Wild Horses in Denver

Great adventures have been had here in Colorado over the last few weeks, from 100 degree city sessions to trespassing on mustang ranches, we’ve had some fun. Luckly we’ve had a camera on hand to document it, here is a little edit from the past few weekends of riding from Brando.

NunyO from Beej on Vimeo.


News From Åre Sweden

Åre Tom Kirkman

Tom Kirkman getting large on the Åre QP

I just got word from One 5 Media’s Justin Dersham who’s partaking in an epic journey across Europe & Asia to film the international mountainboard scene. He’s already stacking footy and i’m really excited to see what else is coming. Here is a quick preview of Tom Kirkman killing Åre.

Tom Kirkman in Åre Sweden

Åre Mountainboard Tom Kirkman Promo from one 5 media on Vimeo.

Here are a few words from Justin.

Still baffled at how stoked Åre is on mtnbrding. Tom and I are being put up in a sweet little house with food taken care of. We only have 3 requirements from the resort during the next 7 days we are here…

1. Ride around in the village and hand out flyers about the demo Tom is doing on Friday. We dropped some stairs and Tom did 3s both ways and nose manny-ed a nice 15 ft deck to 4ft drop. We are scoping some handrails and grass hips as well. People have never seen the boards, I don’t speak Swedish but judging their reactions they are loving it.

2. Check what’s actually rideable and suggest where they should take beginners, intermediates and advanced riders. Today, this meant going to the absolute top of the mountain, hiking down half of it and finding a radical service road. The top was absolutely beautiful and hiking down was a blast. So green, above timberline and making our own path the whole way.

3. Instruct the local staff on how they should teach those beginners, intermediates and advanced riders. Our guide Peppe is a really class guy and he seems like he’ll have more then enough ability to get his staff trained. He was charging the service roads with a brake and yellow egg shocks. He rides an old J Lee pro model. Very cool to see that board in action still.

Overall the experience so far has been amazing. Peppe made us some Swedish meatballs tonight and they were devine. It doesn’t really get dark here so going out late won’t be too much of a problem! Tomorrow we are going to the beginner grass hill to check it out. Then do a different service road we haven’t tried. I have missed the rush of dropping in on a new hill on a mtnbrd. So much fun to get your slash on. I’ll give an update in a couple once we have laid some more riding/stoke down!

Justin


Bonjourno!!! – The Epic Trilogy of Jereme Leafe….. the pole vaulter – Part 2

Paris to Krakow to Auschwitz to Zywiec to Zar to Banska Bystrica to Krakow!

