I Couldn’t Be Prouder

While we’re on the subject of my awesome friends, I feel a need to mention James Peters, aka Jampet. James is a proponent/practitioner of long-distance skateboarding, specifically skate pumping, or "skumping," in which the goal is to… Well, here’s how Jampet puts it on his Web site:

Skumping (skump’-ing) verb
The act of skateboarding long distances without touching foot to ground, using perpetual surf-like pumping motions.

"JampetThese crazy dudes ride their extra-long skateboards for miles and miles at a time, without ever putting their foot on the ground, arms flailing about their squirming fat-free torsos like a Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robot on speed. Jampet commutes on his longboard along the Berke-Gilman trail from the north end of Lake Washington to the west side of Lake Union, blasting tunes on his mp3 player and passing bikers on the way up hills, without ever having to put his foot to the ground (barring traffic signals and oblivious pedestrians).

That alone impresses me every time I think about it, since the most distance I’ve ever made on a skateboard was backwards through the air as it rocketed away the direction I meant to go. But Jampet couldn’t let it lie at that, oh no… This July he rode the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. On his skateboard.

The adventure started at 3:45 a.m. when my buddy Shu picked me up in north Seattle. We put my bag on the Castle Rock truck, providing a major incentive to push myself to reach the oasis of my sleeping bag and pillow by end of day. Shu gave me a "gambatte" for good luck and headed off. I was groggily chewing on a sandwich at the start line, chatting with a seasoned STP cyclist, when the line just started moving! I think we launched a little earlier than I expected, about 4:30. Quickly, I turned on my GPS device, which finally synched-up around the University Bridge/Red Robin area. So, I rode the first mile or so with a sandwich in hand and drink in the other– a great way to start any race!

"JampetHe did 137 miles on day one, from Husky Stadium to Castle Rock, Washington, in just over 16 hours. The second day he rode the remaining 67 miles in just over 8 hours. He estimates he pumped 70% of the way and pushed 30%.

Jampet did the ride to see if he could, so that he could repeat the performance next year to raise money for autism and cancer research. James’ 9-year-old daughter is the happiest and sweetest child I’ve ever met, and is autistic.

Dude, I’m proud of you.

Jampet’s account of skateboarding the STP (pavedwave.org)

One thought on “I Couldn’t Be Prouder”

  1. Wow! It’s been too long since I’ve crossed paths with Jampet. I had no idea such a thing existed, let alone that he was involved with it.

    Cool post!

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