Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Hop on board Welter’s long road to Guinness

Longboarder begins solo expedition around the U.S.

May 6, 2015

By Vesna Brajkovic

It’s 11,908 miles and a year-and-a-half versus one guy on a longboard.

With a single backpack and a mission to promote clean water across the country, Whitewater resident Wyatt Welter is gearing up to circumnavigate the United States on his longboard, a journey – that once completed – will make him a world record holder.

“In order for a change to occur something extraordinary has to happen,” Welter said.

Covering about 22 miles a day, Welters plan is start in west, go down through Key West, the southernmost point of the continental U.S., and then to continue East before making his way back to Whitewater. He will break the Guinness World Record 30 miles north of Miami.

Welter will launch his trek at the home base, Jersey Mike’s – located in Whitewater, 1116 W. Main St. The kick-off party will be held from 12 to 1:30 p.m. on May 9. Jersey Mike’s is offering a special; attendees receive free chips and drink with the purchase of a sub. For Welter, it’s unquestionably going to be the philly cheesesteak.

Training to cross 32 states and 300 cities, isn’t a task that can be taken lightly. The Whitewater campus roads were the first Welter felt on a longboard, and his loyalty to them holds strong. Welter has been training exclusively in the UW-Whitewater fitness center for the past year by practicing yoga and participating in other fitness classes, as well as riding up to 20 miles three times a week.

“It wasn’t until I found out that Aaron Rodgers does yoga that I thought ‘Well, maybe I can do this’,” Welter laughed, not being able to hide cheesehead pride.


His yoga instructor, Warhawk Fitness Student Manager and Instructor for Group Fitness Danielle Hansen, said she was honored to be a part of his training and journey and tried to implement requested poses when she heard the news about his expedition.

“I was amazed when he told me what he was doing this,” junior Hansen said. “I had never heard of anyone longboarding for that long before.”

Different conditions are going to be the biggest struggle, Welter said. Being fair-skinned, sunscreen and protective clothing are going to be a priority as he is riding through the summer and the desert.

The biggest challenge Welter said he’s going to face is something he calls metamorphosis.

“You go through so many miles and you’re doing the same thing over and over again,” Welter said. “Your body is breaking down and getting used to the routine. Things hurt so bad that you kind of have to force yourself to stop. The hardest part of this trip is the first 1,000 miles. Because it’s going to be so much pain, it’s going to be so mentally tough, I need to get over that hump.”

Many people are on board with Welter through his journey, including Bill Iliffe of Iliffee Truck Co., who donated trucks and will send parts throughout the journey as needed, Orangatang Wheels, who donated wheels, and others who have offered up their homes for him to stay along the way.

Welter started a business with co-owner Mat Krahn called Four Nuts By Nature, which sells organic and sustainable laundry detergent called soap nuts. The soap nuts are harvested by Grow Nepal, a non-profit in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains.

The Nepal region was recently devastated by an earthquake, which was the most powerful in the area since 1934, killing “well over” 3,300 people, according to the Red Cross.

Although the business will not be affected in terms of supply, the supplier in Nepal had deaths in his family from the earthquake and the village wherIMG_8733e the soap nuts are harvested was devastated. Welter said it’s a horrible tragedy and feels for the people affected.

The adventure-loving longboarder will carry along a sample of soap nuts in his pack to raise awareness and spread the word about the product and the mission of clean water.

“In the U.S. we have what seems to be a unlimited source of this life sustaining sustenance,” Krahn wrote on the Four Nuts By Nature blog about the mission of his friend and business partner’s expedition. “While in other countries, children go without water and die of thirst, or are infected by the parasites that reside within their drinking water.  This makes us here in the U.S. incredibly blessed, however, we must be incredibly responsible and not take what we have been given for granted.”

The redhead is no stranger to riding for a cause.

In 2011, Welter and his friend Jerod Gaches took on a 2,600 mile longboard trek from Whitewater to Southern California in coordination with the Keep-A-Breast Foundation. But this new mission – known as the “What’s Saponin Tour” – is something you can’t entirely prepare for, according to Welter.

“My passion comes from my love for people,” Welter said. “I really have this fire that burns inside me that wants to express all these love that I have for the human race. I think we’re incredible and I think that we can really do whatever we put our minds to. People are extraordinary and we can move mountains with our minds. If we just put our minds together, anything is possible.”

Welter credits a lot of who is to his experience in the U.S. Army. As part of the 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum, New York, 187 Alpha Company, Welter served one tour in Afghanistan where he was launched from a Humvee, landing on his head.

Welter spent time recovering in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. where he experienced spouts with black outs and memory loss.

“I would have to credit the training I’ve been through and the experiences that I’ve had through the military to the person I have become today,” Welter said. “Without those I would have never thought I’d be able to get to California on the first trek. I thought, if I can get through Afghanistan, I can certainly make it to California on a longboard.”

Welter will be recording his solo expedition in a personal journal, through blogs and Facebook posts and photos.


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Hop on board Welter’s long road to Guinness