Friday, September 11th
3am Sleep
4:30am alarm starts going off
5:30am wake up
F!!! We were about to miss our flight to Poland. the only Easy Jet flight all weekend.
The Peugeot 308 didnt let us down, as we hit 185km/hr (about 120mph/hr) and made it from Compiegne to CDG (60km) in about 30mins.  (Real Fast)  That’s from waking up, getting out the door, dropping off the car and being in the terminal… anyone need a driver?
6:30am and we ran in and just made our flight!  KRK here we come!
10am We got another free upgrade on our car and it was a 6speed Toyota Camry that we would call home for the next 5 days.
It was time for some trance tunes in the car to bring back the club from the night before.
Noon: We showed our respects and tourist side with a stop to Auschwitz II concentration camp.  It was surreal to see the sheer size and capacity of people that were housed here.  It is moments like this that both Nick and I agreed made mountainboarding the best thing in the world! We might be a 1/3rd the way around the world for a mountainboard event, but because of this trip we were both able to take in some surreal history.
Auschwitz II Concentration Camp
Nick Taking in some serious History.  Auschwitz II Concentration Camp in Poland.
After some real cheap beer (good beer for cheap) and some lunch we were off to find Zywiec Brewery located in the town of Zywiec, Poland.  We thought we had plenty of time, but between getting lost and construction we ended up showing up 15mins late for our tour.  Luckily we met up with Mariusz and his beautiful lady friend and they were able to convince the tour guide to let us have a tour!  I mean we did start the morning 60km outside of Paris… i would call that quite the commute for a brewery tour!
This brewery tour had a bowling ally in it… so we played a few frames and then it was time for the goods, 1/2liters of beer for samples!
Enjoying our sample beers after the tour of Zywiec Brewery with Mariusz and Weronika!
6pm  Dinner time! Pierogies were on order. Pierogies smothered in bacon!  dinner for 4 people and drinks came to only 56 zloty! (about $20, Score!)
Maybe one of the best meals of the trip! Pierogies covered in Bacon!
We showed up to the ski lodge bar after checking into our room and had another 1/2liter of beer.  Played some charades with a few of the riders because English is not as common in Poland as in western Europe… but we made due!
Bed early finally, 11pm.
Saturday, September 12th
6:30am  *Knock, Knock* “Get up!”  What the hell? are you guys crazy?!?!
The polish riders were getting up and ready to start the day.  It would be the only day of our trip in Poland that we felt was lived to the fullest because we didn’t sleep till noon or take a nap on the plane for half the day.
9am  we were padded up and wondering why the hell we were the ONLY ones with no brakes AND MBS boards (you know the ones with little tiny wheels..as compared with No-Sno)
Then we saw the hill as we rode up the lift!  Lots of rocks and very very steep.  I started to think just sticking to the jump was a good idea, but i didn’t come all the way to Poland to chicken out.
Nick looking real stoked to ride in his Tall Tee, this is before he saw the downhill!
After time trials were over I some how had managed to make the top 10 for the mass downhill of the entire mountain.  My only goal was to get down alive, not finishing last would be a plus, but just walking away at the end of the day would be enough for me.
one, two, START! and everyone was off, all pointing it straight down the hill.
I was trying to keep up, but even when I pointed it, i just could not keep up with my small 8″ tires on the loose rock.
I managed to stay up the entire time and even finished 9th!!!  I must say i am pretty happy about that.
10 man mass downhill for the finals.  Me way over on the left because i got last “lane” choice.  Notice how padded up everyone is and how they all have brakes!
2pm  Now it was time for some freesytle!  The dirt lip was real nice but the length of the jump left something to be desired.  Oh well… Jump to flat!
The Polish riders were trying flips, 720’s, and backside rodeos.  Not very many were landed, but every time they got back up and had at the jump again.  One guy even sheered a king pin on a No-Sno in half!
A few back flip trains running real hot and some rodeos and me and Nick were putting on an MBS Demo!
I took 1st place with a huge rodeo and Nick came in second with some smooth backflips.  Nick won best trick with a backflip to flat!  I managed to take out a camera guy and fall pretty good after doing a rodeo… then i realized i was riding with a flat tire!
5pm  Some great prize giving took place… XS Hillbilly pads and some amazing wine!!!
We were real stoked on winning some really good wine!
She asked if she could take a picture with me. So i said yes, only if i could also have a picture with her.  One of Polands Finest!
The Board I won for winning freestyle!  Blue Angel!
8pm  Let the after party begin!
8:30pm  5 Vodka shots later and the party was well underway!
The DJ from the event came and we started a good ole dance party in the ski lodge bar!  There were many many bottles of vodka going around and many more shots to be had!  I barely remember walking up the hill to the hotel past some goats and sheep and then I was out!
After Party!
Making more friends with some of Polands Finest! Me and Weronika who is one kick butt mountainboarder!
This is how not to make friends with Polands Finest!  Pig pile on Weronika!
Sunday, September 13th
Noon – Ugh, still drunk from the vodka!
I couldn’t find Nick then he came knocking at the door.  Turns out after some confusion the night before he decided our neighbors floor would be a good place to sleep.  This would not be the last floor he would sleep on.
I think i ate an entire loaf of bread and jam for breakfast to try and sober up.
Finally we were the last ones to leave and I am sure the waitress/bartender at that place couldn’t have been happier!
Nick Creepin on the Goats outside the hotel!
2Pm and Nick was driving for the first time on the trip…. because i was in no condition to drive.  We went flying into Slovakia passing some amazing grass covered mountains.   But neither of us had a desire to stop and ride because of the state our boards and minds were in.
