Diving into the Depths and Scaling the Scottish Heights: Duncan's Next Epic Challenge

Duncan Does

In the realm of adventure, where the boundaries of possibility are constantly being pushed, Australian Duncan Roberts emerges as a true trailblazer. Prepare to be inspired as he sets his sights on a monumental feat: swimming Loch Ness and climbing Ben Nevis in the same day. In this interview we explore the daring spirit and unwavering determination that fuel his quest for greatness.

Duncan DOES

Last year Duncan longboarded the 1400kms around Iceland for charity, becoming the fifth person in the world to complete the expedition. This month, he's joining us in Scotland, braving the unpredictable weather to swim across the icy waters of Loch Ness and climb Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain, in the same day. The heart of Duncan's upcoming challenge lies a deep-seated passion for pushing boundaries and defying expectations. But make no mistake – the road ahead will be fraught with challenges and obstacles that would deter even the most seasoned adventurers. 

Looking back on your skateboarding journey across Iceland, what were some of the most memorable moments along the way?

"That feeling of nervous/scared energy of setting off on a challenge so large that you can't even wrap your head around it. Not to mention in such a foreign country on the other side of the world! Words can't describe that feeling of "holy sh*t, I'm actually doing this" when I first put wheels to the pavement in Reykjavik.

One of the sections I was warned about by locals was the Oxnadal Pass heading into the north of Iceland. It was a 72km day with most of the morning spent going steeply uphill. It was the most beautiful landscape up amongst the steep snow capped mountains and then you guessed it, the most epic downhill run any skater would dream off. I don't think I pushed for over half an hour at one stage. You really feel alive when you are flying down an Icelandic mountain on a longboard!

The biggest moment of the trip was hearing the news that the whaling season had been called off after the mounting pressure that a collective group of activists (including myself) had put on the Icelandic Government. Ultimately saving the lives of potentially 100's of whales from a gruesome death."

Were there any moments of doubt or difficulty where you questioned whether you could complete the journey? If so, how did you push through?

"No, there were never any doubts that I would complete the challenge. I feel like I have a pretty strong mindset (and probably a little bit of stubborness) when it comes to goals that I set out. Even through injury, I pushed through and made sure I got it done.

There were however, some real testing moments during the trip. One that sticks out was the day I left a place called Bifrost. A little town nestled amongst several volcanoes in the north west of the country and very remote. The weather conditions had worsened (with consistent hail and near zero temps) and a long mountainous pass ahead of me. I spent pretty much most of the day in the worst weather conditions you could imagine, to the point where I started to fear for my own safety and life. Especially when my body started to shut down with back spasms. This was all topped off when a campervan clipped my shoulder with its mirror sending plastic spraying across the road. I was in sheer shock but at that stage the day could not have gotten any worse. So I just kept pushing on forward."

You are undertaking a new challenge this month which involves swimming across Loch Ness, do you have experience swimming in cold water, and how have you prepared?

"I have had some minor experience with cold water, surfing in the Arctic (Northern Norway) and jumping into glacial lagoons in Iceland but it is hard to get real cold water exposure in a place like Australia. I will be in a wetsuit but with minimal thickness so that I can still swim efficiently. So I do feel slightly underprepared and ultimately I wont know how the body will react until I am in that dark water. Thankfully I have some toasty Seashell gear waiting for me on the other side of the loch!"

Can you tell us about the charity you are raising money for?

"This year I will be representing LIVIN.org which is a charity in the mental health space. They go around to schools presenting the strong message that "it ain't weak to speak". With the intention of removing the stigma around talking about mental health.

In a roundabout way, I liken mental health to the Loch Ness. It may appear calm on the surface but underneath could lurk a monster wreaking havoc. For this reason, it made sense to have partnered up with LIVIN for this particular challenge. To show that it is okay to talk about what is going on under the surface."

Lastly, how do you envision this challenge inspiring others to push their own limits and explore the great outdoors?

"That is one of my biggest intentions with these DuncanDOES challenges. To inspire others. I am no endurance athlete nor am I a professional swimmer or skateboarder. I am just like the any other person. But I want to live a life with purpose, integrity and come out the other side of life with one hell of a great story to tell the grandkids! 

My motto is "just do the thing". Don't overthink it, just commit and do it. You might just surprise yourself! And I promise, you will feel the most "alive" you ever have!" 

Find Out More

We're delighted to supply Duncan with kit which will help in protecting him against the elements on the upcoming challenge. Please join us in supporting his cause. For in the end, it is not the destination that defines us, but the journey itself – and the courage to embark on it, one stroke and one step at a time.

Duncan Does
Skating Iceland
Duncan Does

Come and join us!

Join us every Saturday at 10am at the Fittie end of Aberdeen beach for invigorating dips in the sea. The refreshing waters will not only revitalize your body but also uplift your spirits, offering a perfect blend of mental clarity and physical well-being.

For updates on volunteering at beach cleans, joining adventure days, and other upcoming events please see our social media pages.

The ultimate guide to unlocking the full potential of one of nature's most powerful resources. 

Cold water has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to promote health, vitality, and well-being, and its benefits are backed by science. 

Whether you're a seasoned cold water enthusiast or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to harness the power of cold water and take your health and wellness to the next level. 

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