Mountainboarding Wiki-site – The accumulated knowledge of mountainboarders all in one place

Mountainboarding wiki-site

I’ve been thinking about an accumulated knowledge-base for mountainboarding for quite a while now. It would be a place where all the mountainboarders could add their knowledge and experiences to create the ultimate reference guide to mountainboarding, and because it would be written by the community it could have not only factual technical information about things like board weights, but also contradictory opinions on things like the best way to do a powerslide.

So I started a wiki-site for all us mountainboarders to begin adding our knowledge. The first step was to put some section headers in to give it some structure and provide a bit of guidance on what to include and where to put it. Once it has some content I’ll have another look at how it is organised and move sections around so they make more sense.

So, all you mountainboarders out there, go to and add what you know.

Learning from Dave

What we learned from Dave, the Downhill comp #1

Track (location and layout)

The track at Dave worked really well. It was a ‘medium’ track which meant that is was gentle enough for novice riders to feel ok some of the time and challenged some of the time, and for pro riders to gun it all the way and enjoy it. The location of the track (just off an A road) meant it was easy to find and not too far away from civilisation.


Obviously, timing at a DH comp is really important. We used a simple synchronised clock system that has been around for decades (maybe even longer, who knows?). The advantages of this system is that it is really really simple and it doesn’t require any communication between top and bottom. What it does require, we found out, is reliable switched on people running it, and doing the calculations. Well, as I found out, a simple spreadsheet can do the second part. Formatted as ‘time’, the spreadsheet will do calculations that we can’t do with a calculator (because our system for measuring time isn’t decimal). The spreadsheet can be run on a laptop, which then brings in the issue of power on the side of a hill, on even on a smart phone. Now that’s truly the future of DH comps.


When the track is over a mile long an uplift is essential. The idea setting off six riders and following the sixth one down in my car to bring them all back up before setting off the next six was, I think, a good one. Although I’m not sure why it didn’t work out that way. It provides a safety check of all the riders and makes them easier to manage as they are in smaller groups. Having a big uplift to get all the riders to the top in one go has obvious advantages. The main disadvantage is the cost of hiring in a 4×4 and trailer, van or minibus. The other problem with uplifts like this on tracks like this is that it needs to drive up the same track that the riders are coming down (although hopefully not at the same time). Can’t really see a way around this one.


Dave was run with just two staff. One at the bottom recording finish times, and one at the top to record start times and drive the uplift. Compared to BX comps which take ten times the staff, DH are already pretty streamlined in the (human) resources they require to run. Having more organisers would certainly help, especially with things like live scoring (see below) and splitting the job of driving the uplift and running the top of the hill.

Other improvements/suggestions

Suggestions for improvements made by the riders include some kind of live scoreboard so they can all see their times, which seems simple enough with a wipeboard or paper and pens.

Next time….

The idea of having three DH comps next year is still very much top of my to do list at the moment. Dave seems to be easy enough to replicate next year, we’re just going to have to try to get in with the town committee and see if they can get around paying the FC loads of money. Scotland seems very likely as there are a very riders up there who want to get it sorted. And the Lake District is a possibility, although only on the back of an off-hand conversation with the ranger of Whinlatter Forest, but I’ll be following that up shortly.

Trampa Speed Demon Review

Review of the Trampa Speed Demon Brakeboard

Finally had a chance to ride the Trampa Speed Demon (as I’m calling it cos it’s black and red) with built-in go-faster stick (that’s a brake for the uninitiated).

Trampa Brakeboard Review

My normal everyday freeride-in-the-woods board is a short Trampa, but I also ride a noSno brake board, so I was interested to see how this board fits in between the two. It didn’t disappoint. In fact it made me question what I thought I knew about brake riding.

Normal wisdom for riding with brakes is that you need nine inch tyres, you need to be going really fast down mountains to justify having them, and they need to be on the front. This board has eight inch tyres, I was jumping it around tight mountainbike singletrack in the woods in the dark, and it was set up for goofy which meant the brakes were on the back.

