Walk the Planche
Reflections on Happie the Goat’s Guinness World Record
Words by Cole Nowicki
On March 4th, 2012, history was made. Happie the Goat, a Fort Myers, Florida resident, travelled 36 metres on a skateboard. Twenty-five seconds was all it took for her to complete the Guinness World Record setting ride, and in those 25 seconds a goat achieved more than most skateboarders will in their lifetimes.
With subsequent coverage on local NBC-2 and KSN cable networks, Happie became a star. Her Facebook fan page ballooned to 81 likes. Which makes sense, since there is serious prestige that comes with holding a Guinness World Record. Happie is among the pantheon of esteemed skateboarding record holders, like Danny Way, Aldrin Garcia, Micky Iglesias, Mathias Lien, and Dai-Chan the Dog, who all hold the 100 per cent real records for Longest Skateboard Ramp Jump, Highest Ollie On A Skateboard, Longest Skateboarding Coping Grind, Most Skateboard Axle Stalls In 30 Seconds, and Longest Human Tunnel Travelled Through On A Skateboard By A Dog (33 people), respectively.
If these acts aren’t deserving of canonization, I’m not sure what is. It’s institutions like Guinness that remind us of not just human achievement, but the greatness of all creatures. These records are integral to our evolution, regardless of species. How do we know how far we can go if we don’t see the flags planted before our own? They are guides to a higher level of distinction. Will someone else be able to do more axle stalls in 30 seconds? Can another dog travel through a longer human tunnel? Is there a goat out there who can stay steady for 46 metres? I sure hope so. That’s the point.
In essence, that’s the blueprint to our progression as skateboarders. We’re in a constant game of one-upmanship with ourselves. We learn a trick and then try it on bigger and bigger obstacles—breaking our own records, with photos and videos capturing each step. We’re all just goats, trying to ride further and further.
Then there are the special few who take things the farthest. Happie. Foy. Ishod. GOATS among goats. Their names in record books and etched onto trophies. Some might contend that those records, trophies and superlatives aren’t important or in the spirit of skateboarding, but if no one climbs the mountain, we’re going to be stuck at basecamp forever. Goats are built to climb.
Happie hasn’t posted on her Facebook fan page since October 2012. Effectively retiring from skateboarding after taking the world by storm—in with a bang, out with grace. That last post is a photo of her dressed in a cute pumpkin Halloween costume. Another first for a goat? Sometimes greatness is inherent.