El Jebel man attempting to break own world record on a motorized skateboard
Vaughn Shafer knows his way around a world record. But the longtime El Jebel resident doesn’t want to stand pat knowing he already holds a few of them — he’s out to break his own records.
“I look forward to doing something that’s never been done,” Shafer said. “There was a lot of designing and research and everything that went into it with all my guys and we pulled it off. Everyone is looking forward to Saturday and hopefully setting a world record again.”
Shafer, 55, a blacksmith who owns Iron Arts in El Jebel, will be among the shows to watch Saturday at the Aviation Expo at the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport. Around noon on Saturday, he’ll hop on his custom motorized skateboard and attempt to break his own speed record.
He hopes to reach 80 miles per hour in an eighth of a mile.
“Every year I come up with something crazy,” said Shafer, a former Hollywood stuntman. “I ran 68 in an eighth, which isn’t that fast for me, but I was only in third gear. I have five gears on this thing. I’m hoping I can bang through them in the eighth.”
Shafer has previously gone 70 mph on a “skateboard,” considered a world record over an eighth of a mile. He also owns the world record over a quarter of a mile, going 75 miles per hour. He hopes to break both of those records with his new ride.
His older skateboard had a smaller, 125 cubic centimeters engine. His new ride, which he tested for the first time last weekend, is 250cc with five speeds.
“I got things dialed in. I just want to get a couple more runs on it so we got all the bugs figured out,” Shafer said ahead of some final test runs on Thursday night. “I’ve got a 250 Yamaha on the back end of my new one, and it’s a screamer.”
Shafer totaled his last ride while at an airshow in Grand Junction two years ago, when he hit an arresting cable laid out across the runway, which he called “a whole big mix up.” He hit the cable at 70 miles per hour and thankfully walked away without serious injury. After all, the former stuntman knows how to crash.
His skateboard was essentially finished.
Shafer wears a special suit, complete with Kevlar fiber, to protect him when the worst should occur.
“If I was to take a fall, being 55 years old I got to make sure I can get up and walk away,” Shafer said.
Saturday’s expo costs $20 (kids 12 and under are free). The event runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and includes food, music, games, airplane rides and skydiving demos. There will be numerous aircraft and helicopters on display.
Not to mention, at noon you can see Shafer attempt to break his own world record.
When Jamie Schulte revs her engine at the Red Bull Romaniacs, she’ll carry some confidence. This is, after all, a woman who skateboarded from Santa Barbara to Mexico, a “pretty impressive, gnarly 16-day trip,” just because.
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