Published in March 2008 by Portico/AnovaBooks and illustrated with over 70 images from the journeys, Dave ’s frank, emotional and honest account of his journey takes the reader from the depths of domestic stagnation to the joys of fulfilled potential, through physical agony and mental anguish, over mountain ranges and across desert. Positive life-changing experiences don’t come much bigger than this, 2 pages about skateboarding, and another 277 about acting on life’s big ideas, rather than just talking about them.
"The whole of my day was wiped out...I couldn’t put it down and read it from cover to cover! It's beautifully written ....the more I read, the more I realised I was only aware of the tip of the iceberg and that the mental challenge was possibly more grueling than the physical!"
- Kate Goodanew, Sydney , NSW
"Your book is a pure joy to read."
- Hagen Issbrucker, Leipzig , Germany
'You signed a book for me with the words, “May this inspire you to follow your dreams'. I'm telling you now, it has. It's without doubt one of the best books I've read. The way you write, the no-holds-barred attitude in what you say in how you felt about people during the trip, and the enormity of the task is outstanding. I was hooked from page 1 with the way you reacted to that email. I'm truly inspired to get out into the world and do things like you. Thank you."
- Chris Smith, UK
"All the doubters and objectivists can never take away what I see as one of the great endurance achievements of modern times. "
- Chris Hatten, Sydney , NSW
"I've just finished reading your book and sure enough you've inspired me to get rolling on a board. I remember hearing you on Triple J but I have to admit I didn't realize the enormity of your achievement until I read the book. "
- Sean Bicknell, Gold Coast, QLD
"I'm sat on the train and have two streams of tears pouring down my face. I've never cried so much reading a book!
- V. Muir, Devon, UK
"WOW What an inspiration! I have been through every emotion reading your book and my son has read it at every opportunity at school, and I just wish that I had of grabbed you and given you the worlds biggest hug when you made it to Lakes on Elsa. The mental anguish that you went through (not to mention the physical) leaves me gobsmacked."
- Sheryl Lawler, Lakes Entrance, VIC
"Truly inspirational and a damm good read."
- Tony Edwards, Western Australia
"I started reading on Friday just after 1am and after working all day Saturday finished on Sunday morning. I enjoyed your book so much. It has motivated me to get more active - something I have been talking about for too long when I really needed to just get out there and do it! What an inspiration - I am still amazed at what you went through to accomplish what you did."
- Linda Morris, Queensland
"I've just moved from my comfy armchair to my comfy computer chair, having just put down the most compelling book I've read for years, and now I find myself trying to compose an email to the author, in a stumbling attempt to convey how much I enjoyed it!
Flashback to May, '06, a small pub car park in deepest Perthshire, and I'm talking to this strangely driven young man, a few days into what I then thought was a very worthy, if slightly nuts journey. Fast forward nearly two years and I sit here in awe (again) of what turned out to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride! By 'eck, lad, you don't half know how to make a bloke feel inadequate!
Like thousands of others, I followed you down this little island, and across that great big one - from the comfort of my own home, but it's only now I can appreciate what you and your team put yourselves through to do it - physically and emotionally. Christ, I swear I could smell the roadkill! (Or maybe it was your feet?)
I laughed, I cried, (well, nearly) I felt your pain (Aye, right!) - I s**t in that bush with the snake in it, you, sir, are a great descriptive writer, and I will make it my duty to tell as many people as possible to get out and buy your story. Seriously, though, what comes out of the pages more than anything, is what a hard job it must have been, (as figurehead of a small group of people living on top of each other), keeping a lid on all of the emotions and problems which inevitably surfaced as the journey progressed.
I take my non-existent hat off to you again, believe me, boy, you could make a healthy living out of this writing lark."
- Don Smart, Scotland
"Wow! I've finished, I've laughed, I've cried and I got to the end feeling the exhaustion and the elation that you must have felt, I'm very impressed!
- Jo Cartwright
"I have just finished reading your book, and have to say I have barely put it down. I have been longboarding over a year now and am a fellow Swansea Student, unfortunately I didnt ever take much notice of BoardFree when you were over this way. What I find inspiring about your journey is the fact that you went from a relatively normal life and changed it to something incredible almost overnight. This is something I think the majority of people would be far too scared of to ever even consider. In many ways this is far more powerful than reading about someone who has grown up living on the edge and spent their whole life doing extraordinary things. I have my idea but am not yet ready to take that leap, reading this has put me one step closer to going for it.
Rob Rickman , Swansea
"I am so impressed with the book, loved every bit of it and it did make me cry - quite a bit!! I don't really think longboarding is for me but reading it has made me want to start running again - If you can skate all that way then surely I can run a marathon!"
- Bristi Chatterjee, UK
"You’ve inspired me to give at a go! I’m half way through reading your book (you’re just about to hit the Nullabor) and I fancy a go on a longboard."
