Photo credit: BRD Sports
Mountainboarding is the extreme sport that combines the fluidity of snowboarding with the culture and tricks of skateboarding. First pioneered by James Stanley, mountainboarding was initially created when Stanley made a snowboarding trip to the Matterhorn only to find it devoid of any snow. Not willing to walk back down the mountain on foot, Stanley made some slight modifications to his snowboard equipment, and raced down the earthy terrain. Since its conception nearly a century ago, mountainboarding has become a much more established and technologically advanced sport.
Nowadays mountainboarding uses a very high tech and bulky looking skateboard. Complete with thick wheels, increased shock absorption, and often a motor hidden beneath the deck, mountain boards are perfectly constructed to carry riders over aggressive terrain at high speeds. Since the rider can often gain insane momentum and leave the earth for seconds at a time, there are generally bindings affixed to the deck that hold the rider in place. This is where the snowboarding aspect of the sport comes into play. The world championships bring mountain boarders from all around the world to a carefully carved track where they demonstrate their speed and agility on the board.
Not unlike many extreme sports, mountain boarders often attempt and land tricks that seem nearly impossible and downright dangerous. Mountainboarding is no exception, and riders of mountainboards often attempt tricks that many would cringe at. The tricks are made all the more dangerous because of the terrain below the boarder and because the rider is restrained to the board, unable to free their legs in case of an emergency landing. The terrain below the mountainboarder is generally comprised of dirt, gravel, grass, and even some rocks. Although those that make the tracks attempt to create a smooth and safe surface, the sport is usually rugged and dangerous.
There is a large worldwide audience for and community of mountainboarders. The sport has grown tremendously in recent decades and will continue to expand over time. If you’re a snowboarder, skateboarder, or adrenaline junkie, this is definitely a cool extreme sport to get involved with.