New Ultraskate Long Distance Push World Record
Kolin Quick is Brand Manager for Subsonic Skateboards & Duck Pucks, photographer, artist, late night snack food aficionado and all around fun maker. When we last checked in with him, he had been enjoying his first Britannia Classic, presented by Subsonic and gave us a full report (and a tasty recipe!). This time around, Kolin helped us get in touch with Ultraskate winners and new World Record holders, Rick Pronk and Andrew Andras – congrats to you both on the record! – let’s see what they had to say!
Kolin: On Sunday, June 21st 2015, Skateboarding history was made at the Dutch Ultraskate. Rick Pronk and Andrew Andras both pushed over 285.7 miles in 24 hours… Without stopping! Both gentlemen crossing the finish line at the very same time (too close to call) for a new Ultra Skate World Record, so naturally we had ask them lots of questions about the experience and LDP in general.
First off, congrats to both of you guys! I can’t even imagine what it was like. Who are you guys and where are you from?
A: I’m Andrew Andras, I was born in Madrid, Spain and moved to Florida as a teenager, now living in Miami Beach.
R: Rick Pronk, Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel (Netherlands), I have been living in the Netherlands all my life.
285.7 miles…. What does that number mean to you guys?
A: It represents a commitment to a sport I love so much and passionate about. It a measurement to the hard work I put in year after year training physically, nutritionally and emotionally. A mark that represents our attempt to push the envelope further and see what can be accomplished with new longboard technology and a determined rider.
R: To me it means 459,9km because I’m used to using the metric system. However It’s the distance from my house to central Paris, which I always think is a long ride by car. But doing that on a longboard is insane. But most off all 285.7 means a record ready to be shattered, because that’s what you’re supposed to do with records.
How does it feel to tie a world record together, especially being teammates on Subsonic?
R: It was the best end the ultraskate was going to get. Because we’re good buddies and also dont-trip team mates. We helped each other out by taking the lead.
A: Funny that it never dawned on me that two riders could finish sharing a World Record. I had always finished an Ultra-Skate so ahead of everyone that I had come accustomed to flying solo and in the lead for the last 12 hours at an Ultra event. So to come into Holland and find my equal was an amazing experience. We had several lead changes throughout the race and with 10 hours left we found each other riding together pushing a World Record pace. When the sun came up the next day we both gave each other a nod and accepted that we had met our match. At that point we had no other alternative than to finish it as 2 world champions. I could not think of a better ending to a well fought Ultra-Skate that will go down as my favorite.
After pushing that kind of distance what did you guys do? Could you even walk? Do they have wheelchairs or stretchers, waiting for you, ready at the finish line?
A: At this level of the game we are very conditioned athletes. Our bodies have become accustomed to the beat downs of Ultra and we recoup very quickly. So outside of just needing some sleep and a ton of replaced calories we were fine. Matter of fact, 6 days later Rick and I went 1st and 2nd at a 26 mile Marathon Push Race in Paris.
R: After the ultra I felt surprisingly fresh (whatever you call fresh after skating for 24 hours non-stop). Walking was going fine, so I grabbed my stuff which were completely soaked by the rain and took a shower and cleaned my longboard (didn’t want to make a mess in the car). And got to the ceremony. However a ceremony at the ultraskate all tired wasn’t a good ending, so I messaged Andy two days later celebrate it at a restaurant.
Long Distance Pushing (LDP) is fairly insane, I mean you guys literally pushed over twice the distance from Seattle to Vancouver (140 Miles) in 24 hours. So how did you guys get into LDP?
R: I bought a pintail 4 years ago when my sister wanted a longboard really bad. Just because I wanted to try it. However without hills and no other longboarders around I used it to commute and skated further every time. So one year later i bought my first distance deck, a subsonic gt 40. That’s where it all started. Right now I’m skating to my work whenever it’s dry and almost can’t do a day without riding a board.
A: I grew up as a skater so later in life when I discovered longboards I fell in love with the simple pleasure of just riding it for commuting. I would say we are also products of our environment. Florida is just flat so LDP was how I enjoyed my time on a longboard. I did what the terrain gave me and what brought a smile to my face and soul. I find riding my setup a form of stress relief, exercise, meditation and a way of life. As I discovered Push Racing and started competing I realized that 26 mile marathon was not enough, I wanted to push it farther. Ultra-Skate was my answer.
