How I Got Into Mountainboarding
Find out how a few mountainboarders got into it.
Ian, the main man at KentATB
I got into mountainboarding with my friend Sam who snowboards. He wanted to ride more and not just once a year on holiday and although I was aware of mountainboards and always fancied it, I’d never bought a board due to my commitment to the sport of bouldering. But as my interest in climbing waned I wanted something else.
I had skateboarded as a kid, and always loved the outdoors so mountainboarding seemed to fit perfectly. Sam and I bought a couple of Scrub boards from the internet and Sam found the original KentATB website, which was really useful.
After we’d been riding for a couple of years and had explored all over Kent finding loads of new spots we decided to get the KentATB website up and running again. Despite having no previous knowledge of web design I wanted to build a site that would serve as a complete guide to the area, and a point of contact for riders.
Emmeline, the mountainboarding film maker
In 2006 a friend bought a Mountainboard as an alternative to surfing. Three of us took it to the park with one set of protective pads to share and as soon as I strapped in I fell in love! I felt a mental calm, and at the same time exhilarated. Within a week I had my own board. I had no one to teach me and I fell off a lot.
A couple of old copies of Scuz magazine came with my board and I read them cover to cover. I trawled the internet for mountainboarding videos so that I could learn new moves. It took me 3 months to learn how to powerslide but I loved it so much I worked it out eventually. Mountainboard Magazine sent me a copy of the BFC´s “Filmogenic”, which inspired me further and is still my favourite DVD.
I tried so hard to get other people into it where I lived in Suffolk, really difficult when there aren´t many hills. I wrote articles for local magazines, set up blogs and started filming people trying it in the park. There was quite a crowd of us at one point.
I discovered there were boarders in Norfolk and was invited to meet up with them. I was so nervous on the hour and a half drive to the edge of Norwich all on my lonesome. I am painfully shy but the idea of meeting more experienced boarders pushed me to do it. I walked into the woods at Ringlands to find some “Flying Squirrels” and some visiting boarder friends. I was instantly made welcome. I was blown away by how friendly and supportive everyone was. I haven´t looked back from that moment.
Finding the courage to step onto a board affected the whole of my life, giving me confidence to try new things, change my career, move away from Suffolk and meet new people.
I still fall occasionally, I´m often scared, but I love riding my board as much as the first time. I´ve improved my skills so much thanks to the help from my boarding friends. I love the lifestyle that goes with it and I´ve found my family.
Adrian, mountainboard blogger at The Dirt Box
I first found out about mountainboarding in late summer of 2006 when my mum bought for my 28th birthday a two hour ‘learn to mountainboard’ session at the (now sadly closed) Kelstedge Mountain Board Centre (KMC). She’d seen mountainboarding being demonstrated at a county fair over the summer with ‘have a go’ sessions taking place and thought that it would be something that I’d enjoy doing. Within a few weeks I’d found a second-hand but virtually new MBS Comp 16 board through ebay which with cheap pads and a helmet cost around £200 all in.
In June 2009 KMC closed down but for me, regular freeriding still goes on all round the Midlands with a board living in the boot of the car just in case I stumble upon a nice looking track or feature on my travels. The abundance of public land and natural features in the local region means that there is plenty to explore and occasionally, other like-minded mountainboarders who want to join me. For me, mountainboarding combines all that is good about going out into the countryside, getting some fresh air and getting away from real life.
Ben, the young freestyler
A couple of my friends had an awesome new type of board, which they called a mountain board; I had to get one as well. That Christmas my parents bought me one and I was so thrilled. Then a few more of my friends got them until there were about six of us.
First we mountain boarded on very small hills, which I found incredibly hard at the time, then we found a steeper hill very close to where we all live. We were going out everyday in the summer holidays, hanging out with my friends and doing this awesome new sport. One day one of my friends brought a small plastic jump down. I had never done a jump on a mountain board before but after a few tries I managed to ride over it. This new jump was so fun. We started to have little “jump” competitions that I always lost, then we started to move the jump around our village and we found a few other spots.
I remember when my friends first told me about this centre called Bugsboarding. It sounded great so that weekend we headed there and it was amazing. I thought mountain boarding was just about going down a hill but there, I found out there was much more to do. There were small jumps, big jumps, drops, grinds, a boarder cross, foam pit, half pipe and much more. When I got home I looked at some freestyle videos of mountain boarding and that´s when I got extremely interested.
Since then I´ve been mountain boarding three or four years; learnt loads of new tricks; made loads of new friends; and broken basically every part of my board at least twice and my wrist once. But mainly I´ve had a lot of fun.
Mark, fits mountainboarding round his busy life
I got into mountain boarding through kite landboarding. Frustrated by poor weather conditions, me and my riding buddy found a suitable hill (Cleeve hill; unbeknown to us the birthplace of UK mountainboarding) to ride our boards on. One very wet muddy session later we were both hooked. We spent most of our time falling over, but by the end we were pumped up on adrenaline, soaked through from head to foot, and grinning like idiots! A couple of years down the line and our interest in mountainboarding has become more of an an obsession, and I still can’t believe that something that keeps you fit can be so much fun!