So, does size matter? The majority of mountainboarders ride with eight inch wheels. Having brakes that can be used with eights not only opens up a huge market for selling these boards/kits, but it also makes it an easier step for more mountainboarders to get into the kind of freeriding and downhilling that requires brakes. And with more downhill comps on the horizon, more people are going to want brakes. The other big advantage of riding with eights rather than nines is the weight. I ride my noSno with nines and brakes on the front and eights on the back so I can kick the back end around in tight turns. Riding eights all round makes that so much easier to get it into tight turns and the brakes didn’t add any noticeable weight.

Are brakes for going slower or going faster? There’s a reason we call them go-faster sticks. In fact there are two reasons; one, being able to slow when you need to means you can avoid sliding out, and two, they can give you a bit of confidence to ride a little faster knowing you can stop if you need to. So brakes aren’t just for riding long alpine passes, they can enable more mountainboarders to ride more terrain than they might otherwise. Whether that is mountainbike single track in the woods in the dark (which I can thoroughly recommend) or a middle-aged guy who wants to ride at centres with his son but doesn’t like to idea of getting down into powerslides. Riding with brakes doesn’t have to be all about going fast.

Brakes go on the front, right? The science says so. As you brake your weight goes forward onto the front wheels and so adds traction to the tyres increasing braking performance. But I had the brakes on the back. I rode some tight singletrack and tarmac and didn’t notice any real loss in performance. And maybe for my kind of riding having brakes on the back makes some sense. A lot of my speed control comes from scrubbing (which obviously I do with the back of the board) so adding another speed control technique to the back means I can work them together. If you’ve got brakes I recommend trying them on the front and the back, and seeing what works best for you.

Also, whilst I’m on the subject of traction, the Trampa Speed Demon has Primo Alpha tyres. I’m not usually a fan of these tyres. For my kind of riding I find that they have loads of traction up to a point, and then, when sliding, they lose it all at once with no warning. But when it comes to maximum traction for braking in a straight line I’m betting Alphas are the right choice. Set them up hard on the front and bit softer on the back and don’t slide them into corners (use the brake instead).

To sum up, I loved the Trampa Speed Demon! If you have a Trampa and want brakes, these are for you. If you’re thinking of getting a brakeboard, these are for you. If you want brakes but don’t want loads of extra weight, these are for you. If you’re getting your first proper mountainboard and want brakes for a bit more confidence, these are for you.

Scuz – A bit of Mountainboarding history

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue One

Issue one of Scuz mountainboarding zine. A rider written publication for the sport of mountainboarding. Concentrating on the UK scene with politics and music reviews, this was the “historic” first issue.

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue Two

Second issue of Scuz mountainboarding zine. Originally the first and second issue had a £1 cover charge. This was the last paid-for issue, before we went free (as in free beer). Issue two covered inline boarding, the 4th round of the ATBA UK championships, LARD – a London based regional mountainboarding club and the usual gig reviews and political issue.

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue Three

The third amazing issue of Scuz mountainboarding zine. The first issue to be free (as in beer). Introducing Team BAD – a riders club from Bristol in the UK, the Maxtrack Classic, music and gig reviews and a whole host of mountainboard related anecdotes.

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue Four

The “Big” issue. Scuz goes A4. Mike “Meeko” Cronin interviewed, building your own dirt park, the Northern Offroad Boarding Society, team MEBA, spot guides and the Rob Newman (of Mary Whitehouse Experience fame) Interview.

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue Five

The fifth issue of Scuz Mountainboarding Zine (with a new look and logo!). Report on rounds 1 to 3 of ATBA UK series, interview and story on Lush Longboards, a UK based longboard manufacturer making in-roads into the UK mountainboarding scene, interview with Will and Jack Herriot – two up and coming young riders.