Let’s face it, you guys are 15 miles away from 300. Are you guys going to try and break the big three- oh- oh. ?
A: I know that before I was smashing Ultra-Skate records 20 miles at a time but I trully free I have reached my full capabilities at this point. So to jump up another 15 miles would be like shooting for the moon. I feel that the Ultra-Skate World Record will only be beat a few miles at a time at this point. But as more amazing riders like Rick come along and more riders compete together a high level like what just happened at the Dutch Ultra-Skate, then anything is possible.
R: not the first few years, during an ultraskate is skating the full 24 hours without stopping once is really challenging. But increasing your average speed is way harder. It might take me 3 years to get ready to try a 300 miler. But I will still try to break the current record the next years. I still have to experiment alot with food, setups and training.
Can you guys walk us through your training routine? What does it take not only physically but mentally to prepare for an event such as an Ultra-Skate?
R: Just skate alot (commute to work/training) and get everything you need before the Ultra-Skate. Having people to cheer for you is also a really good emotional boost, so just have fun during the skating all year long and make some cool new friends.
A: Training always started a week after I forget the mental and physical trauma of pushing for 24 hours. At that point I would draw up a plan to try and skate more miles in training than the year before. Always on the lookout and reading studies of some new superfood to add to my diet and help me with performance or recuperation. Finally, with 4 months left before an Ultra-Skate I put together a solid new intense training plan to push me past my last record. It gets hard to find ways to beat yourself when you were at your best.
Where do you guys see LDP going in the future?
R: I think the scene keeps on growing, seeing more and more people coming to race events. However I don’t think it will be as big as cycling or running. Skateboarding is in most people’s eyes really dangerous and they won’t try it out. That’s why it’s always these “hippie-athletes” riding in these kind of races.
A: It’s funny that out of all the longboard disciplines, LDP is the most accessible to the mainstream but yet we are the minority in the industry. People who just buy a setup and ride it for commuting or just for fun in the driveway has always outnumbered any other discipline in longboard but we can’t seem to get them out to support a Push Race. The cool thing about LDP is those that are dedicated to the sport are diehard! We are a really cool community with the most diversity in age range and skill level and yet we all hang out and respect each other equally with the common bond of pushing a plank of wood. You won’t find a friendlier bunch with this kind of vibe in any other kind of sporting event. Overall I feel good for the future of our sport when a bunch of 15 year olds tell me one day they are going to smash my record. Some may find it insulting. I love it. Its the growth and next generation hungry to take your spot at the top.
Do you guys have any advice for people wanting to get into LDP?
A:Just ride and compete because you love it. Dont worry about getting sponsored and getting the latest and greatest setup. Its will come if you put in the time and work. Just ride and let the rest come.
R: Invest in a good setup, soft big wheels are not only faster on bad roads, but they prevent injuries in your joints. And replace your daily cycling with skating as much as possible. But most of all, just do what you love to do.
Thanks for your time guys and congrats on the record, is there anyone you guys would like to give a shout out to?
Rick: GO TEAM SUBSONIC! and of course a big thank you to everybody who support me in any kind of way.
Andrew: Have to say thanks to my family, Wife Robin and daughters Roxy and Ruby. Without their support and encouragement I wouldn’t be half the rider I am.
A big thank you to my sponsors, their passion and dedication to their craft helps me do what I can to break records. So I have to say that I can equally share my 285.7 mile 24 hour World Record with Subsonic Skateboards, Dont-Trip Trucks, G-Bomb Skateboards, RipTide Bushings, Seismic Wheels and Bearings and BattleBalm ointment.
The biggest thanks for this record breaking performance has to go to the guy that pushed me past my limits! Subsonic/Dont-Trip Teammate RICK PRONK. He is genuinely one of the most humblest guys I have ever meet. He has a tough and no quit attitude no matter what the circumstances are. I had called him the future of Ultra-Skating after watching his performance in last year Dutch Ultra-Skate. Well everybody, the future has arrived!!!!!
Well thanks Rick and Andrew, definitely stoked for you and congrats again. Thanks to Skate[Slate] for giving us the opportunity to share a bit more about LDP and the Ultraskate World Record with everyone.