A British skateboarder claimed a world record for skating yesterday after riding across Australia from Perth on the west coast to the eastern city of Brisbane, a journey of more than 5,823 km.

David Cornthwaite endured searing outback temperatures and freezing nights and dodged poisonous snakes in his five-month skateboarding journey across the breadth of Australia, wearing out 13 pairs of shoes and five sets of wheels.

His journey sets a new world record, smashing the previous mark of 4,830 km set by US Jack Smith in 2003, said Mr Cornthwaite's support crew in a statement.

The 27-year-old skateboarder set off from Perth on the Western Australia coast in August 2006, crossing the vast outback Nullarbor Plain, and then skating through major eastern cities of Melbourne, Sydney and finally Brisbane.

He only took up skateboarding in March 2005. "It's really been hard sometimes and I am not going to say that I haven't wanted to throw my skateboard away a few times, but here we are now," Mr Cornthwaite told local radio.

Crossing the featureless Nullarbor Plain, Mr Cornthwaite said he had to avoid poisonous snakes at times as he pushed along the seemingly, endless outback road.

"It was empty, it was a long stretch, it was very hot and there were barely any turns," he said.

"So I had to put my head down and really try not to focus on the end of the road, purely because I couldn't see it."

To prepare for his Australian journey, which raised money for British and Australian charities, Mr Cornthwaite skateboarded the length of Britain, a distance of about 1,500 km, said his crew.

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