Mountainboarding has and probably always will be a very unique boardsport, but recently a lot of Longboarders have been asking how they can get into Mountainboarding, as there are a lot of similarities.
If you’re already a confident downhill Longboarder, Mountainboarding shouldn’t be as scary at first, because the speeds are usually much lower. Though the same can’t be said for how much grip you have available. You can ride pretty much any surface you want on a Mountainboard, from Dry Road and Rocky Paths, to Wet Grass. A road surface is generally quite predictable and consistent, with a lot of grip, even in the wet. Stating the obvious, most Mountainboard tracks are loose and have less grip and change with the weather, especially in Winter. When conditions are unrideable for Longboarding, Mountainboarding is a great alternative for progression in all weather.
Stopping and sliding are also very similar in Mountainboarding. Using wrist guards instead of slide gloves, a Coleman slide (heelside, one hand down) is very much the same, just without the back leg moving as much, as you’re strapped into bindings. Like a Coleman, the same technique is used to shutdown slide, for most riders. Standup slides are more tricky on a Mountainboard, due to different grip on different surfaces, but can be mastered and practiced at lower speeds, depending on Board setup.
Buying a mountainboard
Much like Longboards, Mountainboards are highly customizable for how you ride. The biggest manufacturers are Trampa, MBS & NoSno. There are hundreds of combinations available, priced (New) from £99 all the way up to £1249. The most common 2 setups are:
Channel Truck Boards
- MBS/Trampa Deck with 35 Degree tips and 90-110cm (35” – 43”) deck length.
- MBS/Trampa Spring Channel Trucks.
- MBS/Trampa Footstraps & Heelstraps.
- 8 Inch MBS/Trampa Tyres with hubs.
- NoSno Deck (flat) with variable wheelbase options and 70-80cm (27” – 31”) length.
- NoSno 15 degree Double Floating Kingpin Trucks with Composite or Alloy axles.
- Any Snowboard Bindings.
- 9 or 10 Inch Tyres with Primo hubs.
- Optional: NoSno Custom Hope Mini Hydraulic Braking System, with rock guards.
Both of these setups are very different, with NoSno boards generally aimed at riding long downhill tracks with rough terrain, because of their bigger wheels, brake system and lower truck degree (much like Downhill Longboard Trucks). MBS/Trampa’s are more aimed at Freestyle and Boardercross, because they have more turn, with 35 degree tips on most decks and better initial acceleration with smaller 8 inch wheels.
There are similarities though, like Longboards, they both have Bushings (or ‘Dampas’) of varying durometer to allow for different weights of rider and how much turn you want. NoSno trucks have double Kingpins for extra stability, where as Spring Channel trucks have spring adjusters on each truck to control ‘Dampa’ compression. Generally, Spring Channel trucks have better initial turn and return to centre.
If you’re now interested in buying a Mountainboard and starting riding, the biggest UK stockists are:
But much like buying used Longboards, you’ll also see a lot of parts and complete boards on eBay.
Where to ride
As forementioned, you can pretty much ride anywhere but there’s a comprehensive Ride Guide at: www.mountainboarding.uk.com/finding-out-more/articles/where-to-ride
The guide includes Freeride spots and Mountainboard Centres around the country, that are usually open on weekends between May & September. If you have any questions regarding riding, you can also get in contact with your local ATBA-UK Regional Mountainboard Rep at: www.atbauk.org/mountainboarding-in-your-region.
Last of all and perhaps most exciting, the UK has a competition governing body for Mountainboarding Competitions and Sport Growth, ATBA-UK. This is currently something UK Longboarding lacks, despite the number of UK events held each year. The ATBA-UK Mountainboard series is normally 5-7 events long and held in Spring/Summer every year. The events are amateur friendly and have lots of categories: Groms, Juniors, Ladies, Seniors & Pro’s. The three main disciplines are Boardercross 4X, Downhill (1-man timed) and Freestyle. More information can be found at www.atbauk.org/mountainboard-competitions.