Headed into Slovakia!  Count it!
5PM We arrived in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia without any wrong turns!  This town is the second largest in Slovakia and its known as a large college town, yes please!  There was a huge welcoming party in the main square for us!
We checked into our sweet hostel and parked the car in some sketchy far off neighborhood and just hoped it wouldn’t get towed.
We decided some food and a beer was on call, but then called it an early night.
While I decided to come by car to Slovakia (because its land locked), Nick thought it best to show up to our welcoming party by Boat!  Its going fast and… Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.
Monday, September 14th
10am  Up and at it kind of early and we had to decide what to do for the day and where we would stay Monday night.  We thought of Budapest, thought of staying where we were, but finally decided two days in Krakow would be good.  And oh was it!
But we wouldn’t leave Slovakia so easy, it was time for some day drinking!  The sun was out and it was the perfect temperature to sit in the main square and just watch the beautiful eastern European college women stroll on by.  It was soo nice to finally relax and just chill for a day.
Marc Jenkins has been working really hard!  As a result, MBS has a Flagship store in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia!
Enjoying some amazing beers in the main square in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.
Nick loving on the Ice Cream in Slovakia.  Lazy Day!
7pm We arrived in Krakow but needed to find a Hostel.  We stopped by Greg and Toms (where we had reservations the following night) but they were full for Monday night.  They directed us to the AQQ which was one block off from the main square… Perfect!
*** This is where my journal entries stopped because the trip got non stop crazy.  So everything from here on out is my attempt to remember what happened. ***
9pm  Nick and I went on a little walk around the main square and grabbed some great Gyros!  Then we decided some more Polish vodka was in order… it took a lot to get me to drink more vodka after saturday night.  We just sat in the main square and enjoyed the views of the churches and drank our vodka.  During this time however, we saw a guy on a bike with a sign that said “Club Maps” So Nick chased him down, got a free club map, and found out where the hot spot was on a monday night… Club Prozak!  We also found out that you get arrested for drinking in public in Krakow… Oops!
Midnight  Club Prozak was packed!  You would have thought it was a saturday night, but i am not complaining.  We did some more drinking and trance dancing and realized most of the girls were all Polish college students!  Nick and I started dancing with two friends, but my lady just wasnt feeling my sweet moves so I moved on.
Tuesday, September 15th
3am  As i try to figure out what i want to do, i see Nick come out of the club with the two ladies… Score!   Well they wanted to take Nick on a walking tour of the city… at 3am!  I wasn’t having this so i headed home to the hostel.
9:30am  I was up and ready to go feed the meter on the car and move over to the other hostel with our stuff.  But Nick was no where to be seen.  I told him he had to be back by 9:30 so we could move everything and not get a parking ticket.  After i ran across the city to pay for parking i realized i didn’t have the keys… Dumb A$$!  So i had to run back and forth again to pay for the parking.  When i finally got back to the AQQ Nick was just chilling eating some cereal.   Turns out he got a full city tour, saw some Dragon that breathes fire if you text it, and drank more vodka in a park with some random guys.  Then i think he said something about food on the kitchen counter, but I am not sure what he meant by that.
11am Another walk across town and we tried to check into the hostel we had reservations at.  No luck, someone screwed up and over booked!  However Tom did tell us we could come out on the bar crawl that night with them and have some free dinner!  So carrying all our stuff back across town to the AQQ but this time there would be more people staying there, score!
We enjoyed a day of sight seeing and shopping with the ladies Nick had met the night before.
Nick working hard for his water! Krakow Main Square.
I found the best Beer in town… the kind that is free!
Getting a sight seeing tour from some lovely ladies that Nick met the night before at the club.  Krakow Castle, Krakow, Poland!
Then we decided that some Champagne was in order… not just any champagne… a 3 liter bottle of champagne!!!  It cost us about $20 and the guy chilled it for us while we got ready for dinner and then the bar crawl!
Mean mugging with the 3 Liter bottle of Champagne!
Pretty sure it cant get much better then this! 3 Liters of Champagne and partying in Poland.
7:30pm Dinner time at Greg and Toms, but we were late and almost all the polish sausage was gone.  We did however let everyone know how Americans roll… 3 liters of champagne deep!  But we decided to wait till we got back to the AQQ with our new friends and pop it there.
A quick chug of champagne and some cheese at the AQQ and it was time to try and catch up with the bar crawl.  It was suppose to cost us about $25, but some how we got on for free because Tom is a good guy.  We missed out on the 5 shots at the vodka bar, but caught everyone at Brower Brewery.  After about 5 pints of a really good Hefiwiezen we were off to a club.  Turns out we were going back to Prozak, but this time with a bunch of Aussies and Brits.  Turns out the Aussies took a liking to us American boys and some dancing and more drinks at Prozak were in order!
Brit Lady on the right, Aussie ladies to the left.  Lots of great beer!
Nick enjoying his time at Prozak with the Aussie!
Dancing and making friends with the lovely Aussie Ladies!
3am would roll around again and after a run in with the workers at the Hostel it was time for bed!
We would need to be up early again to hop some planes so we could get to Moscow.
Part III coming next week.

