Beiran talks about Downhill Mountainboarding & why it’s better than snowboarding

Bieran Stelzer-Martlew has been involved in just about every aspect of the mountainboarding scene. He has become the standard which other downhillers judge themselves against. Let’s find out more about him and why mountainboarding is better than snowboarding…

Tell us who you are and a bit about yourself, e.g. how long you’ve been riding, how you got started, how got involved with ATBshop, ATBA-UK, and Pleisure Holidays

In early 2002 I went to Ride The Hill in Stinchcombe and was convinced to become an instructor that day, then had my first comp, the Nosno Freestyle challenge with the US pro riders all over. Rode for MBS, met Stu Kirk and Ant Wilson who at the time headed up the ATBA-UK and ATBShop. After a couple of competition seasons and after riding with Team BAD for a year or two I got involved in helping the ATBA-UK through Steve Birkbeck who was the Chairman by then. When the BFC was set up we got to go out to Courchevel courtesy of Peisure Holidays, the following summer I went out to the Alps for a road trip and stayed near Pleisure for 10 Days and secured a job for the season where I had an 18 month riding binge.

You’ve been at all the Downhill comps 2011/2012/2013, tell us what you like about downhill and what you think about the UK downhill Comp scene?

For me Downhill or Freeride is all about total focus on a line or even better finding a line and stomping it. From my early days of riding I was inspired by Team Bad’s thirst for mad woodland riding, which lead to a lot of riding with Stu Lugger, Ant Wilson, Steve Birkbeck and Sacha Bush to name but a few, I’d say that was where I learnt my trade.

The Downhill comp scene is picking up and I really enjoy the variety of tracks the ATBA-UK has been offering. The first year was good to warm people up and this year the first comp showed what there is on offer and that a lot of peeps can step up to it. Especially Matt Brind and James Wanklyn, their ability to adapt to an almost foreign terrain is impressive.

And Scotland this year was your first 1st place, how did that feel?

Great, been trying hard to get my fitness up and more time on the board during the year, Looking forward to a big battle next year for sure, especially with the little ripper Mark Adams and others stepping up to the Pro’s at a young age.

So, you Snowboard and Mountainboard, but you’ve said you prefer mountainboarding. Why is that?

When your snowboarding it’s easy to hit the brakes, yea you go fast… but get in the woods and drift a mountainboard within an inch of a tree at speed and you know your on the limit far more than when you snowboard. I guess from a young age I wanted to go fast and drift round corners, I can’t afford a rally car and I love the peace of the woods… at least until we show up.

Tell us a bit about working at Pleisure Holidays and mountainboarding in the Alps.

Pleisure are great, just get to ride loads and work a fair bit but it’s well balanced. For me Mountainboarding in the Alps is completely different, no slashing about the mulch through woods. You almost need a NoSno to plough through or over the rocks and the disc brakes to stop, it’s a fast and sometimes bumpy ride down big pistes. However it’s more about just being able to ride for 20 minutes that does it for me, and the variation of the terrain. Single track, open piste, firetrack, drifting, carving just about all types of riding in one run and to top it off it can be real fast. Every run can be different, riding new tracks/ runs that are unridden by mountainboards is a great feeling, almost all reds and below are rideable! I love Courchevel because it’s quiet, cheap and almost all the pistes are rideable if you know where to go.

What is your favourite place to ride?

It’s gone, it was Team BAD’s LA woods, now I just enjoy whatever I ride, maybe Courchevel is tops but it’s hard to get out there.

You’ve been working on your own truck designs for a few years, how is that going?

Slow, got the designs in my head but the manufacturing needs to get more accurate, think variable suspension with responsive turning and perfect drift control. Been going 3 years now so probably be another 3!

Who’s your favourite member of the BFC?
Martyn James, he definitely is Scotland’s most wanted gangster.

OK, time for some random-remolition-quick-fire-questions:

What Ringtone do you have on your phone?
Whatever it came with.

Tea or Coffee?
Black Coffee No sugar.

Apple or Banana?
Apple.

Cider or Water?
Cider.

Petrol or Diesel?
Diesel power.

Backside or Frontside?
Neither they both hurt me.

What was your favourite subject at school?
Tech.

What was your worst subject?
English.

Do you have any rollerblading confessions?
Confessions? Rollerblading in an Adidas tracksuit ruled when I was 10!

Thanks B!