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North Saanich resident hopes to break world records on his e-longboard

Bradley Smith plans to travel 3,500 kilometres on his electric-powered longboard.

Numb feet are the main worry of a North Saanich man who is attempting to break three Guinness world records by travelling 3,500 kilometres on his electric-powered longboard.

Bradley Smith, who lives in Willis Point in North Saanich, is attempting to break a number of records: longest journey by an electric skateboard; longest journey in a 24-hour period by an electric skateboard and longest journey by an electric skateboard in a single country.

The 43-year-old, who works in the public works department of the District of North Saanich, plans to start his record-breaking quest in Saskatoon on June 1, travelling along the Trans Canada Trail, the world’s longest network of trails.

Journey’s end will be near Swartz Bay on the Lochside Regional Trail, which is, along with the Galloping Goose, part of the Trans Canada Trail network that stretches 28,000 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Arctic ocean.

Smith is no stranger to long-distance boarding, spending five months longboarding across Canada, from St. John’s to Victoria, in 2008.

This time he will be travelling on a custom-designed, all-terrain electric mountain board made of maple.

“It’s about the size of a mini-sized snowboard fitted with eight-inch pneumatic off-road tires,” Smith said.

He typically travels with six batteries, covering about 140 kilometres a day on light terrain. The board is powered by two batteries at a time, with the spares kept in storage boxes affixed to the board until they are needed. The batteries take three to four hours to recharge.

To maximize his distance, he plans to travel light, with only a small pack, staying at hotels and campsites along the way.

Tracking devices fitted to the longboard will ensure he is complying with the rules surrounding the record-breaking attempt.

While he has the logistics worked out, the only variable he sees as a challenge is his feet, which are always exposed.

“In training and after hours on the board, I find that my feet sometimes go numb,” said Smith, who was born and raised on Salt Spring Island. “That’s from hours standing and the constant jostling and vibration from the uneven ground.”

Smith said that while it is a physical and personal challenge, he also sees the record-breaking attempt as an opportunity to inspire others to embrace adventure and pursue their own passions.

“It’s slim pickings when it comes to people with experience on e-longboarding,” he said. “Most of them are in the U.K., Australia and the U.S.”

He said all of the current and past record-holders he contacted for advice were generous with their time.

He is already looking forward to future adventures.

“This is just a stepping stone for future trips, with possibly a trip along the legendary Silk Road, which is about 13,000 kilometres.”

Smith plans to document and share his adventure on various social-media platforms.

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