Bonjourno!!! – The Epic Trilogy of Jereme Leafe….. the pole vaulter – Part 1

Word and Photos by: Jereme Leafe
Let me beginning by giving you a little history as to why this 2 and 1/2 weeks of debauchery and mountainboarding happened.
I have been out of the scene for way too long and my gypsy friend AJ has spoken great words of Russia, so I figured what better excuse to go to Russia then to Mountainboard, and hell, why not bring someone else along.  But I am no geographer so I figured Tennessee, North Carolina, France, Belgium, Poland, and Slovakia were all on the way to Russia, but i mean, really, why not?
Well my good friend Ecar asked if i could try to document this journey, so what follows is my best attempt to remember how the trip went.
Part 1!  Boston to Nashville To Beech Mtn To Nashville To Boston To Paris To Wanyi To Compiegne To Paris!
Friday, September 4th
Woke up late for my last day of work and realized i could barely fit all my gear into my tiny little miata.
But 3pm rolled around and i was enjoying a tasty Harpoon IPA in the tradition of having a trip kick-off beer!
7:00PM and i landed in Nashville, TN
Friday night was spent out at Vanderbilt University enjoying only the finest of beers at the frat parties!  But i was collar popping and riding dirty so that i could keep with the style of this preppy southern university.
I did some vandy van riding all the way through vandy land. (Peep the Youtube video MOV – Vandy Van)
Riding that Vandy Van, all the way through Vandy Land!
Collar Poppin and Riding Dirty at Vandy Frat Parties!
Saturday, September 5th
3:00am time to go to bed!
4:30am time to get up!
So apparently Beech Mtn is about 5 and 1/2hrs and a time zone ahead from Nashville… who would have thought. I told you i was no geographer.
350miles later i showed up at the Beech Mountain Country Club and tried to valet my car, but they didnt like my type so i drove around for another 30mins looking for some fellow dirt lovers.
Noon – the event was suppose to be starting, but in typical fashion i was late and holding everything up  so that my good friend  Akoni could finish fixing his hair.
I was still nursing two freshly broken ribs so i wasnt sure if i was even going to ride, but i did bring someone all the way from Nashville and i needed to try and show off… Girls (circa MVM 5, anyone remember that interview?)
The park was amazing and had probably more then 25 lines, i kept it mellow and just hit the wall ride, but just that was worth the flight and drive!!!  Skinny Kenny was killing it and stealing my red bulls!
There were some young guns killing it!  Props to Chris O’Brian for throwing 540s and backflips and to Jeff Wooley for throwing down.  Sadly Jeff tripped over his heal side tires and ended up breaking his arm. heal fast bro!
Working on My Ups – Beech Mtn, NC
Kenny Stealing my Red Bull
In true mountainboard fashion there was some after even fun to be had, just this time at the Jackaloupe.  Mind you a Jackaloupe is a rabbit with antlers… must have been something in the water up in dem dur hills.  Richard and Ted showed everyone what was up by pole dancing, but i think they made enough money to make it back home afterwards.
Well Done Ted – Pole Dancing
Sunday, September 6th
after some much needed sleep and some great breakfast at the jackaloupe it was 5 and 1/2hrs back to Nashville… with a pit stop for wine tasting.
Monday, September 7th
Oh the day of great Labor
Well this would actually be one of the only days i got to relax and just kick it.  While my friend had to go to class i enjoyed sleeping in and just kicking around campus.
Riding at Vanderbilt… In style
Alex was inspired by Ted and Richard and she really wanted to learn to ride!
Tuesday, September 8th
Up nice and early in time to set out on 20hrs of traveling.  It was 6am Nashville time, 1pm paris time.
Noon, Back in boston and waiting 5 and 1/2hrs for my next flight, what to do?  I decided to take a not so quick T ride out to end of the Greenline and drop off some cupcakes and then lug myself back across the Bean just in time to make my flight to Paris.
5:30pm and i was on Air france direct to paris and had confirmed that NIck ‘Trill” Hill was about to leave Newark headed the same way!
8pm, saw some GT Solar employees headed to Photowatt in southern France to do real work… hahaha real work
Dinner came and something about cold salmon wasnt hitting the spot, but free wine did hit the spot…. sleep spot that is.
Wednesday, September 9th
6am Paris time and i couldn’t find my mountainboard bag!!! starting to freak… then i found it in quarantine with the dogs!
I got me some petite cafe and started waiting for Nick, last minute they changed his arrival gate so i had to (with my broken ribs) lug my gear about 3km across paris to the other end of the airport.  But sure enough Nick was there and waiting! Salut!
