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Kick Scooting 1000 miles – Q&A with Dave Cornthwaite

If you’ve been following Dave’s Scoot Japan trip, you might wonder what inspires such a mission. We ask Dave Cornthwaite about his preparation for the 1000 mile solo scoot.

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Dave Cornthwaite kicking off SCOOT JAPAN!

Why choose Japan?

DC: When I was planning a long skateboard journey back in 2006 I saw a photo of long boarders whizzing down a glorious road leading down the slopes of Mount Fuji. I didn’t have much time for in-depth logistical planning. and then I remembered that photo of the long boarders and 30 minutes of google image searching was enough. A journey on a Swifty made a lot of sense and got me excited. Decision made! Scoot Japan!

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Dave and Jason checking the map

Why choose a scooter, kick scooters aren’t often the mode of choice for long distances?

DC: Haha, you don’t know me very well do you?! I love a good endurance challenge and travelling by Swifty will be harder than a bike, but it will bring its own unique rewards. A scooter is a recognisable image but one with big wheels and baggage is another matter – so this makes for a great ice breaker. Simple and fun are the key factors of my adventures and hey, perception of distance here is the key. If I can scoot 10 metres I can scoot 1000 miles, just need the time and the will.

Why choose a Swifty scooter?

DC: I’ve been impressed with Swifty from afar. I love working with small companies that understand the importance of good content, and innovation. I tried a Swifty scooter out in 2014 and knew that at some point I’d do a trip on it, and I’m glad that time has come. The build-up to this journey has been awesome because of Swifty – we’re totally on the same page and they’ve bent over backwards to make this trip possible, which makes me want to do an even better job for them. Obviously it had to be a scooter fit for a long journey, and luckily enough Russ Smith had tried and tested the SwiftyZERO last year with his Lands End to John O’Groats scoot.

What do you anticipate being your biggest challenge?

DC: I’m not really sure. The main dangers of any road trip involve sharing roads with other vehicles so I’m making sure I’m nice and visible. Then I need to consider the approach of Winter in Japan – some nights will be fairly chilly so carrying the right gear is important. Other than that, I’ll need to ease into this journey to build my fitness up as I haven’t completed a 1000 mile journey for a couple of years. It’s time to prove that age doesn’t matter!

Have you been practicing swapping legs? 

DC: Ha, a little bit. After 4000 miles on one pushing leg in Australia on my skateboard I definitely owe my left leg a bit of muscle growth, so at the least on this trip I’ll alternate equally.

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Dave feeling the burn on the inclines of the Japanese Alps

What kit are you taking and what are the sleeping/food arrangements?

DC: There’s only so much I can carry so I’m travelling pretty light by default. Tent, sleeping bag and mat. Waterproof coat, down jacket, couple of base layers, one pair of pants (maybe two), iPhone to navigate with and a couple of small cameras including a GoPro. I plan on wild camping as much as I can, and I’ve never been on a journey where I haven’t constantly been invited into people’s homes. There are hot springs and baths everywhere in Japan so that’s my hygiene covered, and I’ll get my food from convenience stores and cafes along the way. It’s all totally unplanned which makes it a real adventure, I can’t wait!

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