Mountain boarding is an extreme sport that is like skateboarding off road, hence it also being known as all terrain boarding or land boarding.
What is Mountain Boarding?
Mountain boarding can often be done at ski resorts out of season when there is no snow. One of the advantages of going mountain boarding at a ski resort is that you can use the ski lifts to go up the mountain.
Mountain Board Design
Getting some air on a mountain board
A mountain board is like a skateboard, but the deck is like that of a longboard, being larger and wider. The mountain board has shocks designed to take the impact of the terrain. This is helped by the wheels which have inflatable tyres.
The style of mountain board riding depends on the wheel size. Smaller mountain board wheels are the best choice for freestyle riding and jumping. Larger wheels are more useful to the downhill mountain board rider; enabling the rider to go faster with more stability when travelling at speed.
Some mountain boards have bindings, similar to those on snowboards. The bindings are designed to hold the rider and mountain board together while allowing room to move your feet.
Mountain Board Riding Styles
The two main styles of mountain board riding are downhill and freestyle.
Downhill mountain boarding is done on a variety of terrain, from ski resorts, when the snow has melted away, to downhill mountain bike courses. Mountain board racing is usually either slalom where two riders weave between poles, boarder cross, which is a category of racing that is similar to BMX courses with berms and jumps, or timed one man downhill.
Freestyle mountain board riding consists of ramp jumping; performing tricks which can be rotations (180, 360 and more degree turns), inverted tricks (back flips, front flips), board grabs (tail grab and nose grab) and one foot variations (or even no foot variations like supermans).
Some mountain board riders use a power kite to provide traction. This is known as kite landboarding. The power kite can provide enough pull to get some air and perform tricks. Experienced mountain board riders tend to prefer large kites and small boards to maximize their airtime.
There is a yearly mountain boarding championship ran by the ATBA-UK, and has stages held at mountain boarding centres throughout the country. There are also a number of one off events including a tournament at the Isle of Wight Air Festival.
There are a number of publicly accessible places to go mountain boarding, as well as a number of dedicated mountain boarding centres. Mountain boarding centres will hire equipment, as well as having connections with the kite boarding suppliers.
Ivyleaf Mountain Boarding Centre
Ivyleaf Mountain Boarding Centre has been open near Bude in Cornwall since 2004 and is getting bigger each year. The mountain board course at Ivyleaf is ideal for both beginners and experts alike, with jumps and rails of varying difficulties depending upon your mountain board experience. If you”re only just starting out in mountain boarding, the on-site instructors can give you all of the training you need to get you on your feet and off down the slopes – simply book a lesson prior to your visit and they will do the rest. All of the instructors hold the ATB Instructors” Certificate and are fully trained in first-aid.
The mountain boarding facilities include:
- A teaching area designed for beginners which is safely secluded
- A beginners track with berms and a jump to ease you in
- A large practice area for carving
- Freestyle track
- A new and improved Boarder-X track that has doubled in size
- Slope style track
- Foam Pit to practice more difficult tricks.
- In the office they stock magazines, stickers, clothing and refreshments