We rolled into the Hyatt and picked up our Peugeot 308 and started bumping the Mickey Avalon!
Rolling in France! Pumping Mickey Avalon
After running some redlights at the arc de triump and illegally parking at the Eiffel tower it was time to get out of Paris before someone threw freedom fries at us!
Next stop…. Champagne Region of France to visit my friends Moet and Chandon, really hoping Dom would be around too.
Nick Showing off the Guns.  Check the two old ladies behind him. He got their number!
Some wrong turns… ok, many wrong turns and we stumbled upon the Avenue de champagne!  I was lucky enough to stop by and say hi to Dom Perignon and then grabbed a bottle of Frances finest to drink in the car!  No time to waste… it was off to Belgium now… and it was only 2pm on day one!
Chilling with my boy, Dom Perignon.  Me and him go way back! (Dom and Me)
Only the finest dining for us while we were in France.  Day one, first food of the trip… out of the trunk.
Some more wrong turns and a couple trips around the same round abouts and we went flying past a BFC sticker… slapped on a sign stating that we were entering Belgium!!!
Belgium gets down with the BFC!
6pm and we arrived at Wanyi Park to find our beds for the first night, some mattresses in an old military tent.  But not so bad for free!
We popped some champagne and took a few runs before it got dark.
Nick looking real stoked to do some riding! Wanyi Park, Belgium
8Pm – we headed out to find some Belgium beers which wasn’t to hard to do… however ordering one was not so easy.  Both Nick and I took french in like middle school and in the middle of no-where belgium they dont exactly speak much English… or french.
Midnight and it was time for bed on day one of the trip!
Thursday, September 10th
Noon: F! We over slept!  We are suppose to be 3hrs away in France to meet Simon in about 2hrs.
However, the owners of Wanyi had shown up and turned on the lift, so some more riding was in order before we left this amazing park!
We threw down a few 3’s, hit some rails, and took a quick cruise down the boardercross which was super fun to double double!
You just cant complain about a free ride back up!
Nick just chilling it out at Wanyi Park
Real stoked to be getting some rail in Belgium
2pm: we should be meeting Simon in Compiegne right now and its 3hrs away, but we were just packing up the car and getting lost trying to leave town.  J gave us some new directions and we decided to say F Google Maps France and head out on another driving adventure to Compiegne.
We pinned that car toward France though something fierce… passing people on corners and hitting 175km/hr on two way roads! I love international driving!
On the way we saw a pretty dope castle and had to stop in some random little town in France.  We drank from the the town well, snapped a few pictures and were back at it in no time!
Around about Saisson, France a smell came over the car like no other. It smelled as though someone had filled the car with raw sewage.  I know what your thinking, but no, the windows were down.  That town smells like Sh*t.  Nick couldn’t even swallow his Nettalla covered bread, his body physically wouldn’t let him.
Picking up aids in some small town in France!
We got places to be!
5:30pm and we had finally found Simons house near compiegne, France!
We had heard stories of some new and amazing jumps and these jump did not disappoint!!!
It was cool to roll up and see about 5 riders just chilling and sessioning the jumps, i haven’t found any random places to just go ride in the states in a long time!
The jumps were 7meters and 6meters but seemed even bigger.  They were followed by a real nice quarter pipe that you sky out of if you so dared.
Both me and Nick were on the injured list, me with my ribs and nick with his horse riding accident right before the trip.  But that didn’t stop Nick from throwing a huge backflip over the bigger hit… so it was on!
Few more flips and Heineken’s Later and i was ready to try and flip the first  hit and do a rodeo over the second!  But it turned into an over-rotated rodeo to knuckle to switch backside 180 off the knuckle.  I cleanly rode it away, but it was time to call it a day.
Air to Fakie on the QP
Nick styling out the Backflip over the big jump!
Had to be done, broken ribs and all!
Simon showing how to tweak it!
10pm: Simon and his parents are some of the best hosts anyone could ask for.  We finally got to shower (it had been about 3 days for me) and got an amazing dinner!  Thanks Simon! Tres Bon!
We should have gone to bed because we had to be up at 4:30am for the only Easy Jet Flight to Krakow for the next 3 days, but Simon talked of a good new dance club!
Disco Tech! With all of Simons College friends!
We did the trance dance right till about 3am and then headed home to try and sleep.
3am after the Dance Club! Real stoked, but we wouldnt look this stoked in about 2 and 1/2hrs.
Part 2 coming soon

