Plan ahead for your mountainboard missions:
Where are you riding?
What’s the weather doing?
Can you definitely freeride there?
HAVE YOU GOT EVERYTHING?!
Board – check your tech! bindings, trucks, wheels. Got a screw loose?
Pads – helmet, wrist guards, elbow / knee / butt pads, etc.
Hydration / energy - Water / lunch / snacks / sweets.
Mobile – fully charged?
Tools / spares – pump, wheel spanner, alan keys, spare wheel etc.
Common sense – If You don’t have it, make sure someone in your crew does.
First aid – Get informed. Do you know what to do in emergencies? Head to the Red Cross.
-Warm up : Stretch! muscles are like toffee, you don’t want them snapping on your first run.
- Leave non-essentials in the car (hidden and out of sight)
- Recce spots on foot first: walk up intended descent-path noting natural features, places to check speed, obstacles etc.
- If you’re unsure of a run, think ‘ladder’ and jump off the lower rungs before attempting to do it from the top.
- Use spotters on any well-trodden public tracks.
- Scrape the mud off your shoes before strapping in to bindings.
- P.M.A positve mental attitude! Visualise, and do it.
- 2 things; balance, and fear; you can practice balance and fear is all in your head.
- Keep alert: this country needs lerts.
- Scrub speed in loose leaves, long grass: so think: under trees, edges of paths etc
- One man’s extreme is another man’s lame.
- Carve to contol speed or staightline for adrenaline, but remember: it ain’t about the desination, it’s about the journey there.
- Enjoy ‘the trudge’. Scope new lines, ponder your technique, soak up your surroundings.
- While trudging uphill, keep the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth to stop it drying out.
- Talk to walkers. They may know more spots.
- Lay a few logs to air on your next run.
- Time of year ( soil saturation, leaves etc ) drastically affects speed; alter tyre pressure accordingly.
- Use Vaseline to cover and protect wheel bearings.
- Before doing a drop, always check the landing is clear eg. Tree stumps, flints etc
- Mark your drop/take off point.
- If there’s not enough speed, get a mate to give you a tow-in or push.
- Pop off the lip, air, and angle your board parallel with the landing spot you’re targeting. Keep your weight central. Four wheels down, absorb some compression and ride out straight.
- Look out for trees, some of them have people-magnets inside.
- Do what YOU wanna do.
- Remember to communicate, have shouts/codes so you know everyone’s okay.
- If you sense your mates may be in the way, shout “rider” to warn them of your imminent arrival.
- If you get a puncture, check the tyre for the offending cause and remove before repairing/replacing the tube.
- Put cut-to-shape plastic milkbottle sections or old inners between your tyre and inflated inner tube to reduce likelihood of puncture.
- Take water not juice, etc. so you can clean cuts or grazes.
- If you empty your bladder, note the colour: the darker it is, the more dehydrated you are.
- Never say “This’ll be my last run” or “Just one more…”.
- Keep a change of clothes/shoes in the car and a carpet tile to stand on while you change! Also bin bags to put your mudfests clothes and board in, saving the car seats.
- Use Febreze on your pads till you get around to washing them.
- Be ready to respond to any emergency, just in case. You may be a long way from a road so get informed about how to treat potential concussion, fractures etc
- Ride responsibly yet shred the gnar and shralp the nizz at all times.
- Don’t forget to find some sick quartable jibbology.
Ride free, Mountainboarder San. Learn to trust your instincts. Leave nothing but your tracks on the earth and revel in Nature’s majesty. May the force be with you.
Words n pics by *WiL*!!