The Longboardsman: Iraqi veteran will skate 101 miles on Strand in one day

by Garth Meyer

He could never do an ollie or a kick-flip. He was more of a cross-country skater.

Now married, an army veteran and a law school graduate, Andrew Goldsmith is preparing to ride a longboard 101 miles in one day to benefit the International Medical Corps for his work in Ukraine.

His feat is scheduled for August 7, in the early morning he will ride from his home in South Redondo to Torrance Beach, up the Strand and push to Malibu, and back, and again and again, to Marina Del Roy and back.

A veteran of a 37-day skate down the California coast and a three-day jaunt through the Florida Keys, he’s yet to complete a one-day project.

“I’ve never pushed myself like that. It seems almost impossible, so I just wanted to train for it, give it a shot. I’ve never gone this far.

He estimates it will take 14 to 18 hours.

Goldsmith now runs practice runs on his standard 42-inch longboard.

“I had a great cheeseburger on the Santa Monica pier when I was training last week,” he said.

He grew up in Redondo Beach, a four-year-old junior lifeguard, and graduated from Redondo Union High School in 2003. After a rough year at El Camino College, Goldsmith enlisted in the military, later serving two tours in Iraq, in 2006 and 2008. .

“The difference between night and day,” he said before and after deploying troops in 2007.

After five years as a soldier, he went to the University of Hawaii (Manoa) for a philosophy degree, then to Pepperdine for law school.

Junior lifeguards were a taste of the physical labor to come.

“It was such a tough and good program for the kids,” he said. “Back at school, you could always spot the junior lifeguards. Fit and tanned.

For his Aug. 7 ride, Goldsmith chose to support International Medical Corps, asking that the funds he raises go towards his work in Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

“They’re reputable, big enough that you’ve heard of them, and they do the most good there,” he said. “I have always had the greatest respect for the medical field. As an infantry soldier, I was more on the side of destruction.

Goldsmith’s Strand training continues this week with walks through jujitsu class in Torrance and a long skate of the entire Strand on Saturday – to Will Rogers State Beach in Malibu and back.

He pays particular attention to drinking water and “constantly eating” to avoid cramps.

In the end, Goldsmith hopes to tap into his strengths.

“I’ve always been bad at figure skating, but what I could do was move all over town,” he said.

A GoFundMe page has been created for donations, “Skateboarding 101 Miles for Ukraine” on

https://gofund.me/fb327759 Emergency room

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