Jason Lee Gets Photo Credits

Jason Lee is some what of a mythical creature, something like a Bonnacon or a Scylla, regardless he’s a special guy to all of us in the mountainboard community. He’s also very competitive and a professional Foosball player, in fact he recently beat the defending champs Dave and Boris (congrats again).

Dave & Boris showing off.

Dave & Boris showing off.

Jason is also an artist and has a real nack for photography. In fact we at The Dirt used Jason’s photos in our last post without giving him credit, well Jason caught us red handed. See the email string below. My apologize Jason thanks for the photos and congrats on taking the Overall at the Altitude Cup!

Jason took the following photo in the Altitude Cup post -->1,5,7,9,17,18,20

Jason took the following photo in the Altitude Cup post -->1,5,7,9,17,18,20

Also thank you to all the other individuals that contributed photos, Dave Kennedy, Amanda Poindexter, Tyler Mork’s father and everyone else that contributes, much love.


Baby Back Ribs

This is a frontside backside boardslide according to Devin Fritz.

This is a frontside backside boardslide according to Devin Fritz.

Our friend Pole Vault aka Jereme Leafe has suffered another unfortunate injury. Doctors put him on the DL today after breaking two ribs and having three hangnails. There are rumors that he is also suffering from tennis elbow after a rough return to high jump. Promptly, MBS cut off all ties to Leafe after news of his injury. PV ran into a NASCAR fan while mountainboaridng out in Kansas, and no I am not making that up. He was really mountainboarding in Kansas. Hopefully they will find a cure one day for this semi irritating set back.

Although PV can't do proper methods, he pushes the envelope by grabbing wheel.

Although PV can't do proper methods, he pushes the envelope by grabbing wheel.

-The Commodore "we dig so you don't have to"

Pole Vaulter

Apple Juicing

Apple Juicing

After years of skiing and political activism Jereme Leafe is making the biggest comeback since Easter Sunday.  J leafe will be returning to competition after a horrific accident in Branson, Missouri allowed him to return home away from NASCAR fans and Sarah Palin supporters. Leafe said that he’s ready to soar once again. “After not being able to ride for so long and no longer having the ability to treat myself I am beyond stoked to be mountainboarding again. Hopefully they bring back the high jump and cone slalom racing so I can once again be the Brazilian and Core Tour champion.” His fans are elated to hear the announcement.

