Skateboarder pushes himself to the limit

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2008, 12:00am

In town right now is a man trying to skateboard his way across the globe. New Zealander Rob Thomson has spent the past two years with a customised board (and customised trailer) riding through some of the most extreme conditions to add to his world record of longest skateboard journey. So far he has crossed the US, Europe and parts of China. He's only here to renew his visa to do the second leg of his China trip. His original idea was for a bike sojourn, but then, dude, he thought it would be boring.

'It's not much of a challenge for me,' Thomson, who previously worked as an interpreter in Japan, complained. So now he's trying to ride 24,000km across the world solo and dealing with the accompanying physical and mental challenges. 'I was in Xinjiang near the Gobi Desert. It was, like, 45 degrees Celsius at midday, and I hadn't had much food and sleep. I told myself, 'This skateboarding thing is ridiculous. It's a waste of time. I'm going to give up when I get to the next small town and take a bus home.'' Of course, he didn't.

And things weren't always so rough. 'I can say 99.9 per cent of the people I've met were genuinely kind and helpful and the remaining 0.1 per cent were drunk,' he laughed.

Thomson is likely to depart Hong Kong on Friday to finish his mainland trip. Then it's South America and the Himalayas. If you want to follow his journey, his website is