by Tom Driedonks

This year, it will be the 7th edition of the Dutch Ultraskate at Wheelerplanet Spaarndam. I’ve participated over the last four years, and every year I was amazed by the enormous distances that are skated, records that keep on breaking each year, and new stories that emerge during each year’s edition. But apart from these year-to-year observations and personal anecdotes, I was really curious to see whether any trends could be deducted from each year’s results. Lennart was happy enough to provide me with the raw data of each of the years, and I put in some work to put together all the data to perform some analyses.

Let’s start with the statistics per edition. Since 2013, The number of participants has increased steadily until it hit the ceiling in 2017. The number of ladies on the track was highest in 2015 and 2016, but showed a slight decline in the two years after. In line with the increase in number of participants, the number of total kilometers that are shredded each edition have increased over the years. 2018 was a great Ultraskate year, in which 26,992 total kilometers were devoured collectively. The average distance skated per contestant has also increased over the years. This trend seems to be comparable between men and women. Together, this shows an overall increase in the amount of stoke, we are encouraging each other to push further every year. The current trend is that each consecutive year, each participant skates 20 km more on average. This doesn’t seem much, but that’s an overall increase over the total 100 participants. In line with this trend, the number of people that reach the magical 200 mile mark is steadily on the rise. Don’t Trip will soon need to scale up their production of 200 mile trophy wheels, or so it seems 😉

OK, so those are the collective stats, but how about your individual accomplishments? Of everyone who participated more than once in the Dutch Ultraskate, I calculated their average distance and standard deviation (which is a measure for the variation from year-to-year). The 200 mile mark is indicated with a red dashed line; approximately 25 men and Saskia have an average above this line. I also calculated the total distances per rider over all 6 editions. It’s not surprising that Rick has skated the most total kilometers in all editions combined, with a whopping 2772 km total. Runner-up is Lennart with 2025 km. That’s ~700 km less but don’t forget that Lennart participated in Team Vandraboys in 2016, and therefore misses one year for the total statistics. Rosanne has skated the longest distance of all the ladies, with 1143 km total. Have a look at your own totals and average results, it may help set your goals for this year and find skaters who skate comparably to you.

Then, there’s a group of “Ultraskate-addicts” who are around almost every year. How are they doing over the years? I selected the skaters that participated 4 times or more, and plotted their year-to-year distances. The top 10 skaters are in the top graph, the following 10 are in the next. Is the maximum distance that is physically possible in sight? Rick’s distances have leveled off in 2018, although he was ‘taking it easy’ and helped Lennart and Stan reach the 300-mile mark. Harrison was very close to Lennart and Stan in 2016 and 2017 but ran into trouble last year. Shumie was following closely behind, but has had a dip in 2018. Ralf has been steadily pushing over the years with very solid distances, which is a remarkable feat in itself! The rest is too variable to draw any strong conclusions on, but life has its ups and downs, and so has the Ultraskate. I’m curious to find out what this year’s edition will bring, whether these trends will continue and which records will be broken this time. See you there!