Jereme Leafe's fans initial reaction to the news

Jereme Leafe's fans initial reaction to the news

Leafe was also banned from international competition for using an invisible pole during the high jumping discipline at IMA sanctioned events. Subsequently, he was kicked out of school for not being a better example for young mountainboard high jumpers around the United States and rest of the world.

The flying Leafe!

The flying Leafe!

The 20 time national and international slalom champion will be appearing in Colorado for a sold out instructional camp this week, along with stops in Kansas, Poland, France, Afghanistan, Russia, and finally three shows in Las Vegas during the Mountainboarders Sans Frontiers(Mountainboarders Without Borders) convention. Check out this old footage we found of young Jereme when he first started riding.

Jereme Leafe dancing

For more information about Jereme Leafe check out his Myspace, Facebook, or Wikipedia page to learn and interact with this great uphill mountainboarding champion. Catch ya on the hill!

Photos courtesy of Jason Lee and Perez Hilton. No homo.

-TheCommodore


5 Reasons Mountainboarding hasn’t seen exponential growth.

Every time I watch quality mountainboard footage and European kids setting down tricks with that heavy style, i ask myself how can mountainboarding be so small. There has been a lot of great video popping up on the web so i have been thinking about this a lot. This is my gripe, my opinion and if you don’t like it tough. I encourage you to tell me what you think, even if it’s a capital “F U”. Mountainboarding means a lot to me and i want to see change.

1. No well financed industry behind it
When i look at most other action sports that are thriving i see an industry behind it or decades of dedication from individuals looking to push those sports. Let me start with snowboarding, an outcast sport from the start but only an outcast to the ski industry, a thriving industry, now with annual revenues over $2 billion dollars.

It's ok to sign a deal with the devil right? Everyone else already did it.

It's ok to sign a deal with the devil right? Everyone else already did it.

Once snowboarders were allowed onto the slopes they were no longer seen as complete jokes and could legally ride good terrain. It’s a lot easier to get big cash sponsorships when you have the support of a major resort which brings 1000’s of visitors a weekend. Wakeboarding is similar in some ways, boats are a complete necessity to wakeboard without it you’re just standing on a dock. Get the support of the boat industry you are in business.

Then there are the sports driven by decades innovators and true lovers for their sports. Surfing and skateboarding both have had a long hard road of isolation and bad reputations but it was that edge and never stopping that got them to a place where they were accepted. AJ made a great point, look at all the kids you see rocking the Hollister tee shirt in the mid-west who have never seen the beach, let alone surf. So these sports created there own image and it was that image that built there industry.

2. Media exposure
Ya ya ya, Johnny Kapahala, big fucking deal…. well actually it is, expect they called mountainboarding, dirtboarding through the entire movie.

Disney's Johnny Kapahala - Back On Board

Disney's Johnny Kapahala - Back On Board

I think this movie was great for exposure but it targets a really young audience one that will effect the sport in 4-5 years but this audience isn’t spending the money and isn’t pushing the sport quite yet. Outside of the Disney movie mountainboarding has seen its fair share of regional TV coverage and highlights from the Nokia Core Tour back in 2004, 2005, but these are niche audiences and the frequency of coverage is low.

The last bit of media that mountainboarding sees spills over into my next point but it’s guaranteed to be seen in 1 in 10 bloopers videos aired on every major network. Or you get the occasional jokers like Travis Pastrana’s boys who take it out on Nitro Circus and break themselves off and to my next point.

3. Bad stigma (“way to gnarly!”)
Your friends have either never heard of mountainboarding or say “i know what that is, isn’t it really dangerous”.  All these first generation Red Bull addicts got a hold of a video camera and a mountainboard and thought they would get extreme. Then only to find out they had no balance and fell off a skateboard the last time they stood on one, now they’re shooting video of themselves crashing and they thought “Dimmu Borgir’s Black Metal” would be the perfect soundtrack. Like WTF, you really felt the need to post that on Youtube!!!

