Skateboarder aims for world records again after failed attempt due to injury

Ryan Swain felt it would be ‘ignorant’ not to reattempt the world record and wants to prove to others that it can be achieved

Sarah Ping
Friday 07 July 2023 07:00 BST
Ryan Swain is determined to reattempt his skateboarding world records despite previous set backs (Paul Swain)
Ryan Swain is determined to reattempt his skateboarding world records despite previous set backs (Paul Swain) (PA Media)

A skateboarder who aimed to break two distance records in one day but failed due to an injury, said he “won’t give up” as he prepares for his second attempt.

Ryan Swain, from Malton in North Yorkshire, said he is “ready just to go out there” and achieve two Guinness world records for skateboarding the furthest distance in 12 hours and 24 hours.

On top of the two records, he also wants to become the fastest person to skateboard 100 metres – hoping to become the “Usain Bolt of the skateboarding world”.

The 32-year-old felt it would be “ignorant” not to re-attempt the world record and wants to prove to others that it can be achieved.

“The skateboarding world accommodated (my world record attempt) and they really want to see me achieve it,” he told the PA news agency.

“I think to let that slip… it would have been a bit ignorant of me not to have another go. I’m a very tenacious person and I want to go out there and prove that this can be done.”

During his first attempt, Mr Swain admitted to skateboarding for seven hours without a break. This time, he will have a sports coach present to ensure that he is taking regular breaks to recuperate his body.

As his new training will take place during the summer months, he hopes to use this opportunity to do more skateboarding.

“It’s summertime, we’ve got dry weather so I can get out a lot more… do a few miles, go to the skate park and do some tricks. There’s more opportunity to get out on a skateboard and embrace it,” he said.

He said he will not let his last attempt dampen his spirits after discovering positive outcomes from the situation – including finding new love with partner Samantha Cook.

“It was a bad experience for me, but I saw more positives in what happened than negatives,” he said.

“That’s what I’m approaching going into the next attempt. I’m not going to be thinking negatively.

“I’m not going to be thinking about the ‘what ifs’ or ‘could be’… This time, I know what needs to be done.”

He said having Ms Cook’s support on the day of his challenge will make him more determined than ever to break the records.

“She’s going to be supporting me at York Sport, so to have her by my side, it just gives me a whole new insight, drive and determination into wanting to do this even more,” he said.

Mr Swain wants to achieve his records at the York Sport Village, located at the University of York’s campus, on the 1km Cycle Circuit and he hopes the smooth surface will be a “more suitable option”.

“For me, it’s a smaller track, which means more laps, but at the same time, it’s a smoother surface, which allows me to be able to enjoy the ride a little bit more whereas Elvington was continuous,” he said.

Asked whether the monotony of circling around the smaller track will affect his performance, the skateboarder said “it doesn’t fear me or faze me or frighten me at all”.

He added: “Having ADHD, sometimes monotony can be good, routine can be good. Once you get into that routine, that pattern, you’ve got that focus and that drive and that energy with it which compels you to carry on.”

Mr Swain lives with adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and was determined to use his love of the sport to raise awareness of neurodiversity and mental health disorders.

He used his world record attempts as a way to help raise money for Mind, Andy’s Man Club UK and the Next Steps Mental Health Resources Centre, in Malton, and will continue raising money for the charities.

“It’s not just all about donating and raising money via Just Giving, it’s also about getting people talking and getting people communicating, recognising signs and symptoms in their own mental health and other people’s,” he said.

I'm not going to be thinking about the 'what ifs' or 'could be'... This time, I know what needs to be done

Ryan Swain

Mr Swain’s first record attempt happened on May 8 at Elvington Airfield in York, but he faced rain, wind and standing water, which made the runways treacherous and he eventually had to withdraw after pulling his hamstring.

The skateboarder was left “heartbroken” after injuring himself at the 10-hour mark, but felt proud for covering a total distance of 90 miles before his injury.

He was aiming to cover 300 miles over the 24-hour period and strives to achieve this in his next attempt. The record is 261.8 miles, set by Andrew Andras in Florida in 2013.

His second attempt will take place at York Sport Village in York on November 10.

Speaking of his excitement ahead of the event, Mr Swain said: “I’m just ready just to go out there and do it, to be honest.”

To support Mr Swain’s cause, visit the JustGiving page

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