Freewheeling: Solitary skateboard journey across America’s wilderness (PHOTO, VIDEO)

A skateboarder’s journey from California to Mexico has taken him across 700 miles (1,127km) of serene, spiritual landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty, with a documentary on the way. RT caught up with Clay Shank to get a glimpse into the experience.

The skateboarder/filmmaker has released a cool film, celebrating the upcoming documentary - entitled ‘Coastal Native’. It’s a revealing look into America’s nature and how magical solitude can be in such surroundings.

Coastal Native from Clay Shank on Vimeo.

The journey that followed the film took Clay six weeks and started out at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, and finishing up in Tijuana, Mexico, lasting from late summer into mid-fall last year.

“My greatest intention was to make a movie, a video portrait of my home state, California. And being out on a skateboard, traveling so slow, of course, provides a very intimate perspective on the land and opens one up to be able to connect with people on the street and wherever they are,” Clay told RT.

Screenshot from video video by Clay Shank

“Once I got up into the mountains… there’s no place more divine for the human spirit to wander. So from Yosemite to Lone Pine… it’s an epic adventure through some of the most beautiful landscape that I think we have in the United States… so blessed to have it in my home state. I felt great. There were a lot more people on the John Muir Trail than I expected, which was a shift that my friend and I had to accept,” he continues. This, according to Clay, went against how he initially pictured the calm and solitude of the journey, which turned into a “unique, transformative” experience in the end.

Screenshot from video video by Clay Shank

Coastal Native, as the video is entitled, is a fictional account of the type of journey Clay Shank dreams about. Though not entirely self-propelled, it is part of the inspiration that led to the 700-mile skate trip.

image from

He’s now making a full documentary about the type of experience most only ever talk about having and never get around to. In the little bits Clay uploads one can glimpse the striking natural beauty of the United States, as well as conversations with people he meets along the way.

Screenshot from video video by Clay Shank

Clay slept rough throughout the journey, waking up to new sights each day in his sleeping bag, with his modest set of essentials neatly stacked nearby. He subsisted on peanut butter sandwiches, canned fish and fast food throughout the month-and-a-half journey.

Screenshot from video video by Clay Shank

His website,, provides on-going video and photo logs of his ambitious undertakings. He’s also got an Instagram account for you to check out @clay_shank.