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Longboarding from LA to NY: A truly inspirational and amazing story

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Hi Rupert, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Hello, my name is Rupert Rixon, I’m 21 years old and I created/run a film company called Perspective Pictures. 

Who came up with the idea to longboard 3000 miles from L.A to NY and when the suggestion was mooted, did everyone think you were crazy? 

I came up with the idea of trying to cross the USA on longboards and make a film about it around 2 years ago. We received a lot of scepticism around the project even from those close to us, usually people just didn’t believe that we would be able to travel 50 miles a day on a longboard for three months.

“Over the two years of me trying to make this project happen there were so many times I wanted to give up and let it go, and for a long time I didn’t really think it was possible myself. 

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Did the trip across Wales inspire you with confidence for the USA trip or fill you with worries? 

The Wales trip created mixed feelings, once we finished it we got this feeling that it would be possible, but also the realisation it was going to be an extremely tough journey to complete.

The trip from LA to NYC – who was on the trip and did you all have different roles to play? 

On the trip was myself, David Rock, Oliver Spain and Tom Nicholson – we would be skating and all of us are from England. And then we came across these Americans online who agreed to help us out, drive the support vehicle etc on the trip and that was Matt Monthei, Josh Monthei, and Sarah Rini. 

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How many miles were you covering a day? Were there many injuries?

We were covering 50 miles a day on average, although managed to do as much as 180 miles in 24 hours. There were plenty of injuries, only on the second night Josh from the support crew fell off at speed, in the dark, on the edge of a dual carriageway. The board shot out into the traffic and was snapped. He was absolutely covered in cuts, with large areas of skin being torn away entirely, and that was only day 2! 

Josh from the support team strectching out on top of the bus, and showing off his injuries after a bad skate crash the night before.

You’ve filmed the whole adventure – when are we going to be able to watch it?

We aren’t entirely sure when the film will be out as there is such a huge amount of footage, but we are making progress and are well on track for a Summer 2016 release. 

Tell us a little bit about the ‘van with no plan’ and how you found it?

The Van with no plan were our support crew, and they have been on the road for three years doing odd jobs to fund their travels. I saw a blog post about them and agreed to pay them a small sum of money to help us and let us use their bus. Without them the project wouldn’t have been possible, and I actually made a small film about them: The Van with No Plan. 

You must’ve met some great & inspirational people – anyone we need to know about?

There was a huge number of inspirational people we met along the way, one of them was a guy, over 60 years old, who was walking from one end of the US to the other. We came across him in Wyoming, pushing a pram in front of him, loaded up with everything that he needed, and he was covering around 25-35 miles a day. 

Have you been back on your longboards since? Were you all big skaters before?

I have been skateboarding quite a bit and use my longboard when travelling into London, but not massively with the weather being the way it is. We were never big skateboarders before, and David actually learnt to skate 18 months before we actually arrived in LA! 

“Pitch your idea to as many family and friends as possible, everyone you meet tell them, and tell them you are going to do it. It helped me a lot, it put pressure on me to execute what I had set out to do, and people’s reactions good or bad drove me to work hard at it.”

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Three craziest things that happened on your adventure?

Crossing the desert. Skating through West Baltimore at 1am. Nearly being hit by a car in Philadelphia. 

It’s awesome that you managed to get charity involved too – how come you chose The Teenage Cancer Trust & how much have you raised?

We have raised almost £3000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, but are going to try and push that over £10,000 next year when the film comes out. We chose the Teenage Cancer Trust for a number of reasons, cancer is something that generally effects us all in one way or another, they supported a friend of mine, they were really excited about the project, and I think they are a truly amazing charity. 

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How did you feel when you managed to get to NYC? Was there an amazing point where you realised you’d done it & you didn’t have to skate anymore?

Reaching NYC was crazy. It still doesn’t feel real that we finished, even writing about it now I feel like I am talking about someone else. New York was amazing though, and we got tattoos in Brooklyn to celebrate a few days later! 

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After the buzz of doing this, it must be hard to relax… what’s next for you?

Haha, I do find it very difficult to relax actually. I have a lot of different projects on the horizon at the moment, many of them involve travelling and the most prominent of which is a film I am shooting in India in May. 

What you guys have achieved is amazing and inspirational – what would you say to people that may be in a similar boat to you and have a great idea / goal in life?

Just go for it. Its cliche but don’t give up. Over the two years of me trying to make this project happen there were so many times I wanted to give up and let it go, and for a long time I didn’t really think it was possible myself. A good tip I actually have for someone hoping to do a similar project is tell people to pitch your idea to as many family and friends as possible, everyone you meet tell them, and tell them you are going to do it. It helped me a lot, it put pressure on me to execute what I had set out to do, and peoples reactions good or bad drove me to work hard at it. 

Please check out their Just Giving page and You Tube Channel.

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