On June 2nd, 2008, two lifelong friends, Arthur Swidzinski and Michael Kosciesza stand wrapped in the familiar surroundings of Downtown Chicago, a place they have called home for most of their 20 years, as they excitedly anticipate their departure on what would be the journey of a lifetime. Their goal: To ride 1000 miles from Chicago to New York City on skateboards accompanied by key crew members Tony Michal & James Lagen. Tony and James will ride bicycles alongside, hauling baby trailers, and filming the journey as it unfolds. Shred America, takes you mile-by-mile as Arthur and Mike travel on skateboards through the smoldering asphalt of the Midwest, get kicked off highways by Ohio state troopers, and endure the endless ups and downs of the Appalachian Mountains. Witness what it was like for the four young adventure seekers to set out and discover the American spirit. While miles are just markers, it’s the direction they went in, that tells the story.
User Reviews: I caught Shred America at the Chicago premiere last year going in excited as someone who grew up skateboarding and excited by the idea of skating half way across the country. But it turned out to be a bigger story than the stunt, which made the film that much more interesting.
Shred America is more than some cameras following the guys as they skateboard from Chicago to New York, documenting what happens in the beginning, middle and end. It’s a great reflection story that plays out like a film rather than a skate video. This is most likely the product of shelving the documentary and footage years before actually making the film.
In taking time to think about what happened during the journey and since then, the filmmakers/skaters found their true story. When it premiered, they marketed Shred America as "how not to skateboard from Chicago to New York." Being able to look back at their feat honestly, the filmmakers’ pointed their fingers at them selves, making their ride the viewer’s ride. The film acknowledges the mistakes, mis-steps and triumphs of their silly idea. It’s funny. It’s wild. It’s captivating. And all they had to do was sit on the idea for 10 years to get there.
Like anything else that gets better with age, Shred America was worth the wait. And now that their journey settled and matured, it’s ready for everyone to have a taste.