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue Six

Scuz mountainboarding zine issue six – part one of the Scuz UK Road Trip; nine men, nine days, one van and one shower. ATBA UK series rounds 4, 5 and 6. Meet Stu Kirk, the godfather of UK mountainboarding.

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue Seven

The seventh deadly sin. Part deux of the Scuz UK road trip. Ian’s Last Ride – Ian from Team BAD’s fairwell session. Lush “Slide” film premiere. Kiteboarding.

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue Eight

Eight is great! Round 1 and 2 of the 2005 ATBA UK Championships. Balance boards – build and ride your own. World Freestyle Championships – out of the freezer this time.

Scuz Mountainboarding Zine Issue #9

Nine, The calamity issue. Round of up rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the 2005 ATBA UK championships. Adventura World Downhill Championships in Cortina, Italy. Spending your summer on water instead of dirt – not that we encourage this kind of goings on. The usual shenanigans!

Scuz Mountainboarding Video Zine Issue 1

The Scuz Mountainboarding Video Zine Issue 1 – a daft half hour of mountainboarding, music and larking about.

The Highest Hills Project

Mountainboarding on the highest hill in each county in England

A while ago, when I wasn’t so busy and was more into exploring, I had the idea that I’d like to be the first mountainboarder to have ridden on the highest point in every county in England. I put all 45 of them on a map and slowly began riding them. I got fifteen of them under my belt (the ones with a blue placemark), and then kind of ground to a halt/got really busy.

One day I’ll get around to finishing it off.

The spectrum of Mountainboarding disciplines

Exploring how to define the disciplines of Mountainboarding

A while ago a couple of us started trying to develop a system for defining and categorising the various disciplines of mountainboarding. We started with a list of the four main disciplines:

  • Freeriding
  • Downhill
  • BoarderX
  • Freestyle

But those four didn’t quite cover mountainboarding in all it’s various forms so we sub-divided and added a few more:

  • Freecarve
  • Big Air
  • Slopestyle
  • JibStreet
  • Park

Freecarve, as a discipline, could be defined as ‘Downhill without the competitiveness’, so it covers things like riding firetracks where you want to go as fast as possible but aren’t competing against other riders. And it’s different to Freeride, which isn’t really about speed, but has some of the same philosophy, i.e. not really having any aim, or outcome, or point to it.

Big Air, Slopestyle, Jib, Street and Park are all sub-disciplines of Freestyle.
When then put all those disciplines into a linear spectrum that looked like this:

  • Freeride: Non-competitive riding over a range of terrain, but mostly singletrack in woodland.
  • Freecarve: Non-competitive one-man descents. Medium length course.
  • Downhill: Timed one-man descents. Long courses. High speed.
  • Boardercross: Two to four-man racing on a specifically designed track.
  • Freecross: Four-man racing with freestyle element. Specifically designed track.
  • Slopestyle: Performing medium-sized tricks on a specifically designed course consisting of multiple jumps, rails and other features, and with multiple lines of descent.
  • Jib: Performing small, innovative tricks.
  • Street: Small tricks on urban terrain.
  • Skatepark: Tricks on skatepark features.
  • Big Air: Big tricks on large tabletop(s)

Then, in an attempt to better understand the relationship between the disciplines we plotted them on a graph using Competitiveness, Speed and Style.

Levels of Competitiveness

  • 3. Totally objectively judged by points or times.
  • 2. Rider judged. Subjective mutual consensus agreed upon by small group of peers. May include a degree of objectivity.
  • 1. Self judged. Setting personal goals. Subjective.
  • 0. No judgement.

Levels of Style (where speed does not apply)

  • 3. Big tricks, impressive, crowd-pleasing. front flips, 720’s, etc.
  • 2. Medium tricks, backflips, 360’s, etc.
  • 1. Small tricks, stalls, grinds, 180’s, etc.
  • 0. No style.

Levels Speed (where style does not apply)

  • 2. Speed most important element of the discipline.
  • 1. Speed is one important element of the discipline.
  • 0. Speed not important.

And that’s as far as we got…