SkateIDSA’s record-setting board member, Andrew Andras, on the growth of skateboarding, what makes an athlete, and his future in endurance sports.
Meet Andrew Andras. He’s the first human to ever push 300+ miles on his skateboard in 24 hours, a determined endurance athlete, an esteemed lieutenant for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, an expert event host, a member of the board of directors for SkateIDSA, and the manager of the points committee.
Andy began his journey in endurance sports around the same time SkateIDSA was forming: the transition from skateboarding while growing up to being an elite competitor was a natural turn of events for him. He is the host of the 24-hour Ultraskate, an event that has set the stage globally for the unbelievable capabilities of humans via skateboarding – but before he took over the chair as event host, he made his mark by shattering his own world records and leaving jaws dropped all over the world. To Andy, distance skateboarding is the future of distance sports: “Everyone has tried running and know how to ride a bike, but can you race on a skateboard? That’s the challenge I want other sport participants to take.”
Andrew’s work in the growth of competitive long distance skateboard racing has been essential. As he was once the world record holder for the sport as a whole, the mantle fell on him to keep that momentum moving. “Our sport if very fluid and organic so it fluctuates very much from year to year and is hard to predict. I do know that we have an amazing group assembled in the IDSA that we have never had before. I think a few new races will pop up in the United States and [I’m] excited that we have expanded to Europe and soon an IDSA Brazil will be formed as well. So lots of great things coming in the future as we “little by little” unify all the countries partaking in skateboard racing and make ourselves heard.”
We asked “La Maquina” a few questions about SkateIDSA and the sport he was excited to share:
On being a leader in the distance community
Reaching 309.5 miles in the 24 Hour Ultra-Skate was the culmination of my passion for this sport. Years of training and traveling to events to compete had given me a great sense of camaraderie and love for everyone I have met in this sport so it was kind of by default that I started to get involved with the sport sanctioning body. I felt that the amazing vibe in our sport was something to cherish and protect. So the best way I can keep it that way for future generations to also enjoy is with the “lead by example” approach. Having a great time talking openly about your skateboard setups, nutrition plans or training experiences with everyone at an event is really cool. Making the new guy feel included and give respect and admiration to my biggest rivals when they beat me. Thats the Long Distance Push way of treating people at events.
On transitioning from top-tier competitor to expert event host
That awesome feeling when you’re a competitor at an event and you see your training and nutrition plan that you worked so hard for pay off… well multiply that by 100! There is something so amazing and a “bigger than yourself” feeling when you put hard work into producing an event and you get to watch it unfold. Seeing everyone’s excitement and hard efforts in doing the best they can is really cool. Knowing that you brought together likeminded friends to hang out is very special for me.
On successful, lasting events and maintaining growth in SkateIDSA
It’s not the number in attendance, it’s not the venue, it’s not the course or the degree of difficulty. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of those are very key to a cool event but the overall success is measured in fun and inclusion. The friendlier the group the better the event will be. Hands down. My decision making falls very naturally to my experiences and life lessons. I have my love and passion for skateboard racing projects in my decision making when it comes time to vote over a topic that has presented itself to the board.
On defining distance skateboarding and his future as a competitor
[…] You forget your gender, discipline, race and age when you’re next to 50 other people doing the same thing your passionate about. The labels start to drop and we all just become skaters for a precious few hours. I am you, you are me, they are us, we are them. World peace is only a skateboard away. I have been sitting back from competition for a few years now but I still have passion for a hard fought race and although I can not say which events will be my go to events in 2019, I do solemnly swear I will be lined up at a few next year.
Meet the Board is a short interview series intended to humanize and capture the hard work that stands behind competitive distance skateboarding and supercross. For more information on Andrew, see the hard work he puts in to SkateIDSA’s flagship race, The Homestead-Miami 24-Hour Ultraskate.