No need to get heavy metal on us, it's just mountainboarding.

No need to get heavy metal on us, it's just mountainboarding.

Now you wonder why people have no desire to try mountainboarding. We need to make it look fun and kill that bad late 90’s rep. NEW RULE FOR ALL MOUNTAINBOARDERS POSTING VIDEO ON YOUTUBE – NO METAL – NO CRASHS – ONLY FOUR WHEELS DOWN AND BUTTER!

4. Not enough technology in the boards

Let’s face it, until recently there were only 3 real mountainboard companies out there and a lot of fly by night start ups that failed. MBS hold dominance in the industry, they have spent the most time researching and testing their boards and with more than a decade of experience under there belt they have designed a board that sells. No offense to J Lee, Joel and PMC but they have been sleep on the new products and innovation and yes, innovation takes money but damn its time to risk again. In the European market Scrub and NoSno seem to be producing some high quality products which i have only heard great things about, but they have no distribution in the United States so I can’t pass fair judgment.

Ok i got a bit off track there, the technologies haven’t changed much over the past 5 years but the way kids ride the boards have. Since the release of MBS’s Matrix truck we haven’t seen anything to progressive that can compete. Ground Industries tried the cube and it seems to work at low speeds but I’ve watched Kody Stewart blow up half a dozen sets when riding sizable jumps. In my opinion lighter wider trucks would allow for a more stable ride and allow riders to travel a much higher speeds and maintain complete control.

I think about snowboarding and skateboarding, both industries have boards that are designed for a specific type of riding and technology that supports it. The highest end mountainboards have a few options on legnth and the variation on width only happens between brands. My point is boards need to be customized all riders can not fit into this cookie cutter shape that the companies have designed the boards around.

5. Followers not innovators
My final point for this post is we all have our own ideas about what mountainboarding should and shouldn’t be. Unfortunately we have a lot of similar board sports that have taken some of the creativity out of it for us. Whether your roots are in snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, biking or even gymnastics you will find similarity in the tricks which you can do. I know there are other elements of mountainboarding, it’s not all freestyle, but lets face it how many boarder cross races or grass hill runs can you watch before you get bored. In the end i think it comes down to our creativity, it’s time to dig deeper and find those unique elements that can’t be imitated by every other board sport and at the same time keep it fun.

I love mountainboarding for the feeling i get when i land a trick, for the hard slashes and the feeling of my tire taring through the dirt, most of all i love the community, the people. I’m not the only one that feels this, i think it’s important to relay that this is something we all have in common, we all do this for fun, this is no million dollar contract at the end of a season, only a couple of beers with your friends and the memories of some great event.

Let’s not be the next flat ground BMX, and just fade away. In the words of the Allman Brothers “I’m gonna keep on keepin on.”


Park Life

Well this has certainly been a big week for mountainboard parks around the US. The Higher Ground mountainboard park at Beech Mountain we reported on a few weeks ago is opening up this weekend. We’ll keep an ear to the ground to hear the feedback. The images make the park look stellar.

from the top of the High Ground mountainboard park

From the top of the High Ground mountainboard park

uphill shot of the Higher Ground park

Uphill shot of the Higher Ground park

Also, another mountainboard park is shaping up in the Midwest. Zak Herberely’s boardercross track in Kansas has gotten a face lift along with a whole new flatland dirt park. Construction is still underway for what is being deemed the Kansas Mountainboard Centre. Devin Fritz and Matt Kenoyer of DirtmonkSupreme fixed up the place for the Kansas Twilight Showdown August 7 and 8. For more info about that event contact Devin Fritz at fritztofer@yahoo.com.

In the middle of Kansas is dirt gold

In the middle of Kansas is dirt gold

I'm digging the park feature

Dirt masterpiece

I’m excited to see some great new mountainboard parks popping up around the country. Let’s hope the trend continues. Thanks to Brian Southard and Devin Fritz for capturing these images.