How To Break My Record

By all appearances, Marcelo from Brazil has unofficially broken my record (as of 23rd Nov 2012). No word from Guinness as to whether his journey will be validated by Guinness or not; I certainly hope it will.


A year after I finished the trip, I finally got the certificate; Guinness World Record for the Longest Journey by Skateboard (12,159km).

Done and dusted - Guinness World Record

Now, I totally support anyone who is willing to try to break the record…it is there to be broken, and I look forward to following along the journey of that person!

How to Break my Record 

Breaking a Guinness World Record is no easy feat. Trust me, the skating is the easy part! Learn on this page about the following:

  1. Record Reporting Summary
  2. Official Guinness World Record Breaking Guidelines
  3. My Compact Logbook Design
  4. Other Evidence
  5. A Guinness World Record Claim Report

1. Record Reporting Summary
I have now received confirmation from Guinness World Records that they have accepted my claim and have confirmed my official record holder status (7th May 2009):

The record has been accepted and this is the text to appear in the certificate, but let me know if there is amendment to make (I just received an email from the RMT department):

“The longest journey by skateboard was 12,159 km (7,555miles) and was completed by Rob Thomson (New Zealand) starting in Lausanne, Switzerland on 28 June 2007 and finishing in Shanghai, China, on 28 September 2008.”

Check the dates and so…

Please also note that I have always been passionate about recording my journey, even before I began skating. I always felt a tinge of regret and disappointment when I heard of a cool adventure, but could never find any online info about it. An accessable adventure is a inspirational adventure. The addition of a GWR attempt just makes the recording a little more meticulous.

2. Official Guinness World Record Breaking Guidelines

Take a look at the official general GWR guidelines, and the specific guidelines for an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Journey by Skateboard:

  • Longest Skateboard Journey (pdf file)
    This was valid at the time that GWR sent it to me in August 2007. You’ll need to make an account on the GWR website in the Fast Track programme to lodge your interest in making an attempt, and to receive the latest guidelines. This process takes time. Like, up to 8 weeks.
  • Record Breaker’s Pack (pdf file)
    This also was valid at the time that GWR sent it to me in August 2007. This may have been updated since.

3. My Compact Logbook Design

Since I am travelling ultra-light, I made up a small pocket-sized logbook that has all the info GWR could possibly want, including a space for witness signatures. You can download the Microsoft Word version of that logbook here. This is by no way an ‘official’ GWR logbook. It is just a logbook design that I came up with based on GWR’s requirements set out in the Longest Skateboard Journey pdf file above.

The Word file is set up to be printed double sided, four pages per sheet. That’s why there are seemingly repeated pages in the document. Printing it double sided and at a zoom of four pages per sheet will give you a ready-to-cut print out that will cut into four quater-A4 sized pages, ready to be bound/stapled together.

GWR guinness world record logbook

I fill this logbook in at the end of 95% of the days I am on the road. The other 5% of the time I am at an internet cafe at the end of the day, and just write up the information on my blog.

4. Evidence Collation

GPS Data
I record my daily distances and other data using a Garmin Gecko 201 GPS unit. Every 500km or so, I download the route track log to a computer using a serial cable and email this to myself. I will be supplying this track log to GWR along with my final claim.

I take on average 10 or more photos a day. These photos depict the terrain and skating conditions I encounter. My camera (as is the case with all modern digital cameras) records EXIF data along with the photo that reveals the date the photo was taken.

I take intermittent video clips that I edit into short video updates that further give an indication of the conditions of my attempt.

Witness Signatures
Getting witness signatures is easier in some countries than others. In the US, I would often get a signature every second day or so. In China however, many people have not even heard of the GWR, let alone understand what I am attempting. Most of the signatures I have from China are from English speakers (so very few and far between).

I update my blog regularly, and will be submitting a print out of every blog entry I have made during the journey to further support my compact travel log.

5. A Guinness World Record Claim Report

Here is the report I submitted to GWR about my journey:

If you have any questions about making an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Journey by Skateboard, please feel free to email me at rob (dot) thomson (at) 14degrees (dot) org. Records are there to be broken, and I’m keen to see our (meaning the longboarding community) record broken. Here’s to 20,000km on a skateboard!

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