- Guy Stredwick
"I have now read some more of your book and realise it is more than just a guide book as to how to skateboard half way around the world. It is also an exercise in how to deal with the stresses and strains and, in particular, conflicts that living and travelling together with such a small, tight knit, group of people for such a long time inevitably brings on. I well recall a Land Rover trip around Europe as a seventeen year old with five other good school friends. We were only away three or four weeks but by the end of that time relationships had been strained to the limit, over what now seem trivial items such as, what time do we stop to eat or who should get to sit in the front seat for longest. Well done for not losing sight of your main goal of completing an epic skateboarding trip and raising money for charity. I'm sure that after your journey together nothing seems impossible to achieve given the right people, a determination to succeed and a little help from friends (and strangers) along the way."
- Neil Thompson, Wick, Scotland
"I LOVED your book - sat and read it cover to cover - you write really well, it was great following the ups and downs of the trip - truly inspirational. Thank you for a lovely weekend's entertainment! And when is your next one out? Please say you are writing more..."
- Carol Grayson, UK
"Firstly, I'd like to thank you for getting me to read a non-fiction book for the first time in a long long time. But also say that you have inspired me. I only got into longboarding a couple of months ago, but am already in love with it. Whilst i was trying to find info on it, I came across BoardFree and was instantly hooked by the idea. After reading your book I understand a lot more about what you've done, why you've done it and why I want to do something similar in the future. Much like what you've done. Just.. not quite so many thousands of kilometres. I just thought I should let you know what a true inspiration you and the whole BoardFree community really are to others.".
- Pete Bedwell
"Just finished reading your book, and I have to say I was completely engrossed. It's really given me a new respect for what you did, and it's actually given me the push I needed to start planning a pilgrimage to Rome that I've wanted to do for years."
- Chris Morris
"You are the man bro! I just read your book man truly inspirational aye!
- Tomo Chisnall, New Zealand (Tomo's planning to skate the length of New Zealand! Visit www.freedomskate.nz)
"I've not long been back from spending 10 months in Australia traveling around by myself. When I got back I couldnt get enough of all things Australia and on a trip to the library I found your book. I finished reading it today, wow, what an amazing thing you have done! I wish you all the best and again you've done such a great, wonderful thing!"
- Claire Mullin
"I've just finished a years trip cycling around Australia and i'm sat here in the Spring of the UK half way through your book What a book mate! I'm hooked at reading about all the places you've been that I have seen also.
Congratulations Dave, you're an inspiration and confirm my motto in life....live to be happy!"
"I'm currently reading your book dave, and I'm finding it hard to put it down!"
- Angus Allen 12 th May 2008
"I am an aussie and recently was given your book as a birthday present. I'm half way through reading it and just wanted to let you know it's great so far and I really admire the way you have gone about your journey. Your live life to the full attitude I think is fantastic and your determination is awesome."
- Peter Todd
"Thoroughly enjoying the book ..indeed an epic adventure...and I've only got as far as the start of the UK trek. Truly inspiring stuff and a read that's difficult to put down at the moment. I've been inspired to dust off the longboard in the garage and go for a spin... still fail to comprehend how anyone can skate the length of the UK let alone across Australia - the enormity of it is mind blowing."
I'd consider doing this. If the skateboard had an engine. And a roof. And maybe sleeping quarters. Basically, if it was a camper van. But it's not. It's a skate board
- Dave Gorman
The world needs brilliant, imaginative and above all determined people like Dave- and never forget that each blister and fall is a step closer to your dream and to changing the lives of the charities you are raising funds for - good luck buddy!
- Bear Grylls
Dear Dave, I wish you and Elsa every success on these epic journeys! I'm sure that just like the sea, the roads will bring their own set of challenges, but with lows come great highs and really I hope you realise your dreams. Stay strong. Just Go For It!
- Ellen MacArthur
Good luck Dave! Your journey is truly inspiring. I will never complain about my legs being too tired again.
- Tony Hawk
What a brave man you are! Would be happy to help out in Oz. Keep me up to speed with your progress and congratulations on such an admirable effort.
Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy from Neighbours)
We think you are doing an incredible job, your strength and good deed is something to be proud of. Rod's son Liam is 12 years old and a skateboard fan, he says Dave is up there with Tony Hawk.
- Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster
Dave, best of luck with your impossible sounding journey. If you can squeeze in a few half-pipe stunts along the way then we'll really be knocked out! But either way, keep on skating you lovely man you.
- Jonathan Ross
Dave, we think you are mad but thanks for raising all those much needed pounds for the Lowe Syndrome Trust and the other charities. You are a legend, we love you. Jono and the team at BBC London 94.9FM.
- Jono Coleman
Dave's venture deserves backing not only because of the benefits to the three children charities but because he's clearly crazy and needs all the support he can get!
- James Cracknell
Any initiative to encourage sports with kids is a good one, and doing it through such an expressive sport as skateboarding is even better. As we both spent our teen years trying to land kick-flips and method airs we appreciate the freedom, fun and frustration of skating. When we heard about Dave's amazing achievements it really struck home - the image of a lone man skateboarding across a lonely landscape whilst listening to our music is just a perfect notion! So we'd like to wish Dave all the very best to complete his latest challenge happy and unharmed. Good luck!
- Olly and Gale from Turin Brakes