Find out how mountainboarding has grown from an extreme trend to a widespread and professionally-recognized sport.
Leave it to sports adventure enthusiasts to solve a duel dilemma: How can we snowboard after the snow melts? How can we skateboard off road? The creative answer to both these questions is the mountainboard, which resembles a snowboard with tires that protrude outwards, monster-truck style.
Though the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team has used mountainboards for off-season training since 1996, mountainboarding did not explode into mainstream American culture until 2000, when sales tripled. Now, over 900 retailers sell mountainboards in 18 countries. The sport attracts snowboarders, skateboarders, surfers, and total beginners who seek to master an exciting new skill.
Some of the American Skiing Company resorts, Vermont’s Smuggler’s Notch, Aspen Snowmass, and other family snow resorts now offer mountainboarding in their summer programs; in the summer of 2001, an estimated 100,000 kids tried it. (Editors Note: The American Skiing Company went out of business in 2007, but the resorts mentioned still offer mountain boarding as part of their children’s summer programs under new ownership).
Prices for mountainboard range from about $150 for beginniner boards, to around $550 for expert level mountainboarders.
With an impressive calendar of competition events, including the annual U.S. Open of Mountainboarding at Snowmass (Editors Note: The U.S. Open will not be held in 2009), and numerous events throughout Europe and the U.S., mountainboarding looks like it’s here to stay as a serious adventure sport. For more information, check out www.mbs.com.
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