Europe around 1,400 miles, so with Aussie around 2,400 miles. In total now I have 15,500-16,000 miles.
SkateTheWorld Part 2
Starting around April 7-8th will be Central America Cancun to Panama City. Through 10 countries 1,700 miles in around 6 weeks till around May 18th. Mexico to Panama.
Around the end of June/Early July I plan to go
Hong Kong to Bali, Indo.
Then Nepal, India.
Different parts of Africa
Around the end of the year, I should be at my 20,000 miles which will be when I retire my records for skate distance on street set-up skateboard for history I’ve been making.
I have picked La Digue, Seycelles Islands for my 20,000 miles marker, records, history. Which will make Guinness books of world records if they accept my documentation.You can donate to Mark’s journey by going to Gofundme.com/SkateTheWorld-Part-2 or PayPal CrtSkateboards.
You can also request chapters from Mark’s book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org but he also sends it when you donate. Mark keeps a piece of paper with emails of people who want chapters, this made me laugh hard, but he is very serious about keeping up with the connections he made and giving back when he can.