Beginners & Newbies to Mountainboarding should start here with sound, candid advice on getting yourself rolling!
Starting off in mountainboarding isn’t difficult. If you´ve done any kind of board sport then you should pick up mountainboarding pretty quickly. If on the other hand you never even stepped on a skateboard before, don´t worry as mountainboarding is one of the easiest board sports to learn.
The recommended option is to go to a mountainboard centre for your first lesson; They will be able to provide all the advice you need from stance, gear and board to pads. Plus you’ll meet other mountainboarders and see what’s possible. See our Links Hub for all the UK centres.
Your other option is teaching yourself (lots of people do) alongside some mates, and having a right laugh. This option can be well fun but often leads to spectacular accidents: without experience or body protection ( wear a lid, wristguards, buttpads etc ) it’s easy to make mistakes. Be careful and always ride within your limits. It is loads better to take little steps than hurt yourself trying to take on big steps! Don’t run before you can walk, so to speak.
More time riding = the better you get, of course.
Here are some tips from a qualified (ATBA-UK certified) instructor…
First of all, find the right spot. The best place to start is on a wide gentle grassy slope, ideally rolling out to flat where the grass is nice and short.
Remember never ride alone, always tell somewhere you are going and make sure your phone is fully charged.
For starters you’ll need: helmet, wristguards, elbow pads, knee pads, a board (duh) and a grass slope. Butt pads are optional but recommended for beginners!
Give your board a quick check over to make sure it’s safe.
If you have never been on a board before will need to find out if you’re regular or goofy stance ( which foot forward: regular is left foot at the front). Some people know which feels right straight away, some people have to think about it a bit. Most people ride with their strongest leg at the back but you should decide which way feels most comfortable for you.
Set yourself on your board, place your feet in the bindings and position each foot across the board with approximately the same amount of shoe hanging over the edge of the board on both the toe-side and the heel-side.
You can then adjust the foot straps (bindings) to provide a secure fit. You should try to keep your feet perpendicular to the board when tightening the bindings. This way, when the your feet naturally splay as they ride the bindings will hold your feet tightly. If you have heelstraps on your board, secure them around your heels to hold your feet into the bindings (otherwise beginners often use a leash which will prevent the board rolling off down the hill should you stack it!).
All sorted! Now’s time for your first roll downhill on a mountainboard, knees bendy, don’t lean back too much- keep weight centred, push toes or heels down to start turning left or right and look the way you wanna go turning your torso a bit with it. Longer runs mean you can start to link turns(carve). The best way to stop when you start learning is by turning across the slope till you stop this is called a J turn.
Happy, stoked, smiling: you’ll wanna go up and do it again. Welcome to club! from here you can learn to master various control techniques, such as turning, carving, j-stops and powerslides, as well as common sense sundries like positioning your board at the top of a slope.
Remember, learning how to bail properly will help too ( ie don’t jump off a moving board, don’t put you hands/arms out etc ).
Powerslides are required to stop quickly or used to drift round corners, involving lowering your body weight, initiating a turn, and kicking out your trailing leg a bit, remaining balanced but sliding to a stop. When beginning, it’s ok to grab your deck and lean back & effectively sit-down as you slow.
From then on, you can progress your moves with 90ing in, tic-tacking, riding switch and nose & tail rolls (manuals) which involve weight distribution, transfering pressure from one foot to the other.
Compress a bit and pop up, pulling your board off the ground for an Ollie. Do this off kickers for air, then you can start grabbing. For rotations, pre-wind your body, pop, and follow your head: spot the landing, bringing your board round to land evenly. But you can see our trick tips section for that!
Once you are confident enough, you can take your skills to any location and jam it up.
There’s loads more info in our resources section, and on Mountainboarding.UK.com.
There’s loads more tips on the web, so check our links page, but nothings beats getting out there and playing about. Have fun 🙂 Happy Riding!