Snowboard instructor breaks skateboard record |

Snowboard instructor breaks skateboard record

Kristina Eastham, Of the Record Staff

Martin Drayton tried it because everyone else was doing it. Thirty years ago, when he started skateboarding, he never expected he would set a world record.

But this fall he did. Longtime Park City resident and Park City Mountain Resort employee Drayton, 45, broke a Guinness world record on Oct. 2 for slalom skateboarding.

The challenge came about when a Chinese television company was looking for someone to break a skateboarding record on "Record Breakers," one of its shows. With help from Guinness, a tighter-than-normal course was setup with 50 cones spaced 5 feet, 3 inches apart. An extra challenge was added when the Guinness technical expert explained he wanted a clean run, meaning no cones could be knocked down.

Drayton completed the course, wet after it rained, in 12.83 seconds. While Drayton was expecting a better time from himself, it was good enough to qualify him as the fastest.

"I felt elated when I set the record but a little disappointed as the famous British weather had conspired against us," Drayton explained in an e-mail interview. "In fact, the location chosen in Hyde Park was downright treacherous, with standing puddles of water on the ‘course’ after overnight rain and, as any skater will tell you, rain and urethane do not go together."

Despite the way the wheels lose traction in water, Guinness does not distinguish between times for wet and dry courses. In training, he completed an 11.22-second run. For that reason, and a lack of preparation, Drayton is confident that he can lower his time on a future run.

"Due to the weather conditions in the U.K. this summer and the short notice before the event, I only got in three training sessions, which is also why I know I can smash that time! Maybe I’ll have another crack at it in Park City next summer!" Drayton wrote.

Having only recently turned professional, Drayton placed 12th in the 2006 U.S. Nationals and 2007 European Championships. He intends to continue practicing and competing.

While skating was his first love, Drayton’s talents as a board rider also span to the mountains of Park City. He has been a snowboard instructor at PCMR for eight years, receiving the instructor of the year award in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2006, he organized the Chester’s Blacksmith Shop Main Street Slalom Skateboard Race in Park City. Slalom skating and snowboarding are so similar that it is easy to switch between the two sports, he wrote.

"In March 2002 after teaching in Park City all winter I went to a skateboard slalom World Cup race in San Francisco. I had not stood on a [skate]board for six months due to awesome snow. I decided to ‘snowboard’ the G.S. course and won the World Cup!" Drayton said in the e-mail.

While Drayton is currently living in London, he plans to return to Park City with his family for a ninth season at PCMR.

"I am a Parkite at heart and should be returning permanently this winter," Drayton wrote.

A video of the record-breaking event is available online at

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