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Showing posts with label Mountain boarding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mountain boarding. Show all posts

KiteWing - An Awesome Toy For All Board Sports

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Kitewing SK8 Ice & Snow Sail

If you've been following this blog, you know that being ExtraHyperActive, I love all types of boards sports : snowboarding, surfing, longboarding, windsurfing, skimboarding... You also know that a few years ago I started doing kiteboarding and kite landboarding. All these boardsports are extremely fun, and offer something for everyone. But I never stop looking for more ways to challenge myself, have fun, and create unforgettable experiences !

Recently I came came across a pretty awesome toy that can be used with any board, and more !

Kitewing SK8 Ice & Snow Sail

Kitewing (aka Skimbat) is a wing shaped kite. Many people call it “the wing” for short, just because of its shape.

Mountain Boarding At North SeaTac BMX Park

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If you've been following my blog for sometime, you've probably read about my unsuccessful attempt to descend the famous Mount Si in Issaquah on my mountain board.
I am still trying to find the right type of terrain ( like a hiking trail that is relatively steep, wide, gravel, not very rocky ) along I-90 to give it another shot.

But since mountain boards are extremely rugged, you can ride over any terrain imaginable: single-track mountain biking trails, on dirt BMX courses, in skate parks, on steep grass hillsides, on gravel roads or city sidewalks.

Mountain boarding BPA trail in Federal Way

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We expected La Nina to be pretty intense, with temperatures in the single digits and lot's of snow in the mountains. But I don't think anybody ( including Seattle officials ) expected snow in November, and arctic weather in December. Washington State and Federal Way in particular got snow off and on. The weather was so frigid that the snow didn't melt away for a few weeks.

I, personally, had no problem with that. The next day after the snow fall, I headed out to BPA trail in Federal Way, one of the best places in our state for hiking, biking, and now, my favorite place for mountain and longboarding.

This Summer Try Mountain Boarding !

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Dirt doesn't melt !

That's why mountainboarding is a great alternative to snowboarding ! In my previous post, I mentioned several ski resorts that allowed mountainboarding during summer on their property.

But a great thing about mountain boarding is that you can do it anywhere there is a hill ! Dirt, grass, pavement, bike trail, a skateboard park... anywhere will work ! Where's there's a hill there's a way to enjoy the thrill of mountain boarding.

In South King County, a great place to carve a few turns is Celebration Park in Federal Way.

BPA trail that starts in the park is a 3.6 mile paved path with many hills of various sizes. You can ride on the pavement, or you can find a few dirt trails. One of the soccer fields in the park offers small grassy hills that are fun to ride on for your little ones.

Another great option is to combine hiking and mountain boarding ! Many wide logging roads or mountain biking single tracks ( like the 3.7-mile Preston Railroad Trail on Tiger Mountain ) will work great for an easy hike and a fast and fun ride down.

If walking uphill is not your thing, how about  'horse boarding' ? Check out this video to see what its like to be towed behind a horse at 35 miles per hour.

Kite Landboarding At Chambers Bay, Tacoma

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Though I've been  kiteboarding for a couple years now, I haven't had a chance to try landboarding ( or flyboarding ) - flying a kite with a mountain board.

At first, as a beginner, I was talked out of learning/practicing kiteboarding on the grass due to the possibility of injury.
Also, there are not many spots around Seattle area to practice landboarding. The best places to try lanboarding are Ocean Shores and Long Beach, both have consistent winds, and miles of packed smooth sand.

Recently, I was invited to Chambers Bay in  Tacoma to give landboarding a try.

I couldn't  believe  Tacoma had something that beautiful ! Once the site of a quarry and cement plant, Chambers Bay has been artfully restored to create a pleasant park and Scottish links style golf course. The park also offers  beautiful  views of  the  Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and nearby islands.

Though already a popular beach among kitesurfers, only a few people come here to fly their kites on a mountain board.

Unlike what I was told before, landboarding was easier, safer, and thus, more enjoyable to learn comparing to kiteboarding/kitesurfing in the water.


The Puyallup Fair Fun : Zorbing, Mountain Boarding and Bull Riding for 3 year olds

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I really do hate it all : traffic jams, long lines, unhealthy foods, unreasonable prices... Yet, every year I'd go there because its a "family tradition", I'd get disappointed, and would swear I'll never go back again...

However, this year was different...

In addition to a bunch of lame fair events, there were a few that got me especially excited !

This is the first year in our state when mountain boarding was introduced to "the Average Joe".
MBS brought the excitement of Freestyle Mountainboarding to the Fair with its unique Pro Ramp set-up, and I think it was a pretty big success ! With a lot of high-flying action, the show attracted a big crowd every time it was on.

I mentioned Zorbing a few years back, and this year I was absolutely stoked to see it live at the Fair ! Though it was just one of the variations ( sometimes called " hydro-zorbing "), according to my son it was awesome !

What kind of a father would put his 4 year old on a "raging sheep" that's as unpredictable as a bull ? A loving one !

Until this day I've never heard of Mutton Bustin', but as soon as I saw a video, I knew I'd love to try it ! Too bad I wasn't under 60lbs anymore, but I knew somebody who was !

"Son, you wonna ride a sheep ? "
"Are you nuts ? Why the hell would I want to do that ? OK, whatever, I'll ride your stupid sheep..."
"That's the spirit ! I'm so proud of you !"

I'm sure that's the dialog we'd have if he was older, but at 4 you don't really have a choice... Just kidding, he said "no" to many rides I suggested, but when I showed him the video, and explained what he would have to do, quietly but firmly he said "yes".

And for me, it was the BIGGEST moment in my life !

Horse-Powered ....Mountain Boarding

If you've been following my blog, you know what mountain boarding is all about: basically you take a snowboard-like deck with air-filled knobby tires ( mountain board ), find a dirt road or a grassy hill, and off you go...

But Daniel Fowler-Prime from UK, took mountain boarding a step further :
Thrill seekers are competing in Britain's latest extreme sports craze of 'horse boarding' - where participants are towed behind a horse at 35mph on an off-road skateboard.

Professional stuntman Daniel Fowler-Prime, 31, invented the sport five years ago after he strung a rope between his off-road 'mountain board' and a horse. Now he has developed the daredevil stunt into a fully fledged sport and is looking forward to hosting the UK's first ever horse boarding championships this summer.

According to Daniel :

"A lot of skill is involved and the horse rider and boarder have to work together because if they don't the boarder goes flying. And you have to be prepared to take a few knocks because falling off has been compared by one board rider to getting out of a car at 30mph."

What do you think ? Sounds like another case of "animal cruelty" ?

To me it looks awesome !

Want to learn more about mountain boarding ?
Check out this category !

Summer mountain boarding at your local ski area

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Ski season is almost over. Do you know what's going on during summer at your local ski resort/area ? Not much...You know why ?

60% of U.S. ski resorts operate on National Forest land. Which means that to use public land, resort owners sign Special Use Permits which allow winter use - skiing and skiing related activities. In the summer time, many resorts shut down or have significantly reduced operations.

This year, certain senators are hoping to pass a bill that would change permitting rules to allow ski resorts to expand summer operations and increase year-round business. Their Ski Area Recreation Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 would amend the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to allow mountain biking, concerts, and certain other activities to occur on public lands throughout the year.

Last year, Crystal Mountain ( WA ) started offering Summertime Sunset Dinners on top of Crystal Mountain at Washington state’s highest restaurant. And this year, beginning in June, 2011, Stevens Pass will start construction of the first official mountain bike park ( besides Duthie Hill).

When mountain boarding started making its way in US, and finally has developed into a sport and a culture all its own, many mountain resorts started offering their slopes to mountain boarders during the warmer months.

According to MountainBoard.net these resorts allow mountain boarding during summer months:

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Beach Mountain Resort in North Carolina

Fernie Alpine Resort ( British Columbia )

I really hope that one of WA ski area will see the potential in mountain boarding and will try to promote this sport inn our state, becoause some of us can't wait for snow:

Mountain boarding ( sort of ) Mount Si

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I am obsessive-compulsive ( or just obsessive). If I want something I will always get it. As soon as I saw the first video of mountain boarding I knew I wanted to try it.

Couldn't afford a brand new MBS Atom 95X so I got something cheaper - MBS Jeep Renegade Mountain Board for just $80 ( with a hand break ) !

I figured , it's a mountain board, it belongs in the mountains. So I took it to the nearest " mountain " - Mount Si.

If you are an avid hiker or an "outdoorsman ", you've probably "done " that mountain. If not, shame on you. Not only this is one of the most challenging peaks along I-90, it's also, sort of, a local land mark ( it was featured in a popular TV show " Twin Peaks " ). In short, it's a great hike !

Great for hiking. Not so great for mountain boarding ( or even hiking with a mountain board for that matter).

MBS Jeep Renegade Mountain Board weighs about 16 lbs, plus a hydration pack, plus rocks, stumps, stairs, snow, 3700 feet vertical elevation ( can be wrong here )= ...very unpleasant trip.

The only cool thing about the trip was people I met along the way. You should have seen their reaction ! : " What are you going to do with that thing ?" , "Are you going to ride it down ?" , " What is that thing ? "

Next time I will find something easier to ride . Wide logging road or a grassy hill, or may be a BMX park.

Any suggestions ? Dare to try ?


What is mountain boarding ?

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Last few snowboarding days of this season I spent at Summit Central's Terrain Park. I saw a video on Youtube, and thought I could still compete with those kids. I mean , how hard can Ollie , Nollie or Shifty can be ? An hour later, with broken board, all bruised up ( I think I had a concussion )... I didn't give up. The problem was, the next 5-6 months without waist-deep powder, death-defying drops, high-flying half-pipes and a board would make me go nuts.

Then I read this:

In 1992, after having snowboarded at Heavenly Valley Resort in Northern California, friends Jason Lee, Patrick McConnell and Joel Lee went looking for an alternative for the summer season. Not finding anything suitable they co-founded MountainBoardSports (MBS) in 1993 to build boards that they could use to carve down hills.
Sounds like a plan ! But what exactly is mountain boarding ?

Mountainboarding is essentially snowboarding but done on grass, dirt or pavement. With a mountainboard your terrain is limitless and you can ride ALL YEAR LONG! Although it draws a lot of similarity from snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding, mountainboarding has developed into a sport in it’s own right with it’s own culture and history and includes racing, freestyle, freeride and kiting disciplines.

The board itself is part snowboard and part skateboard. Mountainboards include a snowboard-like deck, adjustable turning system, air-filled knobby tires and an open-heel binding system. Also it can be outfitted with a hand-held V brake.

I checked out the prices, and ...it's not cheap. MBS boards ( "the founder " of the sport in U.S ) range from $ 150 -500+.
Amazon.co wasn't cheaper.

MBS Atom 95X with new F1 bindings and brake goes for $ 160

Can't wait to get my hand on one of those ATB's ( All